We are half Italian and love a good carb overload from spaghetti and lasagna. Our Mom makes delicious lasagna but just one serving of it leaves you unbottoning your jeans and feeling like you need to sleep for 24 hours before you can move again. We wanted to healthify her recipe, and thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest, we saw the brilliant idea of Lasagna Roll-Ups. Why are lasagna roll ups a healthier take on lasagna? Well, for starters, you can really control how much past you are eating. By having one serving, you are only having one whole lasagna noodle. You can also have all of the flavors that a classic lasagna has, but take out A LOT of that cheese. You only need a big spoonful per serving…not three layers of it! Just that alone takes out TONS of calories and the tummy ache, but leaves you satisfied and happy that you got to enjoy some good ole classic lasagna!
25oz. of homemade (recipe below) or your favorite jarred marinara (mine favorite jarred brand is Delallo Brand)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 cups of packed baby spinach, measured first then chopped
16oz. fat free (or park skim milk) Ricotta Cheese
1 cup low moisture part-skim shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
12-14 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente (about 8 minutes)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Saute chopped garlic in 2 tbsp. of olive oil for about 1 minute, being very careful not to burn. Add in your chopped spinach and saute until wilted, about 3 minutes.
3. In a large bowl combine ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, egg, salt, pepper, and the sauteed spinach and garlic.
4. Pour about 1 cup of the marinara on the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan and spread it out so it coats the bottom.
5. On a work surface, lined with parchment paper, arrange lasagna noodles flat, add a large spoonful of cheese and spinach mixture to each noodle, spread evenly to cover noodles. Start rolling the noodle at the end closest to you. Place lasagna rolls seam side down, not quite touching, in the baking dish. Evenly spread 2-3 cups of marinara over the rolls. gently sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
6. Cover with foil tightly and bake in oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, serve and enjoy!
Homemade Marinara Recipe:
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 15-oz. cans of tomato salt, no salt added
2 heaping tbsp. of freshly chopped parsley
2 heaping tbsp. of freshly chopped basil
1 cup of water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. red wine (optional, if you have some laying around to use!)
1. In a medium sized saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add in chopped garlic and your crushed red pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes until soften and fragrant, being VERY careful not to burn.
2. Now add the remainder of the ingredients, stir well. Bring to a rapid simmer and reduce to low, cover and let lightly simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. The longer the better. I let mine simmer on low, stirring occasionally for about 3 hours if I can! Be sure to keep it covered though so it doesn’t reduce too much and thicken, if it does thicken, add a little more water.