Baked Spinach and Mushroom Rotolo

Gather ’round the table, it’s Italian night!  I’ve told you all before how obsessed we are with Italian food… we have to have it lol.  I’m always trying to find and come up with new and different Italian dishes, so we don’t always fall back on the standard spaghetti and meatballs.  In this dish, savory mushrooms, spinach and creamy ricotta cheese are rolled up in lasagna noodles and baked in a delicious marinara sauce.  A dish so hearty, you won’t realize it’s vegetarian!

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

It’s every bit as delicious as it looks!

Before I came across this recipe, I’d never heard of a rotolo (although it’s fun to say!).  But it’s basically a smaller version of cannelloni that’s turned upright and then baked.  The best part about baking it this way is the crunchy browned cheese on top 😉  I might have possibly eaten that crunchy cheese and forgotten to take a picture first… I have no shame 😛

Now the original recipe, from Nagi over at RecipeTin Eats (which is fantastic site by the way, go check it out!), calls for fresh lasagne sheets.  But I couldn’t find them, so I improvised 🙂  I used Barilla lasagna noodles, cooked them about halfway through, then laid them out on a wax paper lined baking sheet so they could cool enough for me to handle them.

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

While the pasta water was coming up to a boil, I sauteed my onions, garlic, and mushrooms in an oven safe skillet (I used cast iron).  Once they were tender, I set them aside on a plate to cool.  To the same skillet, I added another diced onion and more minced garlic to saute for a few minutes.  Then I added my crushed tomatoes and seasonings.  Let it simmer while you get your rolls together.

Next I mixed up my filling in a bowl.  Add your sauteed garlic, onion and mushroom mixture to the ricotta cheese with an egg, parmesan cheese, defrosted chopped spinach, and seasonings.

Tip:  After you defrost your spinach, make sure you drain it in a colander, top with a couple of paper towels, and press all the liquid out.  Otherwise you’ll wind up with a wet filling!

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!Now comes the fun, yet semi tricky part.  Take one lasagna noodle and lay it so the short edge is facing you and the length goes away from you.  Spoon a little of the filling onto the noodle, and spread it out.

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

Roll it away from you, from the bottom up towards the top.

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

Wet your finger to seal the top edge of the noodle to the roll.  Make sure you have a sharp knife for this next part…

Slice each lasagna roll in half across, so you have two equal rolls.

Scoop out about 3/4 cup of your marinara sauce and put in a small bowl.  Next, nestle your lasagna rolls into the skillet with your marinara sauce.  Spoon the reserved sauce over the top of the lasagna rolls.

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

You can see I didn’t have enough lasagna noodles to complete my skillet… next time I’ll be sure to cook the whole box of them!

Now just slide the skillet into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.  Remove the skillet from the oven, sprinkle with cheese, and bake another 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is all golden and bubbly.

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!Let’s zoom in for a close up, shall we?

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

Oooooooh, see that brown, crunchy cheese?  *DROOL*  I seriously go nuts over burnt cheese… maybe I’m weird 😛

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

These rotolos are completely delicious… and also completely customize-able!  Don’t like mushrooms?  Skip them!  Want some meat?  Add some finely crumbled and browned Italian sausage or seasoned ground beef!  Anything you’d like 😀

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

We devoured these rotolos!  I was definitely bummed that I didn’t make enough of the lasagna noodles… but we all live and learn right?

I served these alongside a simple side salad and some of my copycat Olive Garden breadsticks… although once again, we ate all the breadsticks, so I couldn’t get any updated (aka, much better lol) photos for you.  I promise, I will soon though!

If you’d like something else to serve these with, try my Garlic Roasted Broccoli, or Parmesan Crusted Roasted Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus!

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

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Recipe adapted from RecipeTin Eats 🙂

Looking for another roll-up inspired meal?  Try my Italian Stuffed Flank Steaks… so delicious!

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!

