I love a good baked stuffed shell casserole, but the problem is, ever since we cut out processed food (and switched to 100% whole-grain), I cannot seem to find jumbo whole-wheat shells! I’ve looked at multiple stores and online to the point where I was working way too hard to find one ingredient—and I did not want to order a pack of 12. So, I was thrilled when I was recently scrolling through Facebook and saw a cooking video (by Skinnytaste—thanks for the idea!) that was basically using lasagna noodles to create a stuffed “shell” for some yummy filling—a great solution.
So, today I’m excited to share a recipe I originally wanted to make with stuffed shells (haha) but instead used lasagna noodles as a perfectly good substitute! It’s sort of a combination of my two favorite lasagna recipes, classic and spinach. I simply boiled the noodles, then wrapped them around a spoonful of the filling, and layered them in the baking dish with sauce on the top and bottom. It was easy peasy!
My whole family scarfed this down, and my 6th grader was even asking for the leftovers for breakfast the next day LOL. She’s funny like that—I cannot do savory leftovers first thing in the morning, but she loves it! I also packed some in her lunch cold, and she said it was great (and the lunch box came home empty)! So, this recipe is a “win” in my book, and I love how it’s a fun, simple twist on something so classic. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Stuffed Spinach & Sausage Pasta Rolls
- 1 pound Italian sausage bulk - mild or hot, or a mix
- 3 cups marinara sauce I used one 25-ounce jar
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese divided
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces whole-wheat lasagna noodles boiled according to package directions and separated so they don't stick together
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a medium skillet, cook the sausage while breaking it up with a spoon, until browned and no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and discard fat, add in the marinara sauce, and heat it all the way through. Leave simmering on the stove until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, 3/4 cup of the parmesan, spinach, and salt.
- Spread half the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish (we used 9x13"). Pat the lasagna noodles dry (if still wet), and one-by-one, add a heaping 1/4 cup of cheese filling to the end, roll them up, and place them seam side down on top of the sauce.
- Top rolls with the rest of the sauce (covering all exposed noodles so that they don't dry out) and the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly and heated all the way through, about 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil, turn the broiler up to high, and bake another 3 to 4 minutes until the cheese on top is all the way melted and golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve.