Chard Lasagna Roll-Ups (Secret Recipe Club)

by Dorothy Reinhold on April 30, 2012

Print This Post Print This Post Chard Lasagna Rolls

Ever since I heard of them a decade ago, I’ve always wanted to make Lasagna Roll-Ups, so the Secret Recipe Club was a great excuse and impetus to finally do it!

You remember the Secret Recipe Club, right? It’s a monthly exercise in which participants secretly explore and cook from another’s food blog. Today is our “reveal day,” where we ‘fess up and share the results of our experimentation.

My task was to comb through the blog Beautiful Disasters, authored by Casey, a Midwestern high school athlete with a charming personality. Her posts are peppered with tales of prom dress shopping, caring for her faux baby from child development class, soccer tournaments and phrases like “holy schmoly!” I was smitten.

Let's just call it a chard tree, shall we?

I considered her Mexican Flair Wraps, and was sorely tempted by her Coconut Layer Cake, but ultimately couldn’t tear myself away from the Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups.

It’s a very good recipe, but I can’t help myself from tweaking, so I added a couple of little flavor elements (nutmeg, red pepper flakes, oregano, garlic) to reflect my preferences, used ricotta instead of her cottage cheese, and used chard instead of spinach, since my chard plant was going bonkers. If you make it yourself, suit your own taste buds. It’s versatile and can handle your preferences.

It’s a little bit of fuss, but not difficult, and for a special occasion dinner (Anniversary? Birthday? Boss coming to dinner? Graduation? Dinner party? Just because it’s Sunday?), it’s worth it! Also, since it is portioned so conveniently, it would be a great dish to serve on a buffet because there would be no need to hack at a whole tray of lasagna.

Thanks, Casey, for getting me off my duff in a delicious way after a decade! (Readers, you can see all of the Secret Recipe Club deliciousness at the end of my post, below.)

lasagna noodles boiling

Noodles go into a hot jacuzzi!

lasagna filling ingredients

Filling ingredients go into a big mixing bowl.

lasagna filling

Give it a good stir, by hand.

lasagna  filling

Cleverly portion it into 9 servings.

spread filling over lasagna noodles

Spread the filling over lasagna noodles. An offset spatula works well for this.

lasagna rolls

Voila! How pretty is that spiral?

lasagna rolls in baking dish

Almost done. Place rolls in baking dish and spoon sauce over top.

Lasagna Rolls make an elegant dinner!

Recipe: Chard Lasagna Roll-Ups

lasagna rollSummary: