Hey, Honey! What’s for dinner?
It’s time for another installment in my early stages menu-planning section!
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When I’m working on menu planning, I try to include recipes that don’t require meat. I do this because these recipes help stretch my grocery budget, and are usually pretty simple to prepare. It’s not difficult to create a meat-free dish that is yummy and satisfying, as long as it makes sense. I find that some of the easiest dishes to prepare without meat include pastas – spaghetti, stuffed shells, manicotti, lasagna, pasta bakes, etc.
These are also the easiest dishes to incorporate
the not-so-enjoyed proteins, such as black beans or spinach.
Case in point –
Spinach and Feta Lasagna Rolls
My husband enjoys lasagna. I hate the work required in layering and the mess involved in the spreading … uck. A great compromise can be found in lasagna rolls. They’re soooo much easier to prepare than traditional lasagna, taste the same, and look amazing, too.
My favorite thing about lasagna (well, hell, any pasta dish, for that matter) is the versatility in the preparation.
Don’t have mozzarella cheese? Use pepper jack!
No meat? Use spinach!
No marinara/red sauce? Use alfredo!
For this recipe, I love to use spinach, feta cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, marinara sauce, and the four cheese pre-shredded blend with Philadelphia.
Without further ado…
Spinach and Feta Lasagna Rolls
- 15 ounce container Ricotta cheese
- 1 cup Feta cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup four cheese blend with Philadelphia
- 1 egg
- 10 ounce bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- Various seasonings – salt, pepper, garlic pepper grinder, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, etc. to taste
- Lasagna noodles
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- Go ahead and preheat the oven to 350° and lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray. I’m going to say “set aside” but you could carry it around if you really want… it’s your circus.
- Get the water boiling and cook up those noodles according to package directions. Make them al dente, because you don’t want them to get too soggy while in the oven.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 1/2 cup feta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, all of the cottage cheese, the egg, and the spinach. Add your seasoning – I eyeball this part, but it’s possibly 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper each; then several turns of my garlic pepper grinder. Little E usually puts in the green seasonings until it looks pretty… gotta love having midget helpers! Stir to combine.
- Grab your marinara and place a few spoonfuls in the bottom of the prepared baking dish, making sure to evenly coat the bottom of the dish.
- Once the noodles are cooked and cooled, lay them out and spoon your filling down the center. Carefully roll the noodle and place seam side down in prepared baking dish.
- Scoop a few spoonfuls of sauce over the lasagna rolls and top with remaining 1/2 cup feta, 1/2 cup mozzarella and four cheese blend.
- Pop that beyotch in the oven for 45 minutes. You know you like it that way!
- After 45 minutes, turn on the broiler and allow your cheese to get nice and lightly browned, between 3-5 minutes. Hubby LOVES the broiled cheesy tops of my pastas. **whatwhat**
- Pull out of the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. This lets the lasagna rolls cool and set.
We love this with some garlic bread and sometimes a nice salad…
If I’m making it quick, I use the sauce straight from the jar; however, if I’m feeling fancy, I will sauté some fresh garlic and onion, then simmer the sauce together with that. It’s all about your taste and how simple/fancy you want. I tend to buy the “good” sauce when they’re on sale, so often I don’t need to dress it up.
There is a lot of versatility available with lasagna, and it seems everyone has some sort of variation. This is my favorite way to do it, and really, it works in manicotti and stuffed shells.
I have also tried carmelized onions, feta, spinach and mushrooms, but hubs didn’t care for that version (he’s not a mushroom fan, and the sweetness of the carmelized onion turned him off). I thought it needed bacon, haha.
Do you have a favorite lasagna recipe or do you just wing it?