Italian Lasagna Rolls

For a girl that loves lasagna with the entirety of her whole soul, it was just a matter of time before lasagna rolls came to be.

You might wonder what the purpose of lasagna rolls really are since it’s basically traditional lasagna ingredients – just layered a bit differently and rolled up in individual noodles. First off, they are a bit easier to serve since you can scoop out each individual lasagna roll instead of cutting into a sliding mess of delicious lasagna (which I’m not opposed to doing, clearly, but I just want to make the point that the serving aspect is a bit easier here). Also, you get a bit more noodle to filling ratio than you do with traditional lasagna, depending on the particular recipe of course, and I loved the very present tender noodles in every bite.

I absolutely love the single-serve aspect of these rolls. I’ve made a version of these for a couple of years before perfecting into the concoction you see today, and I even made 200 of them for a church function a while back. Being able to serve individual lasagna rolls made for a much prettier presentation than the aforementioned tasty but messy traditional lasagna. I don’t necessarily have a hankering to make 200 of them again (ever!) but making a pan of them up for my family is easy-peasy and is always very well received. And talk about a fantastic take-in meal for someone else. Perfecto!

Italian Lasagna Rolls

What To ServeDivine BreadsticksΒ orΒ Cheesy Garlic Bread
Steamed vegetable like broccoli or peas
Simple green salad (or something more fancy like thisΒ Gourmet Green Salad)

One Year Ago: Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes
Two Years Ago: Homemade Bagels {Step-by-Step}
Three Years Ago: Tender Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples and Onions

Italian Lasagna Rolls

Yield: Serves 6-8

Italian Lasagna Rolls

To freeze this meal, prepare and assemble the dish in the prepared pan and cover with the lightly greased foil. Freeze. When ready to bake, pop the pan in the oven as it preheats to 350 degrees. Bake covered for about 80-90 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the lasagna rolls are heated through and the edges of the casserole are hot and bubbly.


    Meat Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Ricotta Filling:
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (or a 15 ounce container)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded, about 2 cups (reserving 1/2 cup for topping)
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese finely grated, about 1 1/2 - 2 cups (reserving 1/4 cup for topping)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Noodles:
  • 12 traditional lasagna noodles


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the onion, garlic, ground turkey or beef, salt and pepper, breaking the meat into small pieces. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Drain any excess grease.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and thyme and simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, boil the lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain the noodles, rinse quickly under cold water and then lay the noodles flat in a single layer on waxed or parchment paper.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, egg, basil, parsley, mozzarella cheese (remember to set aside 1/2 cup of the mozzarella for topping later), Parmesan cheese (remember to set aside 1/4 cup of the Parmesan for later also), salt and pepper.
  6. Gently spread a heaping spoonful of the ricotta filling down the center of each noodle. It doesn't have to cover the entire noodle, just press it into a somewhat even layer. The filling will be divided up evenly over all 12 noodle (I don't start rolling up the noodles until I've used up all the filling so I can add more to each noodle if need be). Spread a tablespoon or two of the red sauce down the center of each noodle on top of the creamy filling. Again, it doesn't need to be perfectly even, just drizzle/spread it across the top.
  7. Spread about one cup or so of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Working with one lasagna noodle at a time, roll the noodle (see pictures below) and place seam-side down in the baking dish in four rows of three. Spread the remaining sauce over the noodles, sprinkle with the reserved cheeses and cover with aluminum foil that has been lightly coated with cooking spray (so it doesn't stick to the cheese as it bakes). Bake, covered for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let the lasagna rolls rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (sauce recipe adapted from my favorite classic lasagna, filling recipe adapted from The Best Baked Manicotti)

Italian Lasagna Rolls

43 Responses to Italian Lasagna Rolls

  1. Ruth says:

    I finally got around to making these for my husband and myself. They turned out terrific! The only thing that I did different is add some red pepper flakes to the meat sauce.
    Since we are empty nesters, I divided the rolls up into 3 pans of 4 rolls each. I baked one pan and put the other 2 pans in the freezer. Like you said, the rolls make for really neat servings. I also like the fact that the rolls really help with portion control. Although the rolls were fairly easy to assemble, I have to admit that I cannot imagine making 400 of them….even with help. You are amazing! Thank you for all you do.

  2. Mel says:

    I am Mel also. πŸ™‚ I just made these for the family – me, my husband, and our 15 month old daughter. We loved them! Thank you! I randomly found your site and will definitely check out your other recipes.

  3. Christie says:

    Made these tonight (halved it) and it was wonderful. I also made Mel’s focaccia and it was one of the best dinners ever.

  4. Erin says:

    I made these tonight and they turned out great! Instead of making my own meat sauce, I cooked up 1 lb. of ground pork and added 1 (25-oz) jar Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara sauce. It was the perfect amount of sauce for the recipe. Delicious! Thank you!

  5. Jessica says:

    My family loved this meal. I used whole wheat lasagna noodles and cut down on some of the cheese and it was great. Thanks for this! Rolling up the rolls was a bit of a pain, but really did help make the process of serving easier.

  6. Monica says:

    I just made this today and it was a big hit! Lasagna’s been a favorite of my husband’s but I never made it before. For whatever reason, your recipe just called out to me. It was easy and I love having some of these rolls tucked away in the freezer right now. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes! : )

  7. Donna Ramirez says:

    That should be Breakstone small curd cottage cheese!

  8. Donna Ramirez says:

    I know this is over a year since the question was asked about cottage cheese instead of ricotta ( I like cottage cheese better!), but I have found if you use Breakdowns small curd cottage cheese, it works the same without the excess liquid.

  9. Easy Recipes | Food Recipes says:

    […] Italian Lasagna Rolls | Mel's Kitchen Cafe, you get a bit more noodle to filling ratio than you do with traditional lasagna, depending on the particular recipe of course, and I loved the very present tender noodles in every bite. …. I am here 'visiting' daily, and even though I have a lot of your recipes in a binder, I still have to check on something at least once a week. I'm printing out the lasagna roll recipe for tomorrow! (We dropped from 84 degrees yesterday to 40 today. We need some comfort food!) Can't waitΒ … […]

  10. Melissa says:

    Thank you for another great recipe! I made the lasagna roll ups this morning and I’m wondering since it’s in the fridge now if I can freeze individual portions to eat later in Tupperware? Would it still taste good once thawed and heated?

  11. Shannon says:

    Perfect, I downloaded Firefox and it works great, thanks!

  12. Shannon says:

    Not sure if it’s me, but when I click on the Print link it just opens up a new window that is just a blank page.

    • Mel says:

      Shannon – If you are using Internet Explorer, the print function isn’t working right now. I am working to get it fixed but in the meantime, I’m encouraging those who are having issues to switch to a different browser like Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Internet Explorer has issues with many website functions and one of those other browsers will be much better (not just for the print function). If you don’t want to switch browsers, know that I am working on it but am not sure when there will be a fix available. I’m sorry for any inconvenience!

  13. Carol Gonzalez says:

    Made this tonight for dinner. My husband said ‘this is a restaurant meal’. My 5 1/2 year old son said ‘give more!’ He considered them pizzas (dont ask me why, but he did) and ate one and a half roll. My almost 3 year old didnt say anything but ate a whole roll! I just love them, still have 6 left for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

  14. […] Chowder Frito Pie Burger Sweet Potato Chip Chicken Southwest Chicken Chili White Bean Chicken Chili Lasagna Rolls Buffalo Chicken Burgers Beer Cheese Soup Loaded Cheddar Hot Dogs Chicken Enchiladas Chicken Tamale […]

  15. Judi says:

    I do some cooking for my 88 year old Dad that still drives and lives on his own. The biggest challange is portions. At 88 Dad doesn’t eat like he used too. The idea of doing a single roll in a ramekin is perfect for my needs. I am going to make them up now. One regular lasagna for my family and couple of singles for my Dad.

  16. crystal says:

    I am thinking of making these ahead in small pans with 6 in each pan and freezing them. Do they need to be thawed before baking? If they can be put in the oven frozen, do you have a suggestion for time and temperature? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Crystal – no, you don’t need to thaw before baking but you’ll have to experiment with time and temperature since I’ve never made them in the small pan size you are talking about. Usually, though, when baking a pasta dish from frozen, I bake for about an hour covered with foil and then remove the foil and bake until it is warmed through (30-45 minutes).

  17. Teddy says:


    I made this during our house blessing and it was such a huge hit to all our visitors. They didn’t believe I made this for the first time and even thought I ordered it out.

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe… πŸ™‚ It was excellent and so easy to make. Plus the ingredients are not hard to find! Just fantastic!


  18. Stacey says:

    These really are delicious. I made a double or triple batch a while back (which took me about 3 hours, but I was also gabbing with a neighbor on and off during the process). For those curious about freezing, I froze a bunch “naked” — each one wrapped in plastic wrap and then put a bunch in a plastic freezer bag . I froze the sauce separately in containers. It worked beautifully doing it this way and I loved the flexibility of pulling out how many I needed. I thawed the lasagna rolls and sauce in the fridge and then put them in the pan and topped with the cheeses when I was ready to bake.

  19. Alicia says:

    I made these lasagna rolls tonight and they are fabulous! I actually used cottage cheese instead of ricotta (I’m just not a big ricotta fan) and I can honestly say they turned out great!!! My 3 year old even told me, “Mmm….mommy these are yummy!”

  20. mommyoftwo says:

    Can i substitute no boil lasagna noodles? ALL of you recipes look amazing!

    • Mel says:

      mommyoftwo – no, you really need to use regular lasagna noodles here (unless you decide to experiment and slightly soften the n boil lasagna noodles prior to rolling).

  21. Sonya says:

    Hi Mel!
    Just wondering about making these ahead. You mentioned you made them for 200 (yikes). I am looking to make them for about 20 and I was just wondering if you have ever made these in advance and how they hold up.
    Thanks – as always – for your awesomeness.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sonya – yes, these hold up very well to being made in advance! You could easily assemble them up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate (or even longer and freeze). My only recommendation is to make sure the sauce isn’t too hot if you are going to assemble in advance. It’s best if the sauce has cooled so it doesn’t “cook” the ingredients while it sits.

  22. Teri Larsen says:

    Really excellent – made these yesterday (using my own sauce, since I already had it ready to roll) and they were fantastic! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  23. Jennifer says:

    I also have many favorite lasagna recipes and thought do I need one more? But these looked quick and easy. They were all that and delicous too! My family and I loved them! Thanks for all you recipes. I have been faithfully coming to your site for many years and have never been disappointed. Love the new look!

  24. Auntie Ruth says:

    I used one roll per small ramekin to make individual servings πŸ™‚ Thanks for the great recipe!

  25. sara says:

    These look awesome! Super yummy, total comfort food! πŸ™‚

  26. k says:

    my sister made me lasagna rolls when i visited a couple of weeks ago. brilliant!! i’m so excited to have this recipe!

    excited for your new site too, but can i just say i’m super nervous i *might* need a recipe that i haven’t already printed off and then what on earth will i do?! i must be addicted to your site because i seriously shouldn’t be stressing! ha ha! see ya monday!

  27. Shar says:

    Ooooh! Down until Monday! I am here ‘visiting’ daily, and even though I have a lot of your recipes in a binder, I still have to check on something at least once a week. I’m printing out the lasagna roll recipe for tomorrow! (We dropped from 84 degrees yesterday to 40 today. We need some comfort food!)
    Can’t wait to see the new site-hope all goes smoothly.

  28. MelanieL says:

    Looks good! I can’t wait to see your new site either, good luck:)

  29. These look amazing, Mel. So saucy, scrumptious and perfect for a weeknight meal. I bet they freeze well, too! Excited for your new design on Monday – congrats!! πŸ™‚

  30. Brobbins says:

    Hi Mel- just wondering if all the same recipes will be there or are you going to edit some out ? I don’t print as many as I used to b/c I’m trying to break my habit of using so much paper. So, I like knowing they’re all safe and sound on your site where i can find them.
    Btw, made the cheesy ham and quinoa bites– everyone is in love. wish I had made them sooner! see you on the new site!

  31. Kathy says:

    Oh I can’t wait to try these! And I’m excited to see your new site!

  32. Em says:

    Lasagna is one of my all time favorites, I can’t wait to try this. And I can’t
    To see the new look on your site!!

  33. My daughter is coming to visit next week and she/we LOVE lasagna rolls! This is on the grocery list as we speak. Delicious! πŸ™‚

  34. Caitlin says:

    First of all, just wanted to say I love your site and its now my go to for so many recipes I make for my family. I want to ask, could you substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta here? I have a tight grocery budget and cottage cheese is a lot less expensive then ricotta around these parts πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Hi Caitlin – you probably could just keep in mind that cottage cheese usually has a bit more liquid than ricotta so you might want to drain the cottage cheese slightly or just be ok with a slightly more liquidy lasagna.

  35. StephenC says:

    I made lasagna rolls quite a while back, and I agree they have some real fun advantages. I’m wondering if the weather is now too warm to make them again. Hmmm.

  36. Love lasagna rolls. They’re perfect for small servings.

    Ok, we’re going to miss you, but go ahead and take your site down.
    Best of luck! πŸ™‚

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