Simply wrap and roll this super easy, cheesy pasta dish.

By: Jodie Shield, RDN

Did you know July 27th is National Lasagna Day? That’s right. Smack dab in the middle of the hottest part of summer! That’s cool, because your family is going to love my lasagna roll-ups (AKA roly-poly lasagna).   No messy noodle layers — just wrap and roll, then heat and eat. Add a leafy-green salad and serve my homemade tomato-basil sauce on the side. Be sure to try my Caprese Lasagna Roll-Ups and Southwestern Lasagna which I just added to my iTunes app Time To Eat Healthy! Chow!

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Makes 12

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

½ pound lean ground beef or Italian sausage

¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh basil or ½ tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

1 (15 ounce) container Ricotta cheese

2 large egg whites

1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley (aka Italian parsley)

2 ¼ cups low-moisture, part skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use

¾ cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided use

1/3 cup freshly, finely grated Romano cheese

12 uncooked whole-wheat lasagna noodles


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Boil large pot of water for pasta.
  2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil into large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add ground beef and chopped onions and cook stirring occasionally and breaking up meat, until browned about 5 minutes. Drain fat from beef mixture. Add crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, oregano, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil to beef mixture and stir. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste (optional) then cover with lid and simmer over low heat while preparing pasta and cheese mixture (about 10 minutes).
  3. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water to al dente according to directions listed on package. Once noodles are cooked, drain and immediately line noodles in a single layer on cookie sheets.
  4. Prepare the cheese filling (I do this while pasta is cooking) by stirring together Ricotta cheese, egg whites, salt and pepper (optional) with a fork in large mixing bowl until well combined. Stir in chopped fresh parsley. Add 1 ¾ cups of mozzarella cheese and ½ cup Parmesan, stir mixture until well combined.
  5. Remove meat sauce from heat. Spread 1 cup meat sauce evenly into a 13 X 9 inch baking dish by titling pan back an forth. Spread ¼ cup of cheese mixture evenly onto each cooked lasagna noodle, and then spread 1 heaping tablespoon meat sauce along the top of cheese-covered noodle. Roll noodles up jellyroll-style and arrange seam side down in baking dish. Cover rolled noodles with remaining meat sauce, then sprinkle remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese evenly over the roll ups. Tent lasagna roll ups with foil (don’t allow foil to sit on cheese or it will stick; you just want to loosely tent to prevent cheese from browning) and bake for 35 minutes in a preheated oven.

Nutrition Information (per roly-poly): 308 calories, 20 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrate, 14 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 46 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams fiber, 461 milligrams sodium

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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

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