We love Italian food in our house and lasagna is one of our favorites. For today’s visit to Italy, I decided to roll up my lasagna noodles into neat little individual serving sized lasagna roll ups that will have your family thinking they are in Italy!
Rolling the lasagna noodles makes the ingredients hold the roll ups nicely together and this makes them easier to serve. I don’t know about you, but I hate to wait for a whole tray of lasagna to get to the right temperature so that I can cut it and have it hold it’s shape. Making these lasagna roll ups does away with that problem.
Lasagna is not a dish that can be done in a hurry. The flavors are complex and need some time to come together well. But the time spent on this dish is SO worth it. Your family will just love these roll ups!
Look what goes into these lasagna roll ups! Viva Italia!
I used a lean ground beef and chose cottage cheese as well as sharp cheddar cheese and Parmesan Reggiano cheese. Fresh grated is SO MUCH NICER than the grated boxed variety and is so worth the extra cost.
I placed my water on to boil while I was making the sauce and cheese mixtures to save time. See my tips for making sure that you end up with no stick noodles here. The meat sauce is a lovely combination of onions, ground beef and diced tomatoes that is beautifully seasoned with fresh herbs and minced garlic. I used my herb scissors to cut the herbs right into the cooking pan. They save a lot of time on chopping.
While the flavors of the meat sauce are cooking, you can make the cheese mixture, too. Just combine the egg and cheeses with parsley, salt and pepper. It makes a lovely sweet combination that just amazing.
For those of you who say “I don’t like cottage cheese,” don’t worry, you won’t taste it, but it does add a nice layer of creaminess to the roll ups, so please don’t skip it.
Now it’s time to make the lasagna roll ups. This is the fun part!
Drain the lasagna noodles and lay them out on a sheet of parchment paper. This makes sure that they are nearby to assemble and also keeps them from sticking together.
The noodles are spread with a layer of the creamy cheese mixture and then topped with a heaping spoonful of the meat sauce. Spread the mixtures out neatly, making sure to leave a bit of room at each end to help the roll ups stick together in the pan. Starting at one end, just roll up with noodles and toppings until you get a nice neat roll.
Place the roll ups in a pan that has a bit of the meat sauce spread over the bottom. Doing this flavors the roll ups and also keeps them from sticking to the pan. Add a bit of the left over sauce on the top of the roll ups and then finish up with the cheddar and Parmesan Reggiano cheese. YUM!
Finally, an aluminum foil tent helps to keep the cheese from browning too quickly. Into the oven it goes for about 35 minutes. I can’t wait to dig into these yummy looking lasagna roll ups!
These lasagna roll ups have a delicious creamy center rolled with deliciously flavored meat and tomatoes. They have a bit of sweetness from the cottage cheese that is just heavenly. If you like, you can heat up some bottled marinara sauce to serve under it for a nice presentation.
Take a bite!
Every bite of this amazing recipe is just full of flavor. Add a nice big tossed salad and a glass of wine to make it seem like you are on a villa in Italy enjoying the last of the afternoon sun!
Lasagna Roll Ups - A Variation of the Traditional Casserole Recipe
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz lean ground beef
- 1 finely chopped small yellow onion
- 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
- ⅓ cup of beef broth
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- Sea Salt and freshly ground cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 (15 oz) container cottage cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2½ cups freshly grated cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese, divided
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground cracked black pepper
- 14 uncooked lasagna noodles
- ½ cup of bottled marinara sauce
- Chopped basil and parsley to garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the olive oil to a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Cook the ground beef, then add the chopped onions and cook mixture stirring occasionally,. until the meat is browned and the onions are translucent. Be sure that the beef is nicely broken down into small pieces.
- Add the diced tomatoes, beef stock, minced garlic, basil, oregano and stir to combine
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low while you prepare the cheese mixture.
- Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions.
- Drain the noodles and line them up on a piece of parchment paper.
- While the lasagna noodles are cooking, combine the cottage cheese, egg, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper in a large mixing bowl. Stir in chopped fresh parsley.
- Mix in 2 cups grated cheddar cheese, ¾ cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese. Stir mixture until well combined.
- Spread ⅓ cup of the meat sauce into a 13 x 9 inch oven proof baking pan. (you can also use two smaller pans like I did and freeze one for later.)
- Spread ¼ cup of the cheese mixture evenly over each of the cooked lasagna noodle, then spread a heaping tablespoon of the meat sauce on each lasagna noodle.
- Roll the noodles up and place them seam side down in the baking pan.
- Spoon over the bottled marinara sauce and then sprinkle the remaining cheeses evenly over the roll-ups.
- Make a tent in the baking dish with foil to prevent the cheese from browning too much and bake for 35 minutes in preheated oven.
- Garnish with fresh basil and parsley. Enjoy!
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