Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls

I have a friend coming to visit in April, so I have been thinking about her and what kinds of things she likes to eat in order to prepare meals she would enjoy while she is here.  I’m pretty sure she likes Italian, so recently I tried out a recipe that I thought might be good for her visit.  I am so glad I found it, because it is such a wonderful dish that I am sure I will be making it frequently, company or not.  We have already eaten it several times now, and our whole family thought it was delicious.

These rolls have all the flavors of lasagna, but each lasagna noodle is rolled up individually with cream cheese and fresh spinach leaves on the inside, homemade sauce on the outside, and mozzarella cheese melted over the top.  The sauce is scrumptious with lots of herbs, garlic, and onion to flavor it.

Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls

One of my favorite parts is the sausage link that is centered in the middle of the roll, and rolled up kind of like a little treasure you are rewarded with at the end of your meal.

Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Aren’t they cute?  I just can’t resist cute food.  It is such a fun update to an old classic.  My friend has been coming to our house every spring for about 23 years now so I hate to bore her with the same recipes each time.  I want her visit to be special.  But, really it doesn’t matter so much about the food.  The best part is the time we get to sit and talk and catch up with what’s going on in our lives.  Living so far apart, I look forward to the time we get to be together.  Whether we eat lasagna rolls or peanut butter sandwiches, it is always fun.  One thing we both have in common, though, is our love for dessert.  So stay tuned in the next couple weeks for a few dessert recipes I will be trying out in anticipation of her stay as well.  It will be a sweet time together in more ways than one!

Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. each dried basil, marjoram, oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. each parsley and thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or more to taste
  • 10 lasagna noodles
  • 10 Italian pork sausage links
  • 2 pkgs. (6 oz. each) fresh baby spinach
  • 2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion.  Cook and stir frequently until almost tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook over low heat until for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute.  Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  6. While noodles are boiling, cook sausages in a large skillet according to package directions.  Place cooked sausages on paper towels to drain, but DO NOT wash grease out of pan.
  7. In same pan, cook and stir spinach over medium heat until wilted.  Drain and squeeze dry.
  8. In a bowl, mix cream cheese and spinach.
  9. Spread out lasagna noodles on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Spread about 1/4 inch cream cheese mixture over each noodle.  Don’t put more as it will squeeze out when you roll it up.
  10. Place a sausage on one end of each noodle.  Roll up, tightly at first, starting with the sausage end.  When you get past the sausage don’t roll as tightly, depending on how big you want your rolls to be.
  11. Place rolled noodles side down in a 9 x 13 pan.  Spoon sauce over each noodle, covering them so they won’t dry out while baking.  Sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese over each roll.  Wrap pan with foil, tenting the top so it won’t pull off the cheese when removed.
  12. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.  Take off foil, and bake 10 more minutes or until cheese is just starting to brown.  Watch carefully.
  13. If desired, sprinkle rolls with fresh parsley to garnish.  Refrigerate leftovers.  To make ahead of time, you  can freeze the rolls before adding sauce, and freeze sauce as well.   Then thaw overnight in the refrigerator, assemble, and bake when needed.

Recipe from Dianna Dorn who was the Lasagna Finalist in a Johnsonville Sausage recipe contest.

About Shari

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them! (
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24 Responses to Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls

  1. These are so cute! Probably still way too early but already looking at how to present food in fun and cute ways once Hadleigh is old enough…definitely making these for him! (And for us soon :)) Enjoy your friend’s’s always so nice to spoil friends who come over for visits!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Este! Hope you enjoy them as much as we did. I never thought about lasagna rolls being a good way to cook lasagna for kids, but that is a great idea! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by. I know your time is very precious right now (and so is Hadleigh)!:)

  2. Look at these! What a great idea. Your photographs are very clean and beautiful. I’ll have to try these lasagna rolls, a fun recipe for guests. Looking forward to your dessert recipes. 🙂

    • Shari says:

      Thank you for your kind comment! That means a lot to me, as I was frustrated with my pictures of the rolls. The sauce just had a mind of its own and didn’t want to co-operate!:) I hope you get to try them sometime. I appreciate you stopping by!

  3. Nancy says:

    Adorable! They look delicious and I love the individual servings!

    • Shari says:

      Thanks so much, Nancy! Individual servings always look so much cuter, don’t they? It was so nice of you to drop by and comment. I appreciate it!

  4. Ginny says:

    This is a great alternative to the traditional lasagna — and it’s an easy way to make some servings gluten-free and some regular. Thanks Shari and have fun with your guest!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Ginny! I never thought about it being an easy way to make some gluten-free and some regular. You are so right. Do you have a recipe you use for gluten-free noodles? I haven’t checked into gluten-free cooking very much. I appreciate you dropping by!

  5. kcinaz says:

    This might also make a great appetizer since they appear to be smaller and might fit on a luncheon plate?

    • Shari says:

      That is a great idea, Karen! They really aren’t that little by the time you get the sauce and cheese on them, but you could make them smaller by cutting the noodles in half. And you could cut them in half lengthwise or widthwise depending on what you want them to end up looking like. Then they would fit on a luncheon plate. Thanks for sharing that idea! I appreciate it.

  6. These look fantastic! And your photos made me drool. I can just imagine how wonderful these are. No wonder you’ve made them so often!

    • Shari says:

      Thanks, Ruth! I was glad I found a new recipe for pasta. I really don’t have that many, and it is always a nice thing for company as most people like it. I hope you have a great weekend!

  7. Liz says:

    The Italian sausage lasagna rolls look absolutely stunning. I love pretty things. I am sure they taste as good as they look. You have a lovely blog, Shari!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you for your sweet comment, Liz! I agree with you about pretty things, especially colorful food or little tiny bites of things. They are hard to resist. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and leave a comment!

  8. milkandbun says:

    Oh my! Looks fantastic and stunning! Love your photos!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you very much, Mila! I appreciate your comment about the photos as that is always the hard part to me, and I struggled with these especially. I appreciate you stopping by, and look forward to checking out your blog!

  9. rozpaige says:

    Shari, I’ve seen a few pins and food blog posts about lasagna roll-ups, but never prepared them. But since I trust you and your family’s ‘thumb’s up’ several times, I know without a shadow of a doubt that your recipe is delicious and a keeper! Can’t wait to try it. PS: your photography is just perfect! You’re so wonderful for preparing this for your friend!!!


    • Shari says:

      Hi Roz, Your comment means a lot coming from someone who is Italian, and makes such delicious homemade Italian dishes! These are really fun to make. I love it when you can turn a recipe into individual portions. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you are having a good spring so far!

  10. dunjabounds says:

    These look delicious! And I know exactly how you feel about wanting to surprise your friend with great food. I guess we show our love through food! I can’t wait to read the dessert recipes, as you know I have a huge sweet tooth! Gorgeous photos – as always :-).

    • Shari says:

      Thank you so much, Dunja! I agree with you about showing our love through food. It makes me so happy to cook for others. I appreciate your kind comment about the photos, too. Hope you enjoy the dessert recipes. I definitely share your love of sweets!:) Have a great week!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Liuba! I always think individual portions look so much better than a whole pan of something. It is a little more work, but not too much. I really appreciate you stopping by. Have a great week!

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