You know how traditional lasagna involves layers of meat sauce, spinach, cheese, and lasagna sheets? Then, it’s baked and cut into squares before serving. This recipe takes a spin on that and uses the most adorable lasagna rolls with wavy edges. Think classic lasagna – but more fun, less messy, and easier to serve.
It’s freezer-friendly, too, which means you can totally make this ahead of time and bake it when you’re ready to serve. There are 10 lasagna rolls and this recipe is an ideal dinner for two, or a fun side dish for small gatherings.
This lasagna roll recipe consists of an easy homemade marinara sauce made with canned tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs. Then, each lasagna roll is like a little pocket filled with a medley of melted cheeses.
Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Let’s begin!
This recipe makes 10 lasagna rolls. Gather these ingredients for the homemade marinara sauce:
- Can of peeled tomatoes – Grab a 28 oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes.
- Garlic – Mince 1 clove of garlic.
- Fresh oregano and fresh basil – For the longest time, I thought dried oregano and dried basil was good enough… But the fragrance you get from fresh herbs? Oh my gosh, I’ve never looked back.
- Olive oil – Just a little bit of oil to get the cooking going.
- Salt and pepper
- Red chili flakes – Optional, but highly recommended for people who like a bit of spice in their lasagna!
And for the lasagna rolls, you will need:
- Ricotta cheese – Ricotta cheese is classic in lasagna; it’s sweet and creamy. However, if you can’t find ricotta cheese near you, cottage cheese works just as well.
- Mozzarella cheese – We’ll also need some mozzarella inside. I can taste the savory creaminess already!
- Parmesan cheese – Yes. More cheese, please. This will be sprinkled over the roll-ups.
- Frozen chopped spinach – Thaw some frozen chopped spinach and squeeze dry in a paper towel. Be sure to really dry it, otherwise, you’ll end up with a wet, soggy lasagna.
- Lasagna noodles – Cook 10 lasagna noodles as per the packet or soak them in hot water. I’m using long noodles with a wavy edge. They’re so adorable!
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley and basil – Chop roughly to sprinkle over the top of the lasagna.
How to Make Lasagna Rolls
Make the marinara sauce:
- Pour the olive oil into a pot set to medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and stir, breaking them apart. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer for 15 minutes, until the sauce has slightly reduced and the tomatoes are soft. Add the oregano, basil, and red chili flakes (optional) and stir to combine. Set aside.
Make the cheese filling:
- Combine the ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella cheese, spinach, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Save the other half of the mozzarella for toppings.
Assemble the lasagna:
- Spoon ⅓ of the tomato sauce into the base of a baking dish. Lay out one lasagna noodle on your workspace. Spread a couple of tablespoons of cheese filling onto the surface. Roll up the noodles and place them seam-side down into the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and cheese filling.
- Spoon the remaining tomato sauce on top of the lasagna rolls and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Top with some fresh parsley, basil leaves, and some parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
Expert Recipe Tips
- It’s always fun to cook with friends and this is a fun recipe to make together! I do recommend putting only one person in charge of the rolling, though, so that the lasagna rolls are consistent in shape and size.
- As you roll the noodles, tuck them gently so that it holds the fillings better. The lasagna rolls should be placed seam-side down. Otherwise, you run the risk of it unraveling and spilling all the cheese and making a huge mess!
- If you want to save time, use store-bought marinara sauce. You wouldn’t need to wait for the tomatoes to soften, either. Fry the garlic in a skillet and add the marinara sauce to combine the flavors. Then, season to taste.
Ground beef will work so well in the lasagna rolls! Fry the ground beef with the garlic and combine it with the canned tomatoes to make a delicious meat sauce.
If you’re not able to shred your own block of cheese, I get it! You can still enjoy cheesy, melty lasagna rolls with pre-shredded cheese and they will still taste delicious!
Oven-ready lasagna noodles on their own are not soft or pliable enough for roll-ups, so to soften them, simply soak them in hot water for 15 minutes or boil them for 3 to 5 minutes. Once they are al dente, they’ll roll up easily.
How to Store
Making lasagna rolls ahead or want to keep leftovers for later? Great idea! These lasagna rolls are incredibly easy to store and reheat.
Leftover lasagna that has been baked before can be refrigerated once it has cooled to room temperature. Store it in a separate container, making sure to scoop all the leftover sauce from the baking dish. This keeps well for up to 2 days. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes to reheat, topping off with extra parmesan cheese if desired.
Sometimes, I prepare the lasagna roll-ups in advance. I follow the recipe instructions but I stop before sprinkling the parmesan cheese on top. Then I refrigerate (or freeze) the baking dish, wrapped with aluminum foil or cling foil. When it’s time to bake, I thaw it, sprinkle parmesan cheese, and then bake it at 350F for 15 minutes.
Lasagna Rolls Recipe
Homemade Marinara Sauce:
- 1 28- oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1/3 tsp pepper
- 3 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano
- 3 tsp finely chopped fresh basil
- pinch red chili flakes optional
- 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- ¾ cup frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry in a paper towel
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 10 lasagna noodles cooked
- fresh parsley and basil roughly chopped
- parmesan cheese
Make the marinara sauce:
- Pour the olive oil into a pot set to medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and stir, breaking them apart. Season with the salt and pepper, then simmer for 15 minutes, until the sauce has slightly reduced and the tomatoes are soft. Add the oregano, basil and red chili flakes (optional) and stir to combine. Set aside.
Make the cheese filling:
- Combine the ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella cheese, spinach, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Spoon 1/3 of the tomato sauce into the base of a baking dish. Lay out one lasagna noodle at a time, and spread a couple tablespoons of cheese filling onto the surface. Roll up the noodles and place them seam side-down into the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and cheese filling.
- Spoon the remaining tomato sauce on top of the lasagna rolls and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Top with some fresh parsley and basil leaves and some parmesan cheese and enjoy!