Posted by Jen T on September 10, 2020
Cooking with kids can be fun. It can also be messy. Most of the time, it’s a little bit of both.
As a mom of two boys, I love sharing little traditions with them, like baking muffins and watching cartoons every Saturday morning. But it’s also great to teach them about different dishes and try new recipes together, particularly over the weekends. (Weeknights? Not so much. We’re usually racing against the clock to get dinner on the table around here, not to mention wrapping up homework, laundry, you name it.)
But oh, the magic of weekends. As parents, I think we all have a little more time – and a lot more patience. So today we’re featuring a fun twist on traditional lasagna, perfect for making with your kids on a Saturday night or special Sunday dinner.
Ready to roll up your sleeves together?
How to Make Lasagna Roll-Ups
Here’s the lowdown, complete with step-by-step photos. You can also see the full recipe here >
Step 1: Get Cheesy
Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, combine ½ teaspoon Garlic Pepper Seasoning, 1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese, 1 egg, ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese and 1½ cups shredded mozzarella.
Tip: if you can, buy a big block of mozzarella, rather than the pre-shredded variety, since it melts much better. Shredding cheese can be a “grate” job for kiddos, too! (That’s terrible, I know. But moms can make “dad jokes,” too.)
Step 2: Use Your Noodle(s)
Cook 12 lasagna noodles (usually about ½ box) until al dente; drain. Cover noodles in cold water to keep ‘em from sticking together. While your pasta is cooking, brown 1 lb. ground beef over medium heat. Add 3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce and 1½ tablespoons Mama Mia Marinara Sauce Mix. Bring to a simmer.
Now this is where it gets good!
Place noodles on a large baking sheet in a single layer. (We did six at a time, so they wouldn’t dry out.) Spread each noodle with about ¼ cup cheese mixture and about 2 tablespoons of the marinara mixture, like so:
Step 3: Let’s Roll Now roll ‘em up! (If your kids like to get a little messy, this will be their favorite part.)
Spoon ½ cup of the marinara mixture onto the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch casserole dish. Arrange the rolls on top, all tucked in snugly next to each other.
Cover with the remaining marinara sauce ….
And then sprinkle with 1½ cups additional mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. If you’d like, you can remove the foil and broil 2 extra minutes to get the cheese on top all golden brown. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, and voila!
Serve with garlic breadsticks and a fresh tossed salad.
You’ll have a delicious family-friendly dinner. And even better, you’ll have fun making it together – complete with a little kidding around.
– Jen Tips & Hints
- The beauty of roll-ups? You don’t have to bake all of your lasagna at once! Use two 8×8 dishes, so you can bake six rolls now and freeze six for later.
- If you’re cooking for 1 or 2, you can even separate and freeze smaller portions. For our family, we actually made one casserole dish with 9 rollups and then froze a few individual ones. It’s a great option if you have teenagers, too, since they can put a single serving or two in the oven.
- Feel free to substitute ground turkey or Italian sausage in place of ground beef.
- You can also swap out ricotta with cottage cheese or use fresh sweet basil in place of parsley as a garnish.