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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Pasta Rolls with a Pomodoro Sauce (Lasagna Rolls)

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These vegetarian pasta rolls have all of the flavors of a classic lasagna, but they are ready in less time and are a healthier option. Covered in a pomodoro sauce, these healthy lasagna rolls are kid-friendly and are an easy make-ahead meal!

lasagna rolls - pasta rolls on a white plate

We love Italian recipes in my house, like my red lentil pasta with superfood marinara sauce, or my veggie gnocchi recipe! And one of my family’s favorite meals is my hearty and healthy veggie lasagna.

I love lasagna too – but for just the four of us (2 of whom are kids) it ends up being a TON of food, and it takes about 1.5-2 hours to make.

So one weeknight, I was looking to get the same gooey yumminess that comes from traditional lasagna, but without the long cooking time it generally requires.

That’s when I came up with these super simple and quick vegetarian pasta rolls! They are like lasagna roll ups, with all the delicious fillings you love, but without the long cooking time!

Latest Recipe Video!

These are perfectly portioned, cheesy, veggie-filled easy lasagna rolls, with all of the great flavors of your traditional vegetarian lasagna. They are one of our favorite recipes — you have to try them for dinner tonight!

Why you’ll love this recipe for easy pasta rolls with pomodoro sauce…

  • Classic lasagna flavor
  • Bakes faster
  • Make-ahead
  • Freezer friendly
  • Easily reheats
  • Fewer calories and fat per serving
  • Healthy combination of vegetables
  • Higher in fiber
  • Good source of protein

How to Make Vegetarian Pasta Rolls

Recipe Ingredients and Notes

ingredients for pasta roll ups

Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles: You can find whole wheat lasagna noodles in your grocery store next to the regular noodles. I recommend getting whole wheat as they are higher in fiber, and full of healthy carbohydrates.

To make the veggie filling:

Olive Oil: I use a high quality extra virgin olive oil to sauté the vegetables with spices.

Onion: Finely diced so you get the flavor without big chunks of onion in your pasta rolls.

Garlic: You can’t have lasagna without some garlic! It adds tons of flavor and helps this recipe taste truly authentic!

Chopped Frozen Spinach: You can use either fresh or chopped frozen spinach. If using frozen spinach, there can be quite a lot of water. I recommend defrosting the spinach and squeezing any extra water out with your hands. This will help avoid the vegetable mixture from becoming to wet and soggy.

Red Bell Pepper: Fresh red pepper is chopped and added to the spinach filling.

Crushed Red Pepper: It gives this recipe a subtle kick and hint of spice! If you don’t like a touch of spicy flavor, you can leave it out.

Oregano and Italian Seasoning: These spices are added to the sautéd vegetables — it gives them a great flavor that’s authentically Italian.

Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese: Look for a low-fat ricotta cheese to reduce the overall fat and calories.

Shredded Mozzarella: A combination of ricotta and mozzarella give these healthy lasagna rolls the cheesiness we all love in a homemade lasagna. You can also use a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese to change things up. You could even try shredded provolone cheese in the cheese mixture!

Marinara Sauce: I recommend using a marinara sauce that is organic, and low in sodium and sugar.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the lasagne sheets to the boiling water and cook according to package directions, drain and lay out the noodles flat in a single layer (on aluminum foil or parchment paper) so they don’t stick together.

Step 2: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and the red pepper – sauté with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes or until tender.

peppers and onions sauteeing in a pan

Step 3: Add the spinach and all of your spices. Simmer for 10 minutes.

spinach peppers and onions sauteeing in a pan

Step 4: Add one of the jars of sauce to your veggie mixture – simmer for 5 minutes.

sauce added to veggies

Step 5: Mix the ricotta and 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese in a medium bowl. To assemble, place cooked noodles on a flat surface. Spread 1/8 cup of the cheese filling. Then add 1/8 cup veggie mixture over each noodle. Repeat with each lasagna sheet (top with ricotta mixture and then veggie mixture).

pasta roll ups with ricotta and veggie filling

Step 6: On your work surface, Roll up the lasagna sheets, jelly-roll fashion, starting with the short side. Place the rolls, seam side down, in a small baking dish that has been smeared with 1/4 cup of sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over each roll and top each of the lasagna roll-ups with 1 Tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese.

lasagna rolls in a baking dish

Step 7: Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted and is golden brown.

pasta rolls with pomodoro sauce on a white plate

What Makes This A Healthy Pasta Dish?

This lasagna uses whole wheat noodles for added fiber. It also doesn’t use heavy cream or a bechamel sauce, and instead uses an organic marinara sauce that is lower in calories, sugar, and fat.

Using low fat ricotta and mozzarella, adds some protein and calcium while keeping the meal well balanced, and under 400 calories per serving.

Making these into pasta rolls instead of a whole lasagna also makes it easier to serve individual portions (which helps with portion control!)

Recipe FAQS

What is pomodoro sauce?

