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A spatula lifts a lasagna rollup from a baking dish.
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5 from 1 vote

Meaty Lasagna Roll-Ups

These Meaty Lasagna Roll-Ups are stuffed with a creamy ricotta mixture and a deliciously easy homemade meat sauce. This is a great make-ahead and freeze dish!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12
Calories: 383kcal


Extra Meaty Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound bulk ground pork sausage
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed lightly crushed (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper , to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes , optional
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes (San Marzano or other high quality Italian tomatoes)
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 ½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil plus additional for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the Extra Meaty Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

  • Add olive oil to a non-reactive pot or Dutch oven and place over MEDIUM heat. Add ground beef, ground pork, onion and garlic and cook, stirring to break up the meat until crumbly and browned with no pink remaining. Drain off excess grease. Stir tomato paste into the mixture and cook for a minute or two and then add basil, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, fennel seed and crushed red pepper (if using). Cook, stirring, until well combined. Add crushed tomatoes, beef broth and sugar and stir to combine.
  • Increase heat to MEDIUM-HIGH and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to LOW and allow to simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes while you cook your pasta

For the Roll-Ups

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil and prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions. Immediately rinse cooked noodles with cold water until cool enough to handle and drain well.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the ricotta, egg, garlic, 1/4 cup Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spoon enough of the Extra Meaty Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish to lightly coat the bottom (about 1 cup). Reserve remaining sauce.
  • Lay one cooked noodle out on top a sheet of aluminum foil or wax paper. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on the noodle and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon. Spread some of the meat sauce mixture over the ricotta and roll the lasagna noodle up. Use a spatula to transfer the roll-up to the baking dish and set it down sideways, seam side down. Repeat with remaining noodles, ricotta mixture, and sauce. A standard 13" x 9" baking dish will hold 3 across if roll-ups are placed sideways. You should be able to fit all 12 roll-ups snugly in the baking dish.
  • Spoon the remaining sauce mixture over the top of the roll-ups and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Spray the backside of a large piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray and cover the dish, coated side down. The non-stick spray will prevent the melted cheese from sticking to the foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Ingredient Notes
Before adding fennel seed to sauce, place it on a cutting board and use the bottom of a spoon to lightly crush the seeds to release more fragrance and flavor.
Canned San Marzano tomatoes are an excellent choice for sauce making. The plum style tomato is highly flavorful, sweet, and naturally less acidic than many other varieties. Authentic San Marzanos are grown in Italy and the cans will be marked as such.
Equipment Notes
It’s vital to use the correct pan when cooking with very acidic or alkaline foods like tomatoes as cooking in a reactive pan can cause the food to pick up a metallic flavor. Reactive (no-no) pans include aluminum, cast iron, and copper. Instead, opt for a non-reactive pan with a stainless steel or enameled cast iron cooking surface.
Make-Ahead Instructions
Assemble as instructed, cover dish tightly with foil, and refrigerate overnight. Allow to sit on kitchen counter for about 15 minutes to take the chill off before baking according to the recipe directions. Cooking time may need to be increased if very cold when going into the oven.
Freezer Instructions
Follow recipe as directed in a freezer safe dish and cover dish tightly with a double layer of foil. Freeze for up to 2 to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in refrigerator before baking as directed. To bake from frozen, increase baking time to 50 to 60 minutes covered and an additional 10 to 15 minutes, uncovered.


Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 680mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g