Baked Spinach and Mushroom Rotolo

Savory mushrooms, spinach and cheese are rolled up in pasta and baked in a delicious marinara sauce. A dish so hearty, you won't realize it's vegetarian!
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Recipe Author The Chunky Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 box Barilla dried lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese shredded
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves chopped, for garnish

MARINARA SAUCE:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste

FILLING:

  • 1 box of frozen spinach
  • 8 oz mushrooms sliced and chopped
  • 16 oz container of ricotta cheese I used whole fat
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Boil lasagna noodles halfway to al dente, drain, and lay out on a wax paper lined baking sheet to cool.

MARINARA SAUCE:

  • Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add diced onion and minced garlic to skillet and saute about 2-3 minutes.  Scoop out half of the onion/garlic mixture and remove to a plate to cool. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, sugar, dried basil and black pepper to the remaining onion/garlic in the skillet.  Stir and let simmer for 10 minutes or so.
  • Scoop out 3/4 cup of the marinara sauce, and set aside.

FILLING:

  • Defrost the spinach in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  • Place spinach in a colander, and press with paper towels to drain excess liquid. Add to a large bowl.  Add in the cooled onion/garlic mixture from step 4.
  • Add remaining filling ingredients and mix well to combine.

ASSEMBLING:

  • Lay the lasagna noodle with the short end in front of you.
  • Spoon some filling onto the noodle, and spread over the noodle. Dab some water on the end furthest away from you (to seal the roll), then roll up towards the top, starting from the end closest to you.
  • Continue with remaining lasagna noodles.
  • Cut rolls in half across.
  • Place the rolls into the marinara sauce with the ruffled edge facing up.
  • Drizzle the reserved marinara sauce over the rolls, then bake for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top. Return to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
  • Serve garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil leaves.

Notes

** Filling ingredients can be adapted to your tastes.
** Jarred marinara sauce could also be used, if you prefer.
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63 comments on “Baked Spinach and Mushroom Rotolo”

  1. This dish was absolutely amazing. It was sooooo gooooood. Thank you so much for turning me onto this. I kind of figured out after studying the placement of the ingredients what you meant. The additional garlic and onion was under the filling.

    The only changes I made – and I made them while looking at other rotolo recipes, which I then discovered another similar type recipe but instead of calling it rotolo, it was Lasagna roll-ups which is the same thing as this recipe but they specifically use lasagna where as this is used as a substitute for rotolo pasta which I find incredibly difficult to find unless you make you’re own which I am just not that industrious to do. I love the Barilla lasagna.

    Okay, sorry, back to what I was saying about the changes I made which I think makes it easier to roll them up. I saw a video where they laid out the lasagna sheets and after they cooled off they sliced down the center of each lasagna sheet from the top to the bottom, cutting it evenly in half BEFORE putting the mixture in. Then they spread a thin layer of the mixture along the sheet from top to bottom, rather than just one chunk of the mixture at the bottom of the sheet. Made it much easier to roll the sheets up. Then as you roll the sheet up, because the pasta is sticky, they don’t separate even though they’ve been cut in half, and then as you roll both sides up… voila! You got 2 rolls from one sheet without having to slice it in half when it’s fully rolled. I hope that makes sense. The first time I tried it, I cut the roll in half AFTER it was rolled with the mixture inside, and most of the mixture spurted out of the sides. This way there’s no leakage whatsoever. And no mess.

  2. I’m really looking forward to trying this dish but I have 2 questions about your directions for cooking the sauce before I proceed. Step 5 under MARINARA SAUCE you call for cooking the garlic and diced onion but then in step 6 you call for cooking an additional diced onion and minced garlic, yet under the ingredients for the marinara sauce you only list the onion and garlic once. There’s no additional onion or garlic listed for these ingredient to be used in step 6. Am I to assume that the 1/2 onion and 4 cloves of garlic listed under the Marinara sauce ingredients are to be divided between steps 5 and 6? Or am I to dice 2 half onions and 8 minced garlic cloves to be cooked between steps 5 and 6?

