Lasagna is one of those dishes that every household cook has in their back pocket as a go-to filling and delicious meal that will feed a hungry group of 10 or leave a small family with days of cheesy leftovers. Every family has their own secret recipe, whether it’s a special sauce handed down from great-grandma Louise or a secret blend of cheeses in the perfect amounts to create optimum dairy delight. Mine: kale lasagna rolls.
Sometimes it’s the addition of veggies like eggplant or spinach that makes yours different, or a special kind of meat. Maybe it’s chunky sauce versus creamy, white sauce versus red, fresh herbs and spices from the garden or your favorite store bought brand. Whatever it is, it’s unique and it’s yours.
This recipe takes the traditional lasagna and gives it a healthy, fresh facelift with the use of the all mighty superfood kale and a slightly different set up. If you’re looking for a family lasagna recipe, kale lasagna rolls just might be what you need!
If you’re looking to boost the nutrients in your diet and don’t know quite where to start, try kale. Add it to a smoothie, substitute it with the romaine in your lettuce, sauté it in garlic and olive oil for a nice side dish, roast it for 5 minutes in the oven for a healthy chip alternative, add it to soups, and of course, throw it in your lasagna!
This recipe calls for a quick sauté in the frying pan to wilt it down, then a whirl or two in your food processor to get it to a creamy paste perfect for mixing with the ricotta. I’m a texture person when it comes to food and I don’t like anything ‘stringy’. Sometimes wilted leafy greens like kale and spinach can take on the ‘stringy’ texture not of my dreams, so to combat that in this recipe, you puree the kale. I think your kids will appreciate this too.
Now comes the fun part! Traditional lasagna is made in layers, but this kale lasagna rolls recipe makes it in individual rolls. I find it much easier to roll than to layer, plus it helps with portion sizing! Plus, plus, they look adorable.
Simply lay out your cooked and cooled lasagna noodles on a cutting board or other hard surface. Drop three little scoops of your ricotta-kale mixture in thirds along one noodle, then spread out evenly. Roll each noodle up gently like a little lasagna yoga mat and place in your baking dish.
Where does the saucy goodness come in? Place a nice layer of red sauce in the baking dish before adding the lasagna rolls, then pour the rest overtop once they’re all snug together. Then, top with fresh mozzarella, bake and enjoy!
This kale lasagna rolls recipe makes enough for 10 individual rolls, which was 1/2 box of lasagna noodles. For the two of us it was more than enough for several days of leftovers as each of us ate 1-2 rolls at a time. So whether you want a great leftovers dish or you’re feeding your big family, you’ll be in good shape!
What to Bring to the Store
In order to reduce your packaging waste, bring the following reusables with you to the store:
- 1 reusable produce bag for your beautiful bunch of kale
That’ it for this one! Unless you want to be a rockstar and make your marinara from scratch (I was not a rockstar. I am too pregnant and sleepy all the time to do this, but you can! And should! Here’s a great recipe for homemade marinara from )
Waste Meter – 4!
This kale lasagna rolls recipe calls for a few items that you’ll need to buy pre-packaged. There’s not much you can do to avoid dairy packaging, but for items like the noodles and sauce, try to avoid plastic bags and look for them in cardboard packaging and/or glass (for the sauce). These two items are recyclable. Here’s the breakdown:
Recycle: Lasagna Noodle Box, Marinara Jar, Ricotta Tub
Compost: Kale Stems, Garlic and Shallot Peels, Egg Shell
Trash: Mozzarella Packaging
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch of green kale, stems removed
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 10 lasagna noodles (look for whole wheat or organic)
- 16 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 10 slices of fresh mozzarella (or 1 cup shredded)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Italian herb blend dried spices (for top)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, remove the stems of the kale, rinse and roughly chop. In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, garlic and shallot. Cook for 1-2 minutes until aromatic (don't burn). Add the kale and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the kale has wilted. Transfer to a food processor or Vitamix and blend until pureed. You can add an extra glug of olive oil here if needed to get it smooth. Add 1/2 of the ricotta to to the blender and give it 2-3 more pulses. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ricotta, parmesan, salt, pepper and egg to the kale-ricotta puree. Stir until combined.
- Once the lasagna noodles have cooled to the touch, lay them out individually on a cutting board or hard surface. Drop three small scoops of the ricotta mixture in thirds down each noodle. Smooth out the ricotta until evenly coated along each noodle. Gently roll up each noodle.
- In a 9 X 13 baking dish, pour 1/2 of the marinara sauce into the bottom. Place the rolled up noodles on top of the sauce, then top with the remaining sauce. Add a slice of fresh mozzarella to each noodle or evenly sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over all of the noodles. Top with a sprinkling of italian herb dried spices if desired.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately. Leftovers keep well in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You can easily add meat to the sauce if you're looking to boost the protein. Cook the meat separately in a frying pan, then add the marinara and allow to warm and combine flavors (about 5-7 minutes). Follow the same instructions with the sauce as mentioned above.