Whole Wheat Lasagna Roll-ups

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Lasagna is one of Ethan’s favorite foods. I never really ate lasagna growing up, because it just wasn’t something that my mom made on a regular basis. Truth be told, my brother and I were super picky eaters when we were young, and wouldn’t eat anything with red sauce in it. (Sorry, Mom.) As I got older, I continued to avoid it due to the fact that I thought it wasn’t “healthy” enough. But once I started dating Ethan, he begged me to make some lasagna for us, so I decided to start hunting for a recipe that I felt good about.

Thankfully, I now have so much more freedom & flexibility in my food choices; however, nutrition is still very important to me. I love feeling satisfied and nourished after I eat, so I strive to make meals that accomplish that. This recipe fits the bill! It’s packed with nutrients, but it is not lacking flavor whatsoever.

As the name states, we are using whole wheat lasagna noodles, so you’ve got your whole grains. Then, they are filled with quality proteins, like lean ground chicken (or ground turkey) and Greek yogurt, along with a variety of cheeses of course, because hey, it’s still lasagna, you guys! I also snuck lots of veggies in there, in the form of spinach and onions. Both of these blend in very nicely and you can barely taste them, so if you have any picker eaters in your family, have them try it anyway! Even though this is a somewhat healthified version of lasagna, Ethan absolutely loves it! #Success.

You could even get fancy and make your own homemade marinara sauce. I have never done that before, but it is definitely on my list of things to do in the kitchen! If anyone has any awesome recipes for homemade pasta sauce, send them my way! Otherwise, I try to choose a marinara sauce that doesn’t have any added sugars (simply because they are unnecessary here!).

I will admit, this recipe is a little bit more labor intensive than others I’ve shared. I’m not saying it’s difficult, but it has a few more steps to it, and things do get a little messy. I love to cook — and make a mess in the kitchen — so I personally think it’s super fun to make. Grab a friend or your significant other and whip it up together! That makes cooking so much more fun, and definitely speeds up the process!

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Greek yogurt is high in protein, calcium, and probiotics. Protein helps increase fullness and also improves muscle health, calcium helps improve bone health and probiotics aid in gut health.

By Camryn Goldstein

Whole Wheat Lasagna Roll-ups

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Servings: 5

Ingredients

10 whole wheat lasagna noodles cooked
1 cup frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained well
1 medium white onion finely chopped
1 cup ricotta cheese
6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1 package lean ground chicken or turkey cooked
1 whole egg
32 ounces marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning additional for topping
Black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook ground chicken in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain any fat. Set aside.
  2. Cook whole wheat lasagna noodles until tender. Drain, transfer noodles back to the pot and cover with cold water (so the noodles don’t dry out). Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  4. Cook the frozen spinach in a small skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Transfer to a fine-mesh strainer and drain well. Press down using a paper towel to drain liquid as much as possible.
  5. In the same pan, cook chopped onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked spinach, onion, ricotta, Greek yogurt, Parmesan, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper, egg, and cooked chicken to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  7. Pour about 1 cup of marinara sauce and spread evenly on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. (Note: 8 roll ups will fill the 9×13 pan; you will need an additional small pan for the 2 extra rolls, as pictured above. Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of smaller pan.)
  8. Lay a large piece of parchment paper out on the counter and spread out a few lasagna noodles at a time, patting them dry on both sides using a paper towel. Spoon some of the chicken and cheese mixture (~1/3 cup) onto the noodles and spread evenly. Leave a little space on the ends so the filling doesn’t ooze out the sides.
  9. Roll the noodles up and place one at a time into your prepared pans, seam side down.
  10. Once the rolls are in the pans, spoon some sauce (1-2 Tbsp) on top of each one and top with about 1 Tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese (or desired amount).
  11. Cover pan(s) tightly with foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Cook ground chicken in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain any fat. Set aside. Cook whole wheat lasagna noodles until tender. Drain, transfer noodles back to the pot and cover with cold water (so the noodles don’t dry out). Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook the frozen spinach in a small skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Transfer to a fine-mesh strainer and drain well. Press down using a paper towel to drain liquid as much as possible. In the same pan, cook chopped onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cooked spinach, onion, ricotta, Greek yogurt, Parmesan, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper, egg, and cooked chicken to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Pour about 1 cup of marinara sauce and spread evenly on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. (Note: 8 roll ups will fill the 9×13 pan; you will need an additional small pan for the 2 extra rolls, as pictured above. Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of smaller pan.) Lay a large piece of parchment paper out on the counter and spread out a few lasagna noodles at a time, patting them dry on both sides using a paper towel. Spoon some of the chicken and cheese mixture (~1/3 cup) onto the noodles and spread evenly. Leave a little space on the ends so the filling doesn’t ooze out the sides. Roll the noodles up and place one at a time into your prepared pans, seam side down. Once the rolls are in the pans, spoon some sauce (1-2 Tbsp) on top of each one and top with about 1 Tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese (or desired amount). Cover pan(s) tightly with foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving: Calories: 362; Total Fat: 24 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 72 mg; Sodium: 263 mg; Potassium: 157 mg; Carbohydrate: 18 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 2 g; Protein: 41 g

Nutrition Bonus:

Vitamin C: 6%; Vitamin A: 66%; Iron: 3%; Calcium: 106%

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