Lasagna Rolls Ups

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on March 17, 2009

I have been quoted as saying that lasagna would be really difficult to make for under $5. I attempted it, but I was right. I remember seeing this recipe in the More-With-Less Cookbook ages ago and thought I’d give it a try. But, I could not find my cookbook today, so ended up making this…my best guess!

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Lasagna Roll Ups

Ingredients

  • 16 lasagna noodles ($.99)
  • 3/4 lb ground beef ($.75)
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce ($1)
  • 1 cup chopped spinach ($.25)
  • 1/2 onion ($.20)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder ($.05)
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning ($.05)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • About 1 cup total of ricota cheese ($.84)
  • 6 slices provolone cheese ($1.29)
  • 2 cups frozen corn ($.50)
  • 2 broccoli heads ($.99)

Directions

  1. Cook lasagna noodles as directed on box. These must be cooked so that they can be rolled. Don’t think the no boil kind will work!
  2. Thaw and brown ground beef. Drain. (I had some cooked ground beef in the freezer.) In skillet, cook ground beef with onion, chopped spinach, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Then add spaghetti sauce. Simmer until sauce is thick and chunky.
  4. Lay lasagna noodles over the side of a 9×13 baking dish, so that you put the ricotta and sauce in the middle of the noodle and wrap the two ends around the ricotta/meat sauce into a “roll up.”
  5. Repeat for all the noddles until the baking dish is filled with lasagna rollups. Spread remaining meat sauce over the top of the roll ups.
  6. Place 6 slices of provolone cheese on top of the roll ups.
  7. Bake rollups for 20 minutes at 350, uncovered.
  8. Steam broccoli in glass dish covered with saran wrap for 4 minutes in the micorwave, or use stovetop steamer.
  9. Prepare frozen corn as directed on package instructions.
  10. Serve lasagna rollups with sides of steamed broccoli and corn.

Cost $6.91

Lasagna is just expensive Y’all! Even the not-so-cheesy kind!

I welcome any suggestions to make this any cheaper!!!

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen March 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm

You could make your own fresh mozzarella and ricotta — http://www.cyber-kitchen.com/ubbs/archive/DAIRY/Cheese_Mozzarella.html

I haven’t tried this yet because I haven’t been able to find citric acid in a store near me and haven’t ordered it from online sources. But I’m sure that it would be pretty cheap to make it in bulk (just the cost of the milk and the upfront costs for cheesecloth, citric acid, and rennet). You could also try making fresh lasagne noodles — that would just take flour, water, and patience with a rolling pin.

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Uncanny March 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Is cottage cheese any cheaper than ricotta? I think it is, and it’s also easier to get low-fat, so that’s what I usually use for lasagna.

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km March 21, 2009 at 3:06 pm

It’s $6.91 for the whole recipe/meal, but in my home, we would only eat TWO of the roll ups as a serving, not four, so that actually cuts the cost of the meal down to $3.45 for a family of four for us. (using your prices – we pay more for ground beef than that, because we buy whole beef and have it butchered.)

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Jen January 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm

HOW do we get ground beef for $1/pound? We’re glad to get it for under $3/pound, for 70/30 chub…?

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Martha Artyomenko March 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Well, when I make lasagna, we omit the meat. This makes it cheaper, also I make my sauce from scratch buying #10 cans of the tomato product instead of ready made sauce. This makes it so it is much cheaper for the sauce.
Also, we can mozzerella pretty cheap right now, it was $8 for 5 lbs of grated mozzerella cheese last I checked so that makes it pretty cheap.

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km March 21, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Question: Why does the recipe call for spices in addition to what is already in the pre-prepared sauce? It’s only ten cents, but it seems superfluous.

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Deb March 23, 2009 at 8:47 am

I made your roll up lasanga last night, it was a hit with the family, thank you for the recipe

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Stephani Satterfield April 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I use tomato sauce instead of pre-made sauce ($.33/can) and use fresh grated carrots in my lasagna, which could be a substitute for the broccoli and corn. Usually 1 to 2 cups of carrots, so that would be about $.40 (?) for veggies.

Thanks for your idea. My mom saw you on Rachael Ray and told me about $5 suppers. We’re going to give it a go.

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Amy Johnson June 30, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Have you tried Zucchini Casserole? It has all the flavors of a lasagna, but uses rice instead of noodles…and it freezes very well!
Slice and blanch zucchini and layer in bottom of 9×13 pan.
Cook 2 cups rice and mix with 2 cups of tomato sauce and ~3/4 lb cooked ground beef. Layer this next. Next a thin layer of cottage cheese and some shredded cheese. More zucchini, and rice/sauce meat. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 until bubby. This is a favorite for my family and it is a great use of our giant zucchini from our garden. If you want to freeze them, put them together and don’t bake. They will thaw on the counter for the morning and be ready for dinner.

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Erin July 1, 2009 at 8:04 am

Thanks Amy! Sound delish!!!

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katie July 24, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Instead of the ricotta in the roll ups try using cottage cheese. This is what I use in my lasagne and no one has been able to tell the difference. Still get compliments!

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yoyo February 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm

For a more economical version of lasagna, you can use italian sausage instead of beef. And instead of a cottage cheese or ricotta layer, you could do a layer of classic bechemel sauce. (Butter/Flour roux, with milk) and can also cut the fat that way by using fat free milk. It gives a nice creamy feel without the need for so much cheese.

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Susanne April 6, 2011 at 9:51 am

Funny — my mother in law ordered this at Olive Garden this weekend and I already had the recipe tagged to make it soon for the family. I make this a little differently- – I spread the cheese (ricotta and some mozzarella mixed with egg and Italian seasoning) lightly down the length of the noodle (leaving some room at the ends) and then roll. I stand them on end in the pan, then bake them in sauce like you would stuffed shells. These freeze well too …. used to make them a long time ago when it was just hubby and myself, now that we have four kids I don’t think I need to worry about trying to freeze any!! There won’t be any left!!

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Veronica April 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Looks good. I’ll have to try it. One queston: WHERE do you find 3/4 lb. of ground beef for $0.75? I can’t get it at that price even on sale and in bulk!

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Jaime April 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

I was thinking the same thing! Even in bulk at Sam’s or BJ’s I can’t get it below $2.99 lb.
This recipe sounds delicious tho, and I think to make it cheaper I’m going to go with a veggie version.

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Karen April 7, 2011 at 8:09 am

@Suzanne – we make them that way ALL the time! I make multiple batches and freeze them so that we have an easily-made dinner on the nights when we have sports practices, lessons and other stuff. :) To cut the cost, I occasionally use spinach and make a vegetarian version, then I serve with a meat-flavored sauce to make up for it. DH can’t have red sauce anyway, so the spinach also goes really well with alfredo.

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Rachel - Following in my Shoes July 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

What is the best way to freeze these?

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Clare Weisberger October 14, 2011 at 7:31 am

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jen June 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Exactly how does this fall under gluten free, dairy free, and soy free? I see gluten and I see dairy. Very confused here.

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