Lasagna Roll Ups

In my younger years, I cherished the times spent in the kitchen with my mawmaw and great-grandmother, creating lasting memories that have shaped my career today. Just as I did, my daughters and nieces have also found joy in cooking during their early years. Cooking isn’t just sustenance; it has the power to unite families. It’s an art form, and it provides a canvas for both children and adults to unleash their creativity and imagination. With that said, for this month’s column I aimed to create a playful-yet-messy recipe that you can enjoy with the children in your life.

While I typically opt for gourmet dishes, crafting recipes from scratch with the freshest ingredients available to us here in the South, I took a different approach for this recipe. I chose convenience, using dried herbs, jarred pasta sauce, and dried lasagna noodles to keep things simple not only for us adults, but also for the tiny hands assisting with this recipe. Lasagna Roll-Ups hold a special place in my household. Truth be told, pasta in all its forms is a beloved staple. It’s an affordable comfort food that my daughters and I adore without reservation.

8 lasagna noodles
1 lb ground beef
1 jar (24 ounces) pasta sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups ricotta
1 large egg

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
2. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.
3. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked and drain excess grease.
4. Stir in the pasta sauce, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon dried basil, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, salt, and pepper. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Set it aside.
5. In a large mixing bowl, mix mozzarella (setting aside ½ cup for topping), ricotta, remaining seasonings, egg, salt, and pepper together.
6. Spoon a little of the meat sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
7. Spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture on each cooked lasagna noodle.
8. On top of the cheese mixture, using a teaspoon, drizzle the meat sauce.
9. Carefully roll up each noodle and place them seam-side down in the prepared baking dish.
10. Pour any remaining meat sauce over the top of the rolled-up noodles.
11. Sprinkle the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese over the top.
12. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool. Serve.

Chelsea Gieselmann is a mom, photographer, columnist, food blogger, and home-cook. Cooking has been a passion of hers since she was old enough to cut out biscuits with the mouth of a mason jar. Her great-grandmother taught her the basics and she is ever so grateful to have been able to learn from her. Since then, she has honed in her craft a great deal and continues to. Instagram: @Southrngritskitchen

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