Milk Chocolate Stuffed Peanut Butter Bunny Cookies.
These Skillet Pesto Cheese Lasagna Roll Ups are a fun twist on a tried and true classic. Lasagna noodles are rolled up with sun-dried tomatoes, basil pesto, and ricotta cheese. Then baked in a spiced, herby, tomato sauce that’s creamy and so delicious! This is a great way to use pantry staples and frozen meat. And more importantly, put a quick and delicious family-style dinner together in no time. This a fun weeknight dinner that’s equally great on a Sunday night too (actually…is there a difference?). Just be sure to add a side salad and fresh bread.
Can you all tell that I’m really digging through my pantry and relying on my freezer staples these days? I’m doing everything in my power to avoid the grocery store, so things are gettin’ pretty creative over here. Which honestly? I’m ok with. I’ve said this before, but when given the challenge of using only limited ingredients I tend to create some of my personal favorite recipes.
Why? Probably because they always end up being something different. Something I’ve never created before. They’re usually pretty easy to make, and nine times out of ten have a very simple (pantry friendly) ingredient list. Fortunately, these baked skillet lasagna roll ups are all of those things…and delicious too.
Granted, I did have the prettiest fresh thyme. Which I order from my go-to source of edible flowers and herbs, Gourmet Sweet Botanicals. But other than that, everything else you see in these fun lasagna rolls came from my pantry and my freezer. Dry lasagna noodles, dried herbs and spices, store-bought pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, frozen meat, and cheese from the fridge…all staples at my house.
What’s makes this even better is how easy this is (no layering!). And even better than that? This skillet lasagna is DELICIOUS! Think classic lasagna, but lighter and more fitting for springtime. It’s cozy, but yet still feels fresh. Perfect for these early spring days.
This recipe is simple but requires a little prep work. First, make the tomato sauce. I kept this very simple, using canned tomatoes, dried oregano, dried thyme, and just a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes…to add a layer of spiciness.
For the meat, I used ground beef because that’s currently what’s stocked piled in my freezer. But you could easily use ground chicken, or even spicy ground Italian sausage if you really want to pack in the flavor. Either of these options are great, so use what’s best and most convenient for you.
Of course, if you’re vegetarian, or just going for a meatless night, you can easily omit the meat from the sauce. There’s still going to be plenty of flavor. If you’d like to bulk the sauce up a bit, I would suggest sautéing some mushrooms and chopped cauliflower before you add the tomatoes. That would be delicious too!
While the sauce is simmering away, get to work on boiling the noodles and rolling them up with cheesy pesto goodness.
Simply boil up the dry lasagna noodles. While they’re cooking, mix ricotta cheese with some fontina, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil pesto. Add the cheese to the noodles, tuck, and roll! It looks all fancy, but it’s actually the easiest thing to do. If you have kids at home, this is a great project for them to do. They’ll have fun…and get the work done for you. Nothing wrong with that.
If you don’t have fontina cheese, I’d recommend using provolone, or really, whatever cheese you might have in the fridge. You really can’t go wrong. Also, if you don’t stock your pantry with sun-dried tomatoes, or simply don’t enjoy them, these can easily be omitted as well. We love them over here, so I always have them on hand.
At this point, place the lasagna rolls into the tomato sauce, top with mozzarella, and bake until the cheese is melty and the sauce is all bubbly. Your kitchen will smell incredible…like an Italian grandma’s kitchen. But minus the hours spent hunkered over the stove stirring the tomato sauce.
And guys? That’s it. You see? Simple but delicious and full of so much flavor.
This is just like a slow-cooked lasagna, but minus some of the work, and minus all the layers. And honestly…this is just as GOOD…and a bit more fun. Saucy, a little spicy, full of herbs, and heavy on the pasta and cheese. All the good things!
Lastly, I really want to stress that you should adapt this recipe to your needs, using what you have on hand. Of course, you need noodles, and yes, you need canned tomatoes. But if you don’t have a bell pepper, use something else. Spinach would be a great addition if you happen to have that. Please just use my recipe as a guide, and swap in the ingredients you do have. Trust me, with pasta, tomatoes, and cheese, this is going to be great.
Soo, what do you all think? Simple and fun lasagna rolls up tonight? Do you have most of the ingredients? Fingers crossed the answer is yes.
Just add some bread and maybe a side salad too. Perfection.
Looking for other simple pasta recipes? Below are just a few of my springtime favorites.
Unstuffed Spicy Tomato Basil Shells with Whipped Ricotta
Simplest Zucchini Parmesan Pasta
Cacio e Pepe with Arugula and Lemon
Lastly, if you make these skillet pesto cheese lasagna roll ups, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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I love this recipe, it is such an easy version of lasagna! I love that I can use what I have on hand. If I don’t have sun tried tomatoes I just skip them and for the cheese I use whatever I have!
Happy New Year!!🎆 I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for giving it a try and sharing your review! xT
Delicious recipe! Everyone loved. Thanks Tieghan
Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear that it was a hit!! xTieghan
is anyone able to provide me instruction for making ahead and freezing for a later date.
Hi there! I would form all the rollups and prepare the whole dish and then cover in foil to freeze. Then when youre ready bake at 350 covered in foil for 20 mins and then uncovered for 15 mins 🙂 xTieghan
Thank you!! Planning on making this ahead for friends who have a new baby!
Can I make ahead the day before and just cover and refrigerate? Then bake 24 hrs later?
Or should I wait to assemble the rolls until right before we bake?
Yes, that will be just fine for you to do! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx
Omg omg omg . Loved this dish !
Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed. Thanks a bunch for giving it a try! xTieghan
Hey tieghan I’m about to try this dish today or tomorrow! What size cast iron did you use?!
I used a 10 inch skillet. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan
This looks amazing! Would substituting ricotta cheese for cottage cheese need any adaptations? Thanks! Can’t wait to try ?
That should be totally fine to do, just follow the recipe as is! I hope you love this dish, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan
Absolutely delish! Will definitely have to make again!!!!
Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan
This wasn’t my fave HBH meal I’ve made. I honestly didn’t love the pesto with the red sauce and the sun dried tomatoes…..Oh well most of her meals are amazing so we will try another.
Sorry you did not enjoy the recipe Cori!
This was delicious! I left the fennel and thyme out because of personal preference but everything else was the same. My husband devoured it!
I am delighted that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! ☘️ xTieghan
As my dad adjusts to retirement and both of us are coping with lockdown, we have started doing a “Dad and Erin Cooking Show” where we pick a recipe from your site and make it once a week, virtually. Gives us both something to look forward to. This week we made this one and it was SO amazing and so fun to do together. Thank you, truly!!!
I am delighted you enjoyed the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! xTieghan
This was delicious! Another winner from Half Baked Harvest. I used jumbo pasta shells and Italian sausage because that’s what I had. Looking at your pictures, it looks like you used fresh Mozzarella?
Thanks a lot for giving the recipe a go, I am so delighted that it was enjoyed! Yes, I used fresh mozzarella. Have a great week:) xTieghan
Made this tonight and it was wonderful! So rich and creamy, will definitely make again!
Thanks so much for making the recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan
This was so good! I didn’t have ricotta so used cream cheese instead, also used a sharp white cheddar instead of the fontina. My husband isn’t a fan of sun dried tomatoes so just swapped a regular chopped tomato. And then used shells instead of lasagna noodles. It was so delicious, really flavorful and everyone – even kids – ate it up! Thanks for the awesome recipe. Next time might try Italian sausage. Definitely a keeper!
Thanks so much for trying the recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Happy New Year! xTieghan
I made this last night, and it was SO delicious!! Absolutely recommend this dish. Super easy, quick, and sensational.
Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Happy New Year! xTieghan