It’s good to plan ahead. I try it as much as I can. It’s nice. Well…Sometimes it’s not so nice. Sometimes the best laid plans go wrong despite your best intentions.

At times I plan to not cook or plan not to work too hard. What? A chick reserves the right to close her 4 star diner once in a while. I don’t exactly menu plan because I like the spontaneity of my meals; but I do say, “I’m not cooking Tuesday – Its sandwiches for everyone!”


“I’m not hovering over a stove for 2 1/2 hours – Modern Family is on!”

That’s where easy meals come in.

I mentioned my mom collected a bunch of easy cooking recipe cards in Spanish, right? Yeah, I mentioned that somewhere around here.

Anyway, I plucked out one of those easy meal cards – Broccoli Lasagna Rollups, totally translated from the Spanish, “Enrollados de lasaña con broculi”. I was going through one of my laissez-faire (Finally worked that word in a post – yay me!) moments and thought I’d take a shortcut I read about in one of my Cooks Illustrated annuals.

The shortcut was intended for manicotti, but I thought I could use it for lasagna rollups. Cooks Illustrated used “no boil lasagna” sheets, added manicotti filling, rolled the sheets and voila – Manicotti without the fuss and frustration! It was genius – And since I trust Cooks Illustrated implicitly, I thought it would work for me too.

No, Not so much…

I planned a shortcut and it smacked it’s no boiled lasagna sheets in my face.

It wasn’t Cooks Illustrated’s fault – Not at all. It was mine. I was to place lasagna sheets in boiling water for about 5 minutes until pliable. I didn’t really do that. No…

You see, I’ve got kids with colds and my toddler was particularly boogie-li-cious. So… between wiping a runny nose and washing my hands, wiping her nose and washing my hands again; I may have left the lasagna sheets in water far longer. I filled, rolled, sprinkled cheese and popped everything in the oven.

I may have left them in the oven longer that what the recipe called for. I’m not really sure… I was kinda playing a game of tag and lost track of time.

I took my rollups out of the oven and notice them to be a bit flat. Ok, like seriously flat. Like someone ran them over with an asphalt roller flat. Yea, like that. They were delicious, but hard as I tried I couldn’t get a decent picture. I was kinda hoping for the picture on the card.


Now I don’t have a good visual.  A photo that will entice you into making this recipe. A photo that will make you trust these roll ups are indeed amazing.

Sorry, guys – This is all I got for ya. Don’t know where I went wrong (ok, perhaps it was the extended game of tag); but trust when I say the broccoli filling was delicious even before I added pasta, sauce and cheese. Even the kids enjoyed them, and I was totally bracing myself for rejection.

They were so good; a certain someone left me a handwritten note on a paper towel with the words,

“WOW!!! So yummy!!”

I’d show you proof, but I used the paper towel to wipe up a spill. Waste not, right?




Recipe: Broccoli Lasagna Roll Ups


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 10 oz package of frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 15 oz carton of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 10-12 no boil lasagna sheets or 10-12 lasagna sheets cooked just before al dente according to packaging directions
  • 14 oz. homemade tomato sauce, or 1 14 oz. jar of store bought
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups of mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour about ¾ of the tomato sauce in a 9×13 in baking dish and set aside.
If using no boil lasagna sheets.
Pour boiling water into a 9×13 in or a large baking dish. Add noodles one at a time. Soak the sheets for about 5 minutes until pliable. Use the tip of a knife to prevent sticking. Remove the sheets from water and place in a single layer on a couple of clean kitchen towels.

If using regular lasagna sheets.

Cook until just before al dente according to packaging directions.

  1. Spread about 1 cup of tomato sauce onto a 9×13 in baking sheet and set aside. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add onions and broccoli cook until the onions have softened, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Add the ricotta and parmesan cheeses, salt and egg to the broccoli and onions. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Place a lasagna sheet onto a clean work surface and spoon about 2- 2 ½ tablespoons of broccoli cheese filling on the lasagna noodle. Spread the filling onto three quarters of each lasagna noodle, leaving the top quarter exposed.
  4. Roll the noodle and place in the baking dish seam side down. Repeat with remaining noodles.
  5. Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the prepared rollup and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 25-30 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Number of servings: Serves 6

Meal type: dinner

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★


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