Lasagna roll-ups are just the thing when you don’t have time to make a full pan of lasagna, or when you want lasagna as individual portions.
In this recipe, meat sauce and cheese get rolled up inside lasagna noodles. This method creates a faster-baking lasagna that can be enjoyed right from the oven—no need to rest these little bundles before serving! Plus, they’re easy to freeze and reheat for those times when you need a little meal-prep magic. And since each roll is like a mini lasagna in itself, you can scale this recipe up or down as needed.
Ingredients for Lasagna Roll-Ups
- Lasagna noodles: For this recipe, go with traditional lasagna noodles with the frilly edges. You’ll need to boil them first to get them pliable enough to roll. Save any leftover noodles to try out in our recipes with lasagna noodles.
- Ground beef: Any ground beef, lean or not, is fine for this lasagna recipe. Whatever you do, don’t rinse ground beef once it’s cooked. It’s simply unnecessary.
- Pasta sauce: Use your favorite jarred pasta sauce, or go for a homemade pasta sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese: Use part-skim mozzarella cheese for this lasagna. Grate your own cheese from a large block, or use pre-shredded for a quick and easy alternative. See our Test Kitchen’s picks for best mozzarella cheese for any preparation.
Step 1: Cook lasagna noodles
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a pot over high heat, cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions.
Editor’s Tip: Always cook a few more noodles than you need for a recipe, because some may break while boiling. Also, cook your noodles just until al dente since they’ll continue cooking in the oven. Finally, make sure to salt the water! It adds flavor to the noodles as they cook (it’s not too much, trust us).
Step 2: Make the meat sauce
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef over medium heat until it’s no longer pink, breaking it into crumbles as you go along. Drain. Stir in the pasta sauce, and, if desired, the fennel seed.
Step 3: Assemble the roll-ups
Drain the noodles. Spread 1/4 cup meat sauce over each noodle, then sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese. Carefully roll up each noodle, and place seam side down in an 8-inch square baking dish. Top the roll-ups with the remaining sauce and cheese.
Editor’s Tip: An efficient way to do this step is to make a little lasagna assembly line. Lay out the noodles on a rimmed baking sheet, and go through the toppings one by one. To keep any unused lasagna noodles from sticking, cover them in cold water until you’re ready to use.
Step 4: Bake the lasagna roll-ups
Bake the roll-ups, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until heated through and the cheese has melted.
- Swap in different meat: Use Italian sausage or ground turkey or chicken instead of the ground beef. Or use your favorite plant-based ground meat product for a vegetarian option.
- Cheesy options: You can add ricotta cheese or cottage cheese as a layer filling. Add a dollop on top of the meat sauce, then the sprinkle of cheese before rolling them up.
- Make creamy chicken roll-ups: Taste of Home contributor Cyndy Gerken makes her lasagna filling with cooked cubed chicken breast, ricotta cheese and mozzarella. The roll-ups are topped with sauce and more cheese, then baked until bubbly.
- Add spinach: Make spinach lasagna rolls like Taste of Home contributor Julia Trachsel. Combine spinach with ricotta cheese and mozzarella for the filling, and bake topped with sauce and cheese.
- Try Cajun shrimp lasagna roll-ups: Taste of Home contributor Mary Beth Harris-Murphree rolls a savory shrimp-tomato filling in lasagna noodles, and tops the rolls with a creamy cheddar cheese sauce and pepper jack cheese.
Can you make lasagna roll-ups ahead of time?
You can absolutely make lasagna roll-ups ahead of time, either before or after you bake them off.
To refrigerate baked lasagna roll-ups: Bake the roll-ups according to recipe directions. Let them cool, then cover tightly, and store in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat the entire pan of roll-ups, let them sit at room temp for 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 400°. Bake the lasagna, uncovered, until it’s heated through and the cheese has melted, 15 to 20 minutes. To reheat individual lasagna roll-ups, microwave each on high for a few minutes in the microwave until heated through.
To refrigerate or freeze unbaked lasagna roll-ups: Assemble everything in the recipe through Step 3.
For the refrigerator: Cover the pan tightly, and store in the refrigerator for three to four days. To cook, follow the recipe instructions in Step 4. You may need to add 10 to 15 minutes of baking time if they’re still cold.
For the freezer: Cover the pan tightly, and store in the freezer for up to three months. To cook, let the roll-ups thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, let the roll-ups sit for 30 minutes at room temperature, then follow the recipe directions in Step 4. You may need to bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer if they’re still cold.
Lasagna Roll-Ups Tips
Can you use oven-ready lasagna noodles for roll-ups?
Yes, you can use oven-ready lasagna noodles for roll-ups. But you still want to boil them for three minutes or until pliable. Then you can use them in the recipe as directed. Just remember, no-boil lasagna noodles typically have flat edges, so they won’t have the frilly ends.
What do you serve with lasagna roll-ups?