These lasagna roll ups are my fun little twist on classic lasagna. For me, traditional Italian lasagna is the ultimate comfort food, but it can be a little heavy. True to my nature and my taste, I tried to incorporate all the flavors of lasagna, but with more nutrition and less fuss.

two lasagna roll ups on a white plate with a fork.
Photo Credits: Andrea Gralow

I’ve played with different versions of lasagna throughout the years including my gluten-free eggplant lasagna or turkey lasagna soup, but this vegetarian lasagna roll up recipe has to be one of my favorites.

I keep it simple with store bought sauce, but if you have a little time on your hands you can always make homemade spaghetti sauce. Then it’s as simple as layering lasagna noodles, cheese, and strips of zucchini and rolling them up like a sleeping bag. Just like stuffed manicotti pasta, you simply tuck them into your favorite casserole dish and bake. 

Just 40 minutes in the oven and their tops turn golden brown, the three-cheese filling gets melty and delicious, and I can barely let them cool down before digging in. If you're looking for a quicker version of lasagna that’s just as tasty, satisfying, and a bit lighter, these lasagna roll ups are just the ticket.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients for this Lasagna Roll Ups Recipe
  2. How to Make Lasagna Roll Ups
    1. First, get your zucchini and noodles ready to roll 
    2. Next, make the filling, stuff, and bake
  3. Getting Ahead and How to Freeze
  4. What to Serve with Lasagna Roll Ups
  5. More Italian Weeknight Dinner Recipes
  6. Buttery & Smooth Italian EVOO
  7. Lasagna Roll Ups Recipe
ingredients for lasagna roll ups including zucchini, lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, pasta sauce and olive oil.

Ingredients for this Lasagna Roll Ups Recipe

This lasagna roll ups recipe uses mostly pantry staples that you may already have on hand. If not, they’re all easy to find. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cheese: The lasagna roll ups are stuffed with a combination of tangy goat cheese, milky mozzarella, and slightly sweet ricotta. A final sprinkle of parmesan adds a nice golden brown crust.
  • Garlic: The creamy stuffing benefits from a bold amount of chopped garlic. 
  • Seasonings: Salt and black pepper enhance the flavor. Optionally, crushed red pepper flakes add a nice kick. 
  • Oil: Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil, like our buttery and smooth Italian Nocellara
  • Zucchini: Adds texture, flavor, and enriches the lasagna roll ups with healthy nutrients, like vitamin C and potassium.
  • Lasagna noodles: Opt for standard lasagna noodles (not the no-cook variety), as you’ll need to boil them until they’re just tender enough to roll. 
  • Pasta sauce: Grab a jar of tomato and basil pasta sauce from the store to save time, or make your own batch of simple spaghetti sauce for a fully home-cooked feeling.
  • Herbs: A healthy amount of parsley adds a depth of flavor to the creamy cheese stuffing. A basil garnish adds freshness and a bright pop of color just before serving.
baked lasagna roll ups in a baking dish topped with basil leaves.

How to Make Lasagna Roll Ups

These lasagna roll ups are a fun activity with kids on a Sunday afternoon, or easy enough to throw together on a weeknight. To make this lasagna roll up recipe:

First, get your zucchini and noodles ready to roll 

  • Get ready. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Line a large flat surface or tray with parchment paper.
  • Bake the zucchini. Thinly slice 4 large zucchini lengthwise and brush with olive oil on both sides. Season lightly with salt. Arrange on a very large baking sheet (or two baking sheets) without overlapping. Bake until tender, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 350°F. Set aside to let the zucchini cool briefly.several baked slices of zucchini arranged on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Cook the noodles. While the zucchini roasts, cook 1 pound of lasagna noodles in the salted boiling water according to the package instructions (mine took about 12 minutes or so). Drain and immediately transfer to the cold water to stop their cooking. Drain and lay the noodles flat on the prepared parchment paper.lasagna noodles boiling in a pot of water.

Next, make the filling, stuff, and bake

  • Make the filling. In a large bowl, mix together 20 ounces of ricotta, 6 ounces of goat cheese, 2 cups of shredded mozzarella, chopped parsley leaves from 1 bunch of parsley, and 3 tablespoons of chopped garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and (optionally) red pepper flakes to taste. Add a drizzle of olive oil, no more than 1 tablespoon. Mix until the cheese mixture is well-combined.the cheese filling for lasagna roll ups mixed in a bowl.
  • Begin layering. Spread an even layer of the cheese filling on each of the lasagna noodles. Top the cheese with a slice of the roasted zucchini, then roll the noodles tightly, keeping the seam-side down.5 lasagna noodles with a cheese filling and a slice of zucchini on a sheet pan, three rolled up and two unrolled.
  • Get ready. Pour 2 ¼ cups of pasta sauce and ½ cup of water into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Add the roll ups. Carefully turn the rolls onto their side and arrange in the baking dish. Top with the remaining ¾ cup of pasta sauce, ¼ cup of grated parmesan, and more shredded mozzarella to your liking.20 unbaked lasagna roll ups in a baking dish with sauce, topped with parmesan cheese.
  • Bake. Bake on the center rack for 40 minutes. Halfway through, check to ensure the bottom isn’t dry, adding up to a ¼ cup water if necessary.
  • Serve. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.

Getting Ahead and How to Freeze

One thing I love about this lasagna roll ups recipe is it is to store and reheat. If you have an extra dish, you may want to consider doubling the batch and freezing it for a rainy day. Here’s how to freeze and meal prep this recipe:

  • To make one night ahead: Fully assemble the lasagna rolls in your baking dish with the tomato sauce but do not bake. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight until ready to bake.
  • To freeze: Fully assemble the lasagna rolls in a freezer safe baking dish with the tomato sauce but do not bake (most baking and casserole dishes are freezer safe, but you should confirm). Cover tightly (I use multiple layers of plastic wrap and foil) and freeze the unbaked lasagna rolls for up to one month. Thaw in the fridge for 36 hours or so before baking.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days, and reheat in a 325°F oven, tented with foil. (You may need to add a splash of liquid to the bottom of the pan.)
baked lasagna roll ups in a baking dish with a spatula topped with basil leaves next to a bowl of salad, a plate of bread, and another plate with 2 lasagna roll ups.

What to Serve with Lasagna Roll Ups

For a particularly decadent dinner party, you can serve these lasagna roll ups as a side dish to meat, like pork chops or chicken breasts.

Most of the time, though, I serve these lasagna roll ups as a vegetarian main course alongside a fresh salad and some good focaccia. Peach salad, lemon parmesan lettuce salad, Italian salad, and panzanella salad all come to mind. 

a lasagna roll up cut in half on a plate with a plate of sliced bread and a bowl of salad in the background.

More Italian Weeknight Dinner Recipes

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4.98 from 43 votes

Lasagna Roll Ups

Suzy Karadsheh
baked lasagna roll ups in a baking dish with a spatula topped with basil leaves next to a bowl of salad, a plate of bread, and another plate with 2 lasagna roll ups.
Vegetarian lasagna roll ups with zucchini is a weeknight-friendly twist on a classic lasagna. Though they’re lighter and quicker than the traditional Italian dish, they’re every bit as satisfying and delicious.
Prep – 20 minutes
Cook – 50 minutes
Total – 1 hour 10 minutes
Cuisine:
Italian
Serves – 6
Course:
Entree

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lasagna noodles
  • 20 ounces ricotta cheese (you can use part-skim or fat-free if you prefer)
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • Ground black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 24 ounce jar tomato basil pasta sauce or easy homemade spaghetti sauce
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Basil leaves, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Get ready. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Line a large surface or tray with parchment paper. You will use this to roll up the lasagna noodles.
  • Bake the zucchini. Arrange zucchini slices on a very large baking sheet. It’s ok if they touch you just don’t want them to overlap. You may have to use two baking sheets. Brush zucchini slices with olive oil on both sides and season lightly with salt. Place in the oven and bake until tender, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F. Set aside to let the zucchini cool briefly.
  • Cook the noodles. While the zucchini roasts, fill a large pot or bowl with cold water, and set aside. Add the noodles to the salted boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. (Mine took about 12 minutes or so.) Drain and immediately transfer the noodles to the cold water to stop their cooking. Drain and lay the noodles flat on the prepared parchment paper.
  • Make the filling. In a mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta, goat cheese, mozzarella, parsley, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and (optionally) red pepper flakes to taste. Add a drizzle of olive oil, no more than 1 tablespoon. Mix until the cheese mixture is well-combined.
  • Begin layering. Spread an even layer of the cheese filling on each of the lasagna noodles. Top the cheese with a slice of the roasted zucchini, then roll the noodles tightly, keeping the seam-side down.
  • Get ready. Pour 2 ¼ cups of the pasta sauce and ½ cup of water into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Add the roll ups. Carefully turn the rolls onto their side so the spiral is facing up and arrange in the baking dish. Top with the remaining ¾ cup of pasta sauce, the parmesan, and more shredded mozzarella.
  • Bake. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 40 minutes. Halfway through, check to ensure the bottom isn’t dry. If needed, add up to a ¼ cup of water.
  • Serve. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.

Video

Notes

  • To make one night ahead, fully assemble the lasagna rolls in your baking dish with the tomato sauce but do not bake. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight until ready to bake.
  • To freeze, fully assemble the lasagna rolls in a freezer safe baking dish with the tomato sauce but do not bake (most baking and casserole dishes are freezer safe, but you should confirm). Cover tightly (I use multiple layers of plastic wrap and foil) and freeze the unbaked lasagna rolls for up to one month. Thaw in the fridge for 36 hours or so before baking.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. reheat in a 325°F oven, tented with foil (you may need to add a splash of liquid to the bottom of the pan).
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 661.2kcalCarbohydrates: 66.3gProtein: 38gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6.9gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 506.3mgPotassium: 673mgFiber: 3.8gSugar: 6.3gVitamin A: 1207IUVitamin C: 24.9mgCalcium: 611mgIron: 2.5mg
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 *This post has recently been updated with new information for readers’ benefit.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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4.98 from 43 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Victoria says:

    5 stars
    Killer recipe! Made the sauce as well. 10/10 adding to my rotation.

  2. Susan says:

    5 stars
    I made this last night delicious 😋

    1. TMD Team says:

      Awesome! Thanks, Susan!

  3. Carla says:

    I used gluten free lasagna noodles for this, and I don't recommend that. The noodles stuck to each other and completely fell apart. They were such a mess! I was able to make a few rolls, but scrapped the rest. I didn't want to throw away all the leftovers though, so I just threw everything, including all the broken noodles, into a cassrole dish and baked it. I guess it tastes the same no matter how you put it together, which of course is delicious! I'm sure that regular lasanga noodles would work much better, but I, unfortunately, don't have the option to try it with those.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Carla!

  4. Sherry says:

    I doubled the recipe and substituted the parsley with spinach and basil. It's delicious and looking forward to the frozen dinner.

    I used a mandolin to cut the zucchini.

  5. Eric Chambers says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight…AMAZING!!! It’s a definite keeper! Thank you!

    1. TMD Team says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Eric!

  6. Jen Lehr says:

    The recipe says 20 oz. ricotta cheese. That sounds like a lot. Is 20 oz. correct?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Jen! Yes, 20 oz. is correct.

  7. Donna says:

    I need to substitute the goat cheese. Should I focus on a substitute cheese for its "texture" or "taste"? Any recommendations? Thank you. I am a fan and freuent user of your recipes.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Donna! If you cannot have the goat cheese here, I would just add a bit more ricotta in its place. Enjoy!

  8. Wilma says:

    5 stars
    This looks amazing.
    I have to ( for health reasons eliminate dairy AND gluten BUT I will do it be ause your Mediterranean ENTHUSIASM just oozes out of your recipes.Thanj you for sooooo much work making recipes that are healthy and FUN.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Wilma. This is Kate, Suzy's gluten free team member :). I have seen gluten free lasagna noodles at some grocery stores, so definitely check some stores in your area. You may be able to give this recipe a try! I know I plan to soon!

  9. Liz says:

    4 stars
    Made this as an entree for lunch and it was delicious. Sadly mine did not hold together as beautifully as Suzy’s but it did not impact the taste!

  10. Carol Cooke says:

    Zucchini roll ups are really good. How do you substitute eggplant for zucchini?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Carol. We actually have an Eggplant Rollatini recipe you should check out!

  11. NP says:

    5 stars
    LOVE this recipe…. And almost everything I’ve tried from this site. Thank you Suzy.

    This time, I left out goat cheese and instead added sautéed spinach, and thinly sliced squash, zucchini AND celery (all ) and crushed red pepper and other dried Italian spices. I wish I could send you the picture .. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing! Glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Carol A Welch says:

    5 stars
    Hi Suzy, will have to try this. I have made my own zucchini lasagna without noodles, by using the zucchini as the noodles which makes it even lighter. I'm not against wheat noodles, but as I had plenty of zucchini from my garden, was trying different ways to use it. Love how you rolled the noodles as apposed to layering them. Will definitely do this recipe.😃

    1. Suzy says:

      Hope you enjoy it, Carol!