As I've mentioned before, I'm always on the lookout for tasty meals that are simple and quick. This recipe was very tasty - hubby and toddler both loved it (I did too) - makes great left-overs, and while it took a bit longer to get on the table than I usually like, it's a dish you can actually assemble it the night before, and then just pop it in the oven for dinner the next night. That's almost just as good as being quick all at once.
And if you like lasagna, I felt like this was much easier/quicker to prepare than traditional lasagna (less layers), just as tasty, and is a good foundation for customization (adding your choice of additional veggies or meats.) And its a good way to squeeze veggies in your kids' meal without them really noticing (if that's a challenge you face in your house.)
Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups Recipe
Serves 8 Prep Time: approx. 30 min Cook time: 30 min
- 1 (16oz) package uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles ( I only used about 12 oz)
- 1 lb mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided (separate out one cup)
- 1 (15oz) container ricotta cheese (I used reduced fat)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cloves minced garlic (these are great to keep on hand in your freezer. I just nuked 2 cubes for 30 seconds at 50%)
- 2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 (28oz) jars marinara sauce ( I went light on the sauce, we didn't use as much as this)
- (Optional) 1 to 2 cooked chicken breasts shredded, or cooked Italian sausage, removed from it's casing (we just had grilled sausage on the side, because hubby always needs meat)
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 5-8 minutes, or until just slightly underdone; drain and rinse. Coat with a bit of olive oil and lay noodles flat on a cookie sheet.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together mozzarella cheese (reserve 1 cup), ricotta cheese, egg, garlic, parsley, basil, pepper, salt, spinach, chicken (optional) and 1 cup Parmesan cheese (and anything else you want to add.)
- Spread a thin layer of sauce on bottom of 9x13 pan (or 2 8x8)
- Lay out a noodle on cookies sheet. Spread a layer of the cheese mixture on the noodle (I used a generous heaping scoop with a standard soup spoon per noodle), then add a layer of sauce (one cookie dough scoop of sauce). [Note: I cut each noodle in half so it wasn't as long, and I think it was perfect that way. With the full scoop of filling, the noodle wrapped around with about an inch overlap.]
- Roll the noodle up, and place seam side down in pan. Repeat for other noodles.
- Top entire casserole with remaining sauce, remaining mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.
- Bake in preheated oven 350 for 30 min, or until hot and bubbly. Cover if it starts to get too brown
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