Spinach Ricotta Lasagna Roll-Ups

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Another of the dishes that Carla and I made on our cooking day was this one.  I’ve been making this recipe for years and my family loves it.  The spinach gives the filling such a pretty green color.  You can, of course, layer this just like regular lasagna, but it’s so pretty this way and it makes great serving portions.

If you have a hard time getting your family to eat their vegetables, this is a great recipe for you!

Spinach Ricotta Lasagna Roll-Ups

  • 18 whole wheat lasagna noodles (1 box)
  • 1 bag (6 oz.) of fresh spinach
  • 2 cups of shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of dehydrated minced onion
  • 1 30-ounce tub of low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic salt
  • 1 jar of Alfredo sauce, about 4 cups

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large stock pot or boiler, bring salted water to a full, rolling boil. Add noodles and cook to al dente (about 10-12 minutes).

While noodles are cooking, use a food processor to finely chop spinach. In a medium mixing bowl, combine spinach, Colby Jack cheese, and onion. Add ricotta cheese and garlic salt and stir until combined. In an 8X8 pan, pour about ½ cup of Alfredo sauce and shake pan to evenly coat the bottom.

When noodles are done, drain them in a colander and rinse with cool water until cool enough to touch. Place several paper towels on your work space.  Lay noodles on the paper towels and use another paper towel to blot moisture from the noodle. Spread about 2 heaping spoonfuls of the spinach ricotta mixture evenly onto each noodle, leaving about an inch on each end uncovered. Roll each noodle up from end to end (pretty tightly) and stand it up in the 8X8 pan, leaving the ruffled edge showing on top. Continue this process with each of the other noodles, using all of the spinach ricotta mixture.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and spoon remaining Alfredo sauce over each roll-up. Allow roll-ups to sit for about 10 minutes before serving so that sauce warms and roll-ups are easier to handle.

Additional sauce may be spooned over before serving.

Well Duh #1:  If you want to make fewer servings, you can use three 6-inch disposable loaf pans.  Lay three roll-ups flat in the bottom, cover with a little sauce, and lay three more on top.  To freeze the extra pans, cover with foil, label and freeze.

Well Duh #2:  You can always make your own Alfredo sauce.  Remember:  I’m lazy.  So I buy mine.

Well Duh #3:  You’ll be shocked at how little spinach that whole bag processes down to!  You’ll end up with less than a cup of chopped spinach.

Well Duh #4:  I always use an ice cream scoop to plop a scoop of the mixture onto each noodle and then use my fingers to spread it onto the length of the noodle.

Well Duh #5:  In the picture, I used whole wheat lasagna noodles, low-fat ricotta, and low-fat Alfredo.

Well Duh #6:  If you will be freezing this dish, go ahead and cover the tops of the noodles with the Alfredo sauce.  Don’t cook it in the oven before freezing.  Cover with foil, label it, and freeze.  Before you cook it, let it sit in the refrigerator all day – or on the counter for a couple of hours – before baking.

Although I said above that my family loves this recipe, I must state the following disclaimer:  Eight grade boys will eat any and everything they can get their hands on.  But they are very fickle creatures.  On the evening I served this dish last, my boy proclaimed that he didn’t like this dish – and had NEVER liked this dish.  Even though I have documented proof that he has almost licked the pan clean on other occasions that I made this dish.  After a brief argument – which may or may not have included raised voices – I serenely told him that if he didn’t like this dish, he could cook something himself.  Ramen.  My boy ate ramen – and made a huge, noisy spectacle about how delicious his ramen noodles were.  

Whatever.

Chances are, the next time I cook this, he’ll eat more than anyone else and swear that the above incident never happened.

Kids can make you crazy.

Moms?  Can I get an amen?

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