In my never ending quest to prepare lasagna every which way possible, I put together these individual lasagna rollups for dinner recently. Lasagna rollups are delicious with a variety of fillings but I’m especially fond of this chicken pesto version.
Over the course of my life, especially my married life, I’ve come to believe that pasta is a piece of the puzzle that creates happiness in our lives. Think I’m going a little overboard? I think not. My husband and I are frequently asked how we’ve managed to stayed married for 30 years (I was 12 when I got married) and not only just stay married, but stay happily married. Each time we smile, look at each other and say…
“It’s the three P’s. Pasta, Pie, and Patience.”
It started as a joke but I’ve come to believe that this simple formula is truly what breeds happiness. We both have the skill to enjoy the things in front of us. Simple things like a day off, a good movie, a trip to the beach….and pasta and pie. And, we’ve both learned to be endlessly patient with each other. That part is harder than the pasta and pie part but vitally important. So, there you go. If you are a new couple heading into married life, I wish you lots of pasta, pie, and patience along the way.
Shall we talk about lasagna rollups now?
They may look complicated but these rollups are actually fun and easy to make. It’s as simple as cooking lasagna noodles according to the package directions and then spreading a mixture of ricotta, egg, garlic, Parmesan, salt, and pepper over each noodle. A little pesto goes over the top. For the assembly, I like to lay the cooked noodles out on a double layer of paper towels to blot up any excess water.
Roll ’em up.
Lightly coat a 13′ x 9″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and place the rollups, seam side down, into the dish. For the sauce, I add about 1/4 cup half-and-half to 2 cups of jarred marinara sauce. It’s not enough to make it a true tomato cream sauce but the added dairy softens the marinara a little and it goes perfectly with the filling. Spoon this mixture evenly over the rollups. This recipe is made very easy with the use of ready-made pesto and marinara. No fuss, no muss.
Of course, we’ve got to add cheese. Shredded mozzarella and a little more Parmesan go over the top. Time for the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or till bubbly and heated through.
Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rollups
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 15 ounce container part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/3 cup grated or shaved Parmesan cheese plus additional for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (store bought rotisserie chicken works perfectly)
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup half and half
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, combine ricotta, egg, Parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on a cooked, drained lasagna noodle then a little pesto, then some shredded chicken. Roll up and place in baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles and filling.
- Combine marinara and half and half. Spoon evenly over each rollup and the sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and additional Parmesan, as desired.
- Baked, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly.
- Adapted from Baked by Rachel
A few more twists on classic lasagna.