lasagna rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

Looking for something delicious that you can serve to a crowd? A dish that can be prepared in advance? I can assure you that this one fits the bill.  My family loves these lasagna rolls. Even the vegetarians in the crowd. For the gluten-free folks, we use gluten-free lasagna …an easy fix. This recipe will make eight individual lasagna rolls. If served as a main dish, you’ll have four servings. As a side, you’ll have as many as eight. It’s so easy to make more if you need to. I think I’ve quadrupled this recipe more than once. The best part …it can all be prepared ahead of time.

lasagna rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

While the water is heating up for the lasagna noodles, let’s get the spinach and mushroom filling ready. It’s an easy process and will be finished before the pasta finishes cooking. If you want to save time, you can use those handy pre-sliced mushrooms.

lasagna rolls with roasted red pepper saucelasagna rolls with roasted red pepper saucelasagna rolls with roasted red pepper saucelasagna rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

Once the veggies are cooked up, the cheeses are added and you have the most delicious filling.  Not too rich. Not too heavy. Full of flavor. When you spread the filling onto each cooked noodle, be sure to leave about an inch on the end so that the roll has a clean seal. The lasagna rolls are placed in an ovenproof dish with the seam sides down so that they hold their shape during baking.

lasagna rolls with roasted red pepper saucelasagna rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

Let’s talk sauce. I am including a recipe for roasted red pepper sauce. It is really tasty and gives you a different flavorful spin on the typical red sauce. If you’re short on time or don’t have all of the ingredients on hand, use your favorite marinara sauce. When I make these for a crowd, that’s what I do. But I will say …this sauce is really good. And it all gets whipped up in your blender.  Gotta love that.

lasagna rolls with roasted red pepper saucelasagna rolls with roasted red pepper saucelasagna rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

A small amount of sauce is poured over the center of each lasagna roll and the dish is covered with a fitted lid or foil. Just before they are done, the cover is removed and the remainder of the shredded mozzarella is sprinkled on top. Pop them back in the oven, just long enough until the cheese is melted.

You know, when I first discovered this recipe it was recommended that you finish these guys in the microwave instead of the standard oven. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of actually cooking in my microwave oven. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly comes in handy when I need to defrost something in a hurry or to heat up a bowl of soup. But in reality …to cover a dish in plastic wrap and thoroughly cook it in there? No thanks. I just can’t do it. And, besides …who doesn’t love those slightly crunchy edges on the lasagna noodles when they are fresh from the oven?

lasagna rolls with roasted red pepper saucelasagna rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

There’s no waiting for the lasagna to set before you cut it. Each serving is all wrapped up nice and neat in a pretty little lasagna roll. The finishing touch will be a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil. Get ready to wow your crowd.

lasagna rolls with roasted red pepper saucelasagna rolls with roasted red pepper saucelasagna rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

lasagna rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

Adapted from Cooking Light

Instead of layering your pasta and filling, roll it up into individual servings.

Servings 8 lasagna rolls
Author Rosemary Stelmach

Ingredients

Lasagna Rolls

  • 8 uncooked lasagna noodles (about 8 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (about 2.5 ounces)
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, trimmed & sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach, roughly torn
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (very optional)

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 7-ounce bottle roasted red bell peppers, undrained
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (very optional)

Instructions

  1. To prepare lasagna, cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Drain again.  Lay cooked noodles on a tray lined with waxed or parchment paper.  Set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, mushrooms & minced garlic; sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until onion and mushrooms are tender. Add spinach and continue cooking until the spinach is wilted.  Remove from heat, and stir in the cheeses, 2 tablespoons of basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt & the optional 1/8 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.

  4. To prepare the roasted red pepper sauce, place the red wine vinegar along with the remaining ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.

  5. Place the cooked noodles on flat surface; spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture over each noodle up to one inch from the far end of each.  Roll up each noodle, jelly-roll fashion, starting with the short side closest to you.  Place the rolls, seam sides down, in a shallow 2-quart ovenproof dish.  Pour 1/4 cup sauce over each roll, and cover with a fitted lid or foil. 

  6. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and evenly distribute the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese over the rolls.  Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

  7. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil.  Serve immediately.  Offer extra sauce on the side.

lasagna rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

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