Portobello Lasagna Rollups With Easy Tomato Sauce

January 9, 2009

I’m not a member of Craving Ellie in My Belly (CEiMB), nor do I play one on TV.  But I enjoy reading the group’s posts and I’ve seen Ellie Krieger whip up a few dishes on her TV show, and I found her cookbook at the library (The Foods You Crave: Lucious Recipes for a Healthy Life), so I decided to try out a few recipes.  The first one was Portobello Lasagna Rollups With Easy Tomato Sauce.  You can find the recipe here on the Culinary Delights blog. 

Anyone who knows me knows that mushrooms aren’t my best friend, so a recipe with “portobello” as the first word of the title doesn’t usually get too far with me.  But I’ve been trying to expand my horizons and have been eating more mushrooms than usual lately. I will say that the recipe called for 12 oz of portobellos and I picked up an 8 oz package and thought it looked like a huge amount of fungus, so I just got the 8 oz. I need to ease into this!

First I made the Easy Tomato Sauce. I found it a bit odd that the lasagna recipe calls for 4 cups of sauce and the sauce recipe makes 3 cups.  So I doubled the sauce, figuring I can always use tomato sauce for something. I used petite diced tomatoes rather than chopping whole tomatoes and I added more seasoning than the recipe calls for.  Here’s my giant pot of sauce. It’s tasty!


Check out the utensil pot clip!  It clips on the side of a pot and holds the spoon very nicely.  I got this at Crate & Barrel, and the Container Store also sells them.

Next, I started cooking the noodles.  I like wheat pasta, I really do!  But I had half a box of non-wheat lasagna noodles in my pantry and of course I was going to use that. I had 10 noodles and the recipe called for 12, but it worked out. The lasagna police did not show up at my door to cite me for a noodle shortage.

While the noodles cooked, I mixed the ricotta and spinach filling and started sauteeing the mushrooms. They shrunk a lot! That made me feel a lot better about the huge quantity.

Assembly time.  Note that the title of the recipe has the world “rollups.”  To accomplish that, I had to lay out the cooked noodles on waxed paper and then spread some of the ricotta mixture and some of the mushroom mixture on each noodle and then roll it up and put it in the pan. Does that sound like a hassle?  It was! The picture in the cookbook shows them standing on end, but I layed them down because the filling wanted to come out as I rolled them up and moved them to the pan.  Here’s what they looked like.


Then more sauce went on top along with the cheese.  The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of parmesan and 3 oz of mozzarella. I’m in favor of not over-cheesing things, but 3 oz? That’s not much for a whole pan of lasagna! I used reduced-fat mozzarella, but I did use more than 3 oz. I don’t know the total amount, but it was more than 3 and less than 8 oz. Let’s call it 6 oz.

Into the oven and time to clean up.  I looked around and then wanted to call Ellie and tell her to come over and wash my dishes! I don’t know how I did it, but I used a ton of dishes, pots, and pans.  Here’s a picture after cleanup, and you can see one more pot soaking on the right.  Sheesh. I guess that’s how lasagna goes, though. It’s not Ellie’s fault.


OK, one hour later and it’s done.


It looks like there’s an awful lot of cheese on there, but seriously, there wasn’t.  The final result tasted very good…even the mushrooms! They added some nice texture and bulk.  I noticed that there was less cheese than I usually use in lasagna, but I actually liked that, because the other flavors come through much more.  The sauce, at least the way I made it, was very chunky. My husband really liked the chunky sauce; I liked it but wanted more sauce.  I added some of the extra sauce to the leftover lasagna the next day and I preferred the saucier version.  

The recipe is a keeper. I love my usual lasagna, but it’s nice to have another version. I just don’t know that rolling up the noodles was worth it, though. It was nice to be able to scoop out a roll instead of cutting pieces, but next time, I’ll probably just layer it like I normally would.  It will save some assembly time, but it won’t reduce the amount of dishes!


  1. When we made these a couple of months ago for CEiMB, I remember that I had a lot of clean up after as well. They were quite time consuming as well. But good!

  2. i’m not in the group either but i’ve done some ellie krieger stuff recently, i really like her recipes. this one always intrigues me, might have to try it next. it looks really good!

  3. Jill, I feel exactly the same about mushrooms, generally. This lasagna looks really good. And for some reason I thought the rollups were supposed to be easier?

  4. I saw these in a few other people’s blogs too and thought they sounded good. Yours looks fantastic! And now I gotta go run out and get one of those utensil clips!

  5. I have made this many times and it is always a pleaser. I use my own marinara sauce which I almost always have frozen for times like this. It makes this recipe less time consuming – and less clean up :). The rollups are messy to assemble, but I like them.

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