    The 2nd question is in step 6 you say to let sauce simmer for 10 minutes, but then in step 7 you say simmer for 2 minutes. Would that be 2 minutes more AFTER 10 minutes?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Kazy 🙂 Oh dear, it looks like some recipes got jumbled in a recent plugin update… but I’ve fixed the recipe so it should be much clearer now. Basically you have garlic and onion in both the filling and the marinara sauce, and you’ll simmer the sauce for roughly 10 minutes 🙂

  3. cheese is definitely delicious food! This is a fantastic family recipe! I like such type of food. Amazing recipe and step by step guide to make it. It looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

  4. “cheese” Did you really eat it before taking the picture (hehe).
    Mushroom Rotolo is very new word for me, Going to try it with spinach. Recipe is awesome.

  5. Thank you for a great recipe. I cannot wait to try it.

  6. That rotolo looks so, so delicious!! Wow!!

  7. We will love your Baked Spinach and Mushroom Rotolo. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday and have a fantastic weekend!
    Miz Helen

  8. This looks delicious, I can never resist the crispy cheese either. It would be a good first course (since they are small) for an Italian dinner. Love it!

  9. This looks delicious! 😀 I’m going to have to give this a go soon too! Love the idea of rolling up lasagna sheets!
    I love RecipeTin Eats too… and tried her cinnamon french toast last weekend.

  10. Love the idea of rolling up the lasagne noodle, stuffing them and using them! Rotola is such a cool name! Thanks for sharing this easy recipe! Love the fact that it is vegetarian! Happy FF!

  11. OK! It’s official – you have made me drool! YOur recipe is calling my name…so I have bookmarked this! 😀

  12. These bring back so many wonderful memories from my childhood. I love the combination of spinach and mushrooms. Thanks so much for sharing them at FF!

  13. This looks delicious – thanks so much for sharing these with the Fiesta Friday crew!

  14. These look amazing! I love anything pasta! Definitely going to give this a try 🙂

  15. I had never heard of rotolo before either. So glad you introduced me to it! Wow, this meal looks as fabulous as I imagine it tastes! Love Italian food!

  16. Yum, these look delicious! We love Italian food too, and I am with you on crispy cheese. Must try at some point!

  17. What a smart use of the cast iron skillet! I will copy this idea from you! Thanks a lot for sharing and for being at FF!

  18. You are talking my language! Mouthwatering delicious! PINNED! Thank you for sharing on Making Memories Mondays! I am going to make this Monday night! 🙂
    Cathy

  19. Oh yum! This looks and sounds amazing! The word is fun to say! I love Italian nights in our home too, but we have never tried this one! Looks so good, it just made me hungry! Thanks for sharing!

  20. I love any and all spinach recipes! It looks so good. Thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog Hop!

  21. Amanda these look wonderful, I have tired the roll-ups but never thought to stand them up, good idea!!!

  22. Oh my gosh! YUM! Pinning for later!

  23. Amanda, that looks like an ingenious recipe. I sure will be trying that one out. Thanks

  24. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it!

  25. Looks so yummy! I love how gooey it looks!

  26. Hello! Love this post and love your blog! This recipe looks amazing. I am pinning it and can’t wait for the opportunity to make it! Stopping by from #‎ibabloggers‬!

  27. This looks absolutely delicious! Great recipe!
    #ibabloggers

  28. If it wasn’t 11:04 p.m., I would go downstairs right now and make this dish. It looks so good and I appreciate that your instructions are simple enough for me to fumble through! Thanks for another great recipe.

  29. Oh my heavens this looks amazing. Italian is what we crave at least half the time, and I love how impressive this recipe cooks up!

  30. Few things in life are good burnt, but cheese is definitely one of them! This is a fantastic family meal with lots of ooey gooey cheesiness!

  31. How did you know I was in an Italian mood?! Really, I brought chicken parm to work and everything, and I am usually a chicken and potatoes for lunch person! 🙂 But the Italian bug has struck, (and this doesnt help!) – I’ll have to try this Rotolo, I agree with you, totally fun to say!