My middle son has declared that this is his favourite dinner. I am pretty sure that he’s made that same declaration about a few other foods. At any rate, the entire family enjoys this and we usually only have a roll or two left when we’re finished.
Spinach! Lasagna! Roll-up!
For a long time I was ridiculously afraid to use the lasagna noodles that you need to boil – I always bought the “oven ready” kind. This meant that I didn’t experiment with recipes like this one. I regret all those years – now I have to make up for it by eating this recipe at least once a month.
Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups
Makes one large 9×13″ pan of roll-ups!
1 pkg lasagna noodles (I like the spinach ones best)
2 small containers of ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 bricks of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (microwave!)
6 cups of your favourite pasta sauce
pepper to taste
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the full package of lasagna noodles and cook them until they’re soft – not mushy! Drain them, rinse quickly with cold water, and set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, combine the thawed spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, pepper, and parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Mix! Stir! Combine!
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray the inside of a 9×13″ pan with some non-stick spray.
- Take one cooked noodle and lay it flat on the counter. Coat it nicely with the filling, then roll it up! Place in the pan. Repeat for all as many other noodles as you can fit into the pan.
- Pour the pasta sauce over the noodles – use a spoon to make sure all the surfaces are covered.
- Cover the dish in tin foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, discard tin foil, allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
I make this based on this recipe – we like our filling to be extra, uh, filling, so we doubled the original and added extra mozzarella cheese for good measure. I also use more sauce on top to prevent the noodles from drying out.
I love jalapeños.
I love macaroni.
I love cheese.
I do not love the way any of the photos I took of this dinner turned out, so you’ll have to use your imagination. Picture a bowl filled with perfectly cooked pasta, coated in a creamy sauce, dotted with jalapeños. Imagine eating something that has the flavour of a deep fried jalapeño popper, but without the deep frying.
The recipe can be tweaked depending on your personal preferences for heat. Add more, or substract some, of the jalapeños. Use regular shredded mozzarella in place of the habanero cheese if you want to tone down the heat! We use low-fat or “light” versions of the ingredients whenever possible – the recipe turns out just fine with low fat and with the full-fat ingredients, so use whatever you prefer. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave.
Here’s the recipe:
Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese
Makes enough for about 12 servings for normal people – or one dinner plus a bit left over for our family of hungry wolves.
- 24 oz. uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups milk (we use 1%)
- 8 oz. cream cheese (light)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan (light)
- 1 cup sour cream (light)
- 8 oz can sliced jalapeños, drained and diced (or leave them large if you prefer)
- 2 cups shredded habanero pepper cheese (or your preference)
- Cook your pasta in a big pot of boiling water.
- While the pasta is cooking, grab a second pot and prepare your sauce. Heat the vegetable oil up, add garlic, and stir it around for a minute or two. Add the milk, cream cheese, and parmesan – use a whisk to get everything well-mixed.
- Once the cream cheese has fully melted and the mixture is hot, turn the heat to low and add the sour cream.
- Add the jalapeños into the sauce, stirring to combine and warm them.
- Drain the cooked pasta and return to the pot (remove from heat). Pour the sauce onto the noodles, stir until well mixed, then add the shredded cheese and stir until melted.