THIS is my kind of lightened-up comfort food.
Meaning, comfort food that has been healthified a bit but still tastes just as damn good as the original in all its caloric glory.
These turkey and greens lasagna rolls are heavenly, but they feature lean ground turkey, tons of dark leafy greens, and whole grain lasagna noodles. There’s no heavy béchamel sauce. The cheese is somewhat lightened up. But there is ZERO sacrifice in flavor or texture. I promise you, these taste just as decadent and fabulous as a real deal lasagna.
Lasagna is one of those things I absolutely love to eat but don’t love to make. There are just so many steps and components to prep! The no-bake noodle has been life changing in that regard. And even though lasagna rolls don’t allow for no-bake noodles (because you have to be able to roll them!), I still prefer to make rolls over layered lasagna. They’re fun! They’re pre-portioned! They seem easier, too. But maybe that’s just in my head.
If you’ve never made lasagna rolls, let me walk you through the general process. You boil your noodles just like you would if you were making regular lasagna. You prep a filling. You spread said filling out on said noodles and then roll them up like a cinnamon roll and bake them in sauce and cheese, just like the layers of a lasagna! So fun.
These, as I said, are a healthified version of the usual lasagna rolls I make, which feature a decadent cream sauce and loads of cheese.
The filling is extremely good for you, but I promise, one bite of the stuff and you would never know. I brown lean ground turkey (you could also use chicken or pork!) with onions and garlic and then wilt tonnnsss of Swiss chard and baby spinach into the mix. I was eating this mixture straight out of the skillet, guys. So much flavor!
The turkey and greens get mixed into ricotta cheese (you can use part-skim ricotta if you’re watching your fat intake, but I usually opt for the whole milk variety. It’s my jam.) until everything is soft and fluffy. Then we really amp up the flavor with some grated parmesan, which I love using because a little goes a LONG way, and some store-bought pesto. These two things are what make the filling so irresistible. They impart so much dang flavor, it’s crazy.
Whole wheat lasagna noodles are what I love using here. Truthfully, I can’t really tell the difference between regular and whole wheat pasta most of the time, but if it’s against your religion or something, go ahead and use regular pasta. Dan can always tell and definitely prefers white pasta over wheat, but sometimes I think he just says it to give me a hard time, haha. Like, he’ll never admit that he didn’t know the pasta was whole wheat. He’ll never give me the satisfaction. #marriage
Stuff those noodles and roll ’em up! Place them in a baking dish that has a layer of marinara on the bottom and then top with more marinara (we want lots of moisture surrounding the noodles so they finish cooking) and some grated mozzarella. I do go for part-skim when it comes to the mozzarella because that is one difference I cannot detect at all.
Bake it off until golden, bubbly, and mouthwateringly melty.
Seriously, just look at how gorgeous! You would never know that there is so much HEALTH baked in there, right?
Allow the rolls to cool for a bit (if you can stand it!) and then serve ’em up. I do like to garnish with a few shards of coarsely grated parm and some fresh herbs, like chives, basil or parsley. Whatever you have on hand.
These are an entire meal in one. You could serve a side salad with these lasagna rolls, but they’re loaded with greens, so you don’t really need to. They’re hearty enough to be eaten alone.
And they’re the ideal comforting meal to be served in January, the month of green juices and sad salads. You’re welcome, friends.Print
Turkey & Greens Lasagna Rolls
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
These Turkey & Greens Lasagna Rolls are lightened up comfort food loaded with protein, fiber, and whole grains. They’re filled with lean turkey, dark leafy greens, and made with whole wheat lasagna noodles. All the comfort with none of the guilt! These lasagna rolls are proof that healthy can taste great.
- 1 box whole grain lasagna noodles (roughly 15 noodles)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 lb ground lean turkey
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and roughly chopped (roughly 4 cups)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 (15-oz) container ricotta cheese
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup store-bought basil pesto
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Additional parmesan cheese, for serving
- Chives or fresh herbs, chopped, for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions (usually 7-8 minutes). Drain the noodles and spread out on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Saute the onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, dried herbs, and ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon or spatula, for 5 minutes.
- Add in the tomato paste and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then add in the greens. Cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are wilted and soft, about 8 minutes. Set the mixture aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, parmesan, and pesto. Add the cooled turkey-greens mixture and stir to combine. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary BEFORE stirring in the egg. Mix the egg in until well incorporated.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and lightly oil or spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. I just drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom and spread it out with a spoon. Spread roughly half of the marinara on the bottom of the dish.
- Spread roughly 3 tablespoons of the filling mixture on each lasagna noodle and then carefully roll the noodles up lengthwise to form a roll. Place the rolls, seam side down, in the baking dish. Finish forming all the rolls.
- Spoon the remaining marinara over top of the rolls.
- Top the marinara with the shredded mozzarella and another light grating of parmesan cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and golden brown.
- Allow the lasagna rolls to cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese and fresh chives/herbs before serving.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: pasta
Keywords: healthy lasagna recipe, turkey and greens lasagna, healthy lasagna, whole grain pasta recipe, healthy comfort food, ground turkey recipes
Molly, I made this and we all loved it. Can’t tell that there are six cups of greens wikted in there. So good. Thanks!
So glad to hear that! I love sneaking greens in whenever possible.