These veggie lasagna roll ups are filled with ricotta, mascarpone, bell peppers, and zucchini for a hearty vegetarian meal that you can make in just 20 minutes of active preparation time.
When my sister, Kelly, and I where kids we loved to cook. One of the first things that I ever remember making with her was lasagna roll ups. Today I am sharing a new take on the meal with this easy recipe for veggie lasagna roll ups.
What are your earliest memories? I have some very early memories. I remember the apartment that my family lived in until I was 3. I remember my Dad driving me, Kelly, and two friends to the hospital to go meet my little brother for the first time. I would have been 2 1/2.
It isn’t surprising that lots of my memories involve food. I remember my Mom making cinnamon toast in the oven for us. I remember that the VCR didn’t work because someone (obviously not me) put a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in it. And I remember when my sister and I first started to cook.
Lasagna Roll Ups were the meal that I remember cooking for our family. I am sure that our parents did the vast majority of the work, but I remember that Kelly and I saw the recipe somewhere and decided to make it. I remember spreading the ricotta over the noodles and rolling them up, and thinking that cooking was so fun.
The Lasagna Roll Ups were just the start. Kelly and I become increasingly interested in cooking. We watched the Food Network constantly, absorbing information from The Two Fat Ladies, Bobby Flay, Martha Stewart, and Emeril like sponges. In high school we would cook up big afternoon snacks and feed them to our brother Jeff. When the three of us were in college, we spent our summers working at a catering company together. We perfected the task of making tuxedo dipped strawberries and we learned everything from how to set a table to how to make appetizers for 200.
The more we learned to cook the more we loved it. By the time I was in my 20s I was cooking for my friends on a regular basis and they came up with the idea of putting this website together for me. So what started as me cooking at home as a kid turned into me creating recipes and sharing them as a career.
The other day when Charles said that he wanted a veggie lasagna, the veggie Lasagna Roll Ups that we made in the ‘90s came to mind. The concept is simple, instead of layering a lasagna, you spread the filling out on individual lasagna sheets, roll them up, and then line them up in a casserole dish and cover them with tomato sauce.
This time I added some finely chopped red bell pepper and a touch of mascarpone to the ricotta. The bell pepper adds extra flavor and the mascarpone makes the cheese filling extra creamy. After spreading the cheese mixture over the noodles I added a couple slices of shaved zucchini. This gave the meal an added texture – an ever so slight crispness – that gives the meal new life.
The total active preparation time for this meal is just about 20 minutes. You boil the pasta, and while it cooks you mix up the cheese filling and shave the zucchini with a vegetable peeler. Once the noodles are ready, assemble the roll ups, arrange them in a casserole dish, pour the sauce over, top with mozzarella and bake. I used a roasted tomato sauce that I had made and saved in the freezer, it is really similar to this recipe, but I made it without the beef.
The convenient thing about lasagna roll ups is that they are portioned. For me two roll ups are the perfect amount for a meal. This recipe makes 9 roll ups which is just enough for 3-4 servings. You can certainly double this recipe – I just didn’t want to make more lasagna than two people can eat in a couple days. I will say that the leftovers are just as good, I ate them for lunch a couple times.
- 9 Lasagna Sheets
- 3 cups of Spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 15 ounces of Ricotta
- 4 ounces of Mascarpone
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Red Bell Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Zucchini
- 2 cups of Tomato Sauce
- Thin slices of Fresh Mozzarella
First, heat your oven to 350 degrees. Then bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil add the lasagna sheets. You want to cook them until they are al dented according to the directions on the packaging.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the ricotta filling. If you are using fresh spinach, quickly sauté it in a skillet with a touch of olive oil and a clove of garlic. If you are using frozen spinach, thaw it out and squeeze out all of the water.
In a large bowl combine ricotta, mascarpone, red bell pepper, spinach, salt, and pepper. Stir together, and then set aside.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave the zucchini into long thin pieces.
Once the pasta is cooked and the filling is mixed it is time to assemble your lasagna roll ups. Pour a thin layer of tomato sauce in a 8x8 inch dish. Then one by one spread a layer of the filling on the lasagna sheets and add a layer of zucchini on top. Roll up the lasagna sheet and add to the dish on top of the tomato sauce. Repeat using all of the lasagna sheets and filling the pan.
Pour the sauce over the lasagna roll ups and top with slices of mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes then serve.