Spinach and artichoke lasagna roll ups

Lasagna roll ups is one of my favorite, simple, somewhat ‘lazy’ meals to make! You may think that roll ups are harder to make than lasagna. I say “no way” to that and I would argue it’s even less time consuming! For real!

This recipe is really easy to throw together and I’ve made this one slightly healthier—no meat and more spinach than cheese went into the filling. I also used leftover vodka sage sauce from last night’s dinner, but any marinara sauce works. Honestly these roll ups are so good that they don’t need any kind of sauce whatsoever.

There are lots and lots of lasagna roll up versions in the Universe. This one is more like a ‘get inspired’ recipe. Use more cheese, replace spinach with meat, do a Mexican flavor version…whatever inspires you. Either way, I’ve add the rough recipe at the end of this post in case you think these rolls look just perfect as they are!

Now, I baked the rolls side-up rather than laying down on their side. I did this because the best part of this dish—to me at least—is the crispy edges!

It’s also important not to overcook the lasagna sheets. It’s better if you cook them just enough to be pliable—barely al dente! That way the sheets will stay in one piece, it’ll be easy to roll them up and you end up with a perfect texture after baking.

Spinach and artichoke lasagna roll ups

  • Serves: 1
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Ingredients

  • 12 dry lasagna sheets (I used Barilla Wavy Lasagne Pasta)
  • 2 cups frozen/thawed spinach (squeezed dry)
  • 1 small onion, diced (red, white or yellow)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup artichoke antipasto (I used Trader Joe's) optional
  • 16 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (1 for filling, 1/2 for topping)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (1/2 for baking pan bottom, 1/2 for topping)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Italian seasoning (I used dry basil only)

Instructions

  1. Cook the lasagna sheets just enough to be almost al dente (4 minutes). Drain and set aside to cool off.
  2. Chopped the onions plus garlic and sautée in the low heat until translucent.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the spinach, artichoke antipasto, ricotta, egg, 1 cup of mozzarella, and sautéed onion+garlic. Seasoned generously with dry Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes.
  4. Lay out lasagna noodles. Top each with equal amounts of filling mixture. Spread it evenly over each noodle leaving last 2 inches uncovered--don't overfill. Roll up each starting with the covered end.
  5. Spread 1/2 cup of marinara on the bottom of a 8X8 inches baking pan/dish. Carefully place rolls ruffled-edge facing up in dish. Repeat until all of the sheets and filling have been used and snuggly fit into the baking dish.
  6. Top each roll evenly with the remaining marinara. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes at 375F. Remove from oven. Serve. Enjoy!

Sunday Cooking Warrior!

If you follow my Instagram account you’ve seen my Sunday meal prep effort. Making or prepping food ahead is the only way to eating ‘healthyish’ in this household. Investing a couple of hours on the weekend shopping, cooking, and prepping ahead makes it much easier to eat well balanced meals during the week. And by well balanced meals I really mean less take-out and more homemade.

This week was a fail for me on the “homemade dinners” department. Too tired. Too lazy. Now I’m paying the price. I’m feeling it in my gut, pocket and conscience–there was a lot of guilt that came with last night’s take-out.

So to shake the crap out my tired and lazy self, I’m sharing some of my favorite dishes to make ahead.

Whole Chicken Roast

Roasts are easy to throw together. You can roast a whole bird, juicy piece of pork or beef loin. Some potatoes and root veggies on the bottom and sides, meat on top, herbs+spices+liquid (lemon/orange juice, wine, beer…) and that’s as effortless as it gets in the homemade dinner business. Fridge to oven to table.

Belluga lentils

Lentils don’t need to be soaked and they cook quickly. Can be done on stovetop, slow cooker, and even pressure cook. It’s healthy. It’s filling. It taste even better the next day…and the following. It keeps for over one week in the fridge and It’s the perfect leftover for lunches. I like any kind of lentil but the Beluga is our family favorite. Cook it in chicken broth, crushed coriander+cumin+mustard seeds, bay leaf, onion and garlic. Serve with a scoop of steamed rice. I can eat this for days!

Lasagna with Spinach and Sweet potato layer

Lasagna! The best thing about lasagna is that you can make so many variations of the same dish. Of course we love the rich cheesy kind but I try to make healthy substitutions. My apologies to my true Italian friends but I like to alternate a layer of noodles with a layer of thin sweet potatoes, replace ricotta with cottage cheese, add spinach and other veggies to the sauce. Whatever the flavors are, lasagna is always a family pleaser and a favorite leftover for lunch too.

 

Make ahead Stuffed Bell Peppers with curry couscous

Stuffed bell peppers, eggplant, squashes…any chubby veggie goes. I’ve stuffed vegetables with couscous, quinoa, leftover rice, and even falafel mix. Think about a thanksgiving stuffing recipe but replace the bread part with some cooked grain and you have a ‘dealicious’ filling for any vegetable that can handle to get stuffed!

Vegetables ready to roast

Roast vegetables and keep it in the fridge ready to side any protein or add to pastas and salads. My favorite combo is eggplant, bell peppers and zucchini. Dress it with plenty of olive oil, salt, pepper, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a couple of whole garlic cloves. 430F for 15 minutes. Not too mushy. Not too raw. Perfect!