As we head back into work (or more structured work) and school in this cooler weather, I think many of us have a desire for simplifying. Making meals ahead, setting time aside on Sundays and meal prepping can be the key to success. And once we can get our ovens back up and running – not sure about you, but my house was in the 80’s all summer – then we can make LASAGNA! I wanted to share one of my favorite portable dinners: Veggie Lasagna Roll Freezer Meal. Prepare and pop this dish in the fridge or freezer and you’re prepped for the week.
These lasagna rolls entail making a traditional lasagna in a different way by rolling each noodle around filling instead of laying them all flat in the pan. Because of the water content in sauce and cheese mixture, you can freeze these individually and heat them up quickly when needed. Lasagna can be a calorie bomb full of meat and cheese OR it can be a perfect vehicle for lots of veggies. Instead of peso or bechamel sauce, I prefer red sauce for the nutritional value and health profile. I do use ricotta and mozzarella but I’ll often use reduced fat versions because of the volume that it takes to make a proper lasagna. Add herbs, spices and veggies like mushrooms and spinach for more flavor, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Pop it in the freezer and enjoy the simplicity of a hot, healthy dinner later this month on a busy evening. Let me know if you try this veggie lasagna roll freezer meal!
Tip: you can freeze these individually or together in a pan! For individual lunch portions, cook the pan of rolls first and when the lasagna has cooled, remove and freeze 1-2 in a container you can take to work and microwave. Otherwise, freeze the entire prepared pan and pop it in the oven to cook on a busy autumn evening. You’ll thank yourself for the prep you did ahead of time!
Vegetarian Lasagna Roll-UpsPrint Pin Rate
- 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 15 oz ricotta cheese (I use part-skim for a slightly lighter dish)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup diced mushrooms
- 1 1/2 25 oz jars tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups spinach
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions, generally 8-10 minutes. Drain and lay the lasagna noodles out flat on a large piece of parchment paper to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, black pepper, oregano, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella. Stir until well combined and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, saute garlic and onion in 2 teaspoons of olive oil for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and spinach. Simmer for 6 minutes then remove from heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with 1/2 cup of red sauce. Take about 1/4 cup of the ricotta mixture and spread it evenly onto each lasagna noodle. Top each noodle with 2 tablespoons of red sauce and 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese. Carefully roll the noodles up and place them in the prepared pan with one edge side down. Top the lasagna rolls with the remaining red sauce and remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Spray a large sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover the pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until lasagna is bubbling. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted on top. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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