There’s a time for puttering around the kitchen, experimenting with a slow-cooked meal. But that time is not on busy week days. On a Monday night, puttering and experimenting in the kitchen? After a day of work, pet care, the gym or practice, laundry, homework… for starters? Not going to happen. And let’s be honest, sometimes you just don’t feel like making the big effort. But even on nights like this it’s possible to feed the family a great meal that’s not only delicious, but also quick and easy. Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups is all those things.
Lasagna rolls can be made with any of your standard lasagna fixings… meat sauce, white sauce, sausage or lots of vegetables. This ‘caprese’ version using fresh tomatoes, mozarella and basil is fresh and tasty.
I started with a recipe found on Tastes Better From Scratch and incorporated my own favorite ingredients and methods from there. Let me walk you through the recipe…
On a sheet of parchment paper, line up cooked lasagna noodles. Next, mix the cheese filling (low-moisture mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan). Add a dash of fresh parsley, black pepper and crushed red pepper to the cheese and an egg is whisked in to create a binding medium. Very thinly slice some Roma tomatoes.
Layer the cheese, fresh spinach leaves and tomatoes over the noodles . Four tomato slices per noodle is perfect. Before rolling everything up, sprinkle with more fresh basil and extra Parmesan cheese.
Fold the roll ups tightly…
After the noodles are all rolled up, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and place the rolls seam side down, side by side.
Spoon the rest of the sauce over the roll ups, these are delicious with homemade or a good quality store-bought marinara. A 32-ounce jar works well, but if you like extra sauce, use more. Cover the sauce-covered roll ups with a layer of mozzarella cheese and bake for thirty minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly. Good Dinner Note: Regarding jarred pasta sauces, you get what you pay for. I don’t mind paying a little extra when I know the ingredients are good, and even jars on the pricey end of the scale can still contribute to an economical meal. A couple that continually rank high in national taste tests are Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce and Giada’s Pasta Sauce (Target). No compensation or request of any kind was made by either of these companies. This is my own opinion with some data to back it up in the outlinks. Back to the roll ups. Right out of the oven, sprinkle extra basil and Parmesan Cheese before serving.
Using fresh tomatoes and spinach adds a nice al fresco flair to the lasagna and the combination of cheese and herbs with a tomatoey marinara melts together for hearty Italian flavor.
This is an easy weeknight dish that tastes as special and full of flavor as any slow-cooked Sunday lasagna casserole. Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups is also a great recipe if you have kids that love to help in the kitchen. Each roll is a pretty substantial helping, but I list two roll ups per serving in the printable recipe. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think… in no time, dinner is served. And p.s. if you have a small family, or very large family… this recipe is perfect for sizing down or doubling. Make a few rolls and place them in a smaller casserole dish or double the recipe in two 9×13″ pans.
If this recipe isn’t fast and easy enough for you, try my Lasagna Soup for lasagna flavor in under 30 minutes.
- 10 whole wheat lasagna noodles, uncooked
- 4 cups shredded, fresh mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1½ cup ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup shredded, fresh Parmesan cheese plus more during assembly and garnish
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, snipped
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, more or less to taste
- 3-4 medium Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- Fesh spinach leaves, about 1 cup
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 3 cups marinara sauce, use homemade or your favorite fresh jarred variety. You can use more if you like your lasagna very saucy. The amount listed here is a guide.
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- While oven is heating, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain pasta and line noodles in a single layer on a large sheet of parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the mozzarella, the ricotta cheese and egg until well blended. Stir in ½ cup Parmesan cheese and the fresh parsley. Season with black pepper and crushed red pepper.
- Spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle, covering it almost completely from one end to the other.
- Place a single layer of the spinach leaves on top of cheese mixture.
- Lay about 4 thin tomato slices over the cheese mixture and then sprinkle extra Parmesan and fresh basil over top. Snugly roll lasagna noodles to opposite end.
- Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13” baking dish. Place lasagna rolls seam side down in dish and top each roll with marinara sauce until the noodles are all covered with sauce. Sprinkle remaining 2 cups shredded Mozzarella on top (More if you really want the roll ups super cheesy).
- Cover roll ups with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, bake additional 10 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble and turn golden at the edges.
- Remove from oven and garnish with more fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
- Store leftovers covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Tastes Better From Scratch.