Pomodoro is quite simply a tomato sauce originating from Italy. It is used in a wide range of pasta dishes and is simple and quick to make. Marinara is a runnier sauce than than pomodoro but both contain the same ingredients. Pomodoro has a deeper and richer color.

Are these pasta rolls easy to make?

Absolutely! These pasta roll-ups take about 30-40 minutes to make, less than half the time of a traditional lasagna recipe. That makes it a super easy meal for the whole family, or for a special occasion.

Are lasagna roll ups kid friendly?

These healthy pasta rolls are a great way to sneak some extra veggies into your child’s diet, especially if they are picky eaters – because most kids love these pasta rolls! The pasta + cheese + sauce is super kid-friendly, and you can feel good that they’re getting a nutritious meal that they’ll actually eat!

pasta rolls with pomodoro sauce on a white plate

How to Store and Keep

Make Ahead: Prepare the recipe through step 6. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Then preheat oven to 400 F, and bake for 10-12 minutes until warmed through and cheese is melty.

Store Leftovers: Allow healthy lasagna rolls to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Prepare recipe through step 6. I recommend preparing the lasagna rolls (but not baking them), and placing them in a freezer safe container with a lid. Place in the freezer with a label and date. This recipe will be good for 2-3 months. When ready to serve, remove from freezer, and place in the oven at 350 F. Bake for 20 minutes covered. Remove the cover increase the heat and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 400 F.

Variations and Substitutions

Gluten-Free: To make this recipe gluten-free, simply substitute the whole wheat lasagna noodles with gluten free lasagna noodles.

Vegan: If you’d like to turn this recipe vegan, use a cashew ricotta, and a vegan mozzarella cheese. Also make sure that the pasta sauce you choose does not have any added dairy.

More Veggies: Feel free to add your favorite veggies to these pasta rolls for a simple twist on this recipe. Zucchini, squash, artichokes, colored peppers, and more would make a nice addition.

Top Tips For Making Pasta Rolls

  • Cook the lasagna noodles al dente (with bite) so they don’t get mushy.
  • After cooking, lay the noodles flat so they don’t stick.
  • You can use frozen, thawed spinach, or fresh spinach.
  • These rolls can be made ahead of time – just gently reheat them when you are ready to serve.
  • These pasta roll-ups are vegetarian, but can easily be modified for meat eaters. You can add ground beef to the filling or top the lasagna rolls with meat sauce!
pasta rolls with pomodoro sauce on a white plate

Be Sure To Try These Other Healthy Italian Dishes!

If you have tried these pasta rolls, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

pasta rolls with pomodoro sauce on a white plate
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Lasagna Rolls with a Pomodoro Sauce

Pasta rolls are a healthy, kid friendly dinner! These are easy, perfectly portioned, cheesy, veggie-filled lasagna roll ups, with all of the great flavors of your traditional vegetarian lasagna.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 8 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • tsp crushed red pepper more to taste
  • 1 tsp salt more or less to taste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried italian seasoning
  • 10 oz bag frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 25-28oz jars of marinara sauce

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the lasagne sheets to the boiling water and cook according to package directions, drain and lay out the noodles flat in a single layer (on aluminum foil or parchment paper) so they don't stick together.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and the red pepper – sauté with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the spinach and all of your spices. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add one of the jars of sauce to your veggie mixture – simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the ricotta and 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese in a medium bowl. To assemble, place cooked noodles on a flat surface. Spread 1/8 cup of the cheese filling. Then add 1/8 cup veggie mixture over each noodle. Repeat with each lasagna sheet (top with ricotta mixture and then veggie mixture).
  • On your work surface, Roll up the lasagna sheets, jelly-roll fashion, starting with the short side. Place the rolls, seam side down, in a small baking dish that has been smeared with 1/4 cup of sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over each roll and top each of the lasagna roll-ups with 1 Tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted and is golden brown.

Video

https://youtu.be/VXrlkaGCGcY

Notes

Top Tips For Making Pasta Rolls
  • Cook the lasagna noodles al dente (with bite) so they don’t get mushy.
  • After cooking, lay the noodles flat so they don’t stick.
  • You can use frozen, thawed spinach, or fresh spinach.
  • These rolls can be made ahead of time – just gently reheat them when you are ready to serve.
  • These pasta roll-ups are vegetarian, but can easily be modified for meat eaters. You can add ground beef to the filling or top the lasagna rolls with meat sauce!
Adapted from CookingLight

Nutrition

Serving: 2rolls | Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 898mg | Potassium: 601mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g

Posted In…

Italian Recipes ·

These recipes are sure to be a hit! Make a healthier pizza or a guilt-free pasta and enjoy the fresh flavors of Italy.

Many people think carbs and cheese when they think Italian, but there is so much more to appreciate: aromatic herbs, fresh ingredients, and bright flavors shine. Many of my Italian-inspired recipes are suitable for special diets, such as vegan ratatouille or gluten-free lasagna.

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