Not Just for Holidays Lasagna Rolls Recipe

Thursday, March 1, 2012

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In my family, we always knew it was a special occasion by the telltale aroma of lasagna baking in the oven.  Neither my grandmother nor my mother made it often.  A traditional lasagna is a labor intensive dish that takes several hours to prepare – even longer if you make your own pasta.  So, it was usually reserved for  holidays and the occasional birthday, christening or graduation party.  Maybe that’s why this classic Italian combination of layers of tender sheets of pasta filled with meat, veggies and ooey, gooey cheese tasted so wonderful to me.  Or, maybe it was because lasagna is just plain wonderful.

The thing is, that with a little advance planning and a few teensy shortcuts, you can make a perfectly scrumptious lasagna in a lot less time than you may think. And, if you prepare it in the form of these luscious, self-contained lasagna rolls, you can easily make enough to stash a batch or two in the freezer for later. How about that! You can enjoy lasagna any old time you feel like it! What a concept!

So, grab an apron and let’s make some lasagna rolls! 

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Remember those teensy shortcuts I mentioned?  Well, the first one is using marinara sauce from a jar.  Oh yes, I really did just say that.  I know that cooking a marinara from scratch is preferable, but I’m trying to save you some time here.  And, unless you already have a vat of homemade marinara sauce in your freezer, it’s going to take an extra hour to make some.  Besides, there are some really excellent jar sauces out there made with San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil and other quality ingredients.  So, don’t be a sauce snob.  Embrace the convenience!

Another shortcut I take is using pre-shredded mozzarella.  Sargento makes a very good one, as does Sorrento.  There is no shame in not shredding your own cheese.  Even my mother does it.  I swear.

When I make this dish, I start preparing my filling at the same time I put a big pot of water on to boil for the lasagna sheets.  By the time the pasta is cooked, my filling is all ready to go.

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Roll, baby, roll!

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Cook your lasagna sheets just to the shy side of al dente.  They will be drenched in sauce and baking for a while.  This will help keep them from falling apart.  Also, be careful not to put too much filling into each roll.  A couple of tablespoons is enough.  If you overdo it, the filling will ooze out during baking.  It will still taste good, but it will look kind of yucky.  Yucky is not a good look for lasagna.

Snugly fit your rolls together in a baking dish and smother them with sauce and cheese.  See!  It looks just like a traditional lasagna, except that it will be a lot easier to serve.

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These lasagna rolls can be prepped the night before and will be ready to bake when you get home from work the next day.  They can also be made ahead and frozen in one of two ways.  You can prepare them and freeze either before baking or after.  I prefer to freeze before baking.   If do you freeze them, you’ll need to either thaw them out first, or add at least an extra half hour or so to the baking time.  This is no big deal, as your prep work is already done.

So, don’t wait for a special occasion to treat yourself to these cheesy, meaty, yummy lasagna rolls.  Every day should be a celebration!

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14 responses to Not Just for Holidays Lasagna Rolls Recipe

  1. On March 01, 2012 at 4:54pm, The Food Hunter said...

    this is making me drool!

  2. On March 02, 2012 at 12:15pm, LizA said...

    These would be so right for a potluck supper or packaged for families with a newborn. Perfect!

  3. On March 04, 2012 at 12:11pm, Christine said...

    My family love lasagne! Have printed out your recipe and will give it a go. Certainly a different method of presentation to what I’m used to. Hope it tastes as good as it looks.

  4. On March 04, 2012 at 3:11pm, Marta @ I love breakfasts! said...

    I love lasagna and I know that it’s not easy to make one. Will try your recipe for sure :)

  5. On March 06, 2012 at 2:12pm, Gourmet Secrets said...

    Wow what a nice post.I like it.such varieties would be tasty.

    Thanks for more sharing……….

    Gourmet Secrets

  6. On March 07, 2012 at 6:05am, Julius Joy And Food said...

    I love lasagne! I will try this one i am sure it tastes as good as it looks. Thanks and Good luck.

  7. On March 08, 2012 at 8:25pm, Kim Bee said...

    This looks positively delicious. I want to try this recipe out. I love lasagna. It’s one of my fave things to make and eat. This really is gorgeous.

  8. On March 11, 2012 at 10:44am, hanin said...

    i love this site, but i hate the pictures you put in!!! everything looks too delicius and too perfect and tooooo…… well, i can’t make anything up right now, but this lasagna looks like it was made in heaven!! (sorry for my bad english :P im from Denmark :) )

  9. On March 11, 2012 at 8:12pm, Elaine said...

    These were really, really good. I used ground sirloin instead of veal, and pecorino romano instead of parmesan. However, there was waaaaaaaayyyyy more filling than there were noodles to fill. There is at least enough for a whole other casserole. I think I will need to freeze it, but I’m sure it will be fabulous next time, too.

  10. On March 23, 2012 at 4:16am, Ewa said...

    OMG! It must be delicious! I really like lasagna. I have to cook it, necessarily. Do you think I can manage?

  11. On March 25, 2012 at 4:26am, Kevin (Closet Cooking) said...

    Those lasagna rolls look so good!

  12. On April 11, 2012 at 2:46am, Trae C. said...

    I finally had a chance to make these tonight and it was amazing how fast they went together! I even think the rolls are easier to assemble than the traditional layers. One question though, is there a difference between lasagna sheets and lasagna noodles? I used more noodles and twice as much filling in each roll as you suggested, and they still were too small to fill up a 9×12 dish. Maybe I made the rolls too tight?

  13. On October 03, 2012 at 5:53am, Albertocook said...

    Hi, I’m Alberto from Italy.
    Your recipe is Very GOOD like a italian Recipe.
    You have more good recipes, i follow your beautifull blog for test your delicius…
    Sorry for my english.

  14. On April 30, 2013 at 1:12pm, Marilyn B. said...

    This looks absolutely droolicious!! It’s definitely on my try me list.

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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