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Vegetable Lasagna Rolls

Katie Lee cooks up delicious vegetarian lasagna rolls
TODAY Show: Katie Lee cooks up delicious vegetarian lasagna rolls. -- April 6, 2016Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Chef notes

To do a meat version of this delicious pasta with a twist, you can make a Bolognese sauce instead of a plain marinara. Just skip the sautéed zucchini and yellow squash and use 8 to 10 ounces of browned crumbled Italian sausage instead.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 small yellow squash, finely diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Tomato Sauce
  • 28 ounces canned whole peeled tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Lasagna Rolls
  • 1 pound lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions and drained
  • cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


For the Filling:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the squash softens but is not mushy, about 4 minutes. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and let cool.

Add the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the cooled vegetables. Stir to combine.

For the Tomato Sauce:

In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes with their juices until they are coarsely ground or chop the tomatoes by hand. Transfer them to a bowl, add the salt and pepper, then stir in the basil.

For the Lasagna Rolls:

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish.

Spread about 1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.

To create the rolls, spread each lasagna noodle with a layer of the ricotta mixture. Starting at one end, roll up the noodle. Repeat with the remaining lasagna noodles and ricotta mixture.

I like to set up an assembly line by spreading out all of the noodles on a sheet pan so I can do this quickly. Another tip to make it faster and less messy is to put the ricotta mixture in a large resealable plastic bag. Snip a large hole out of one corner of the bag with scissors and use the bag to pipe the mixture onto each noodle.

Place each lasagna roll, seam-side down, into the baking dish.

Spread the remaining sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top with the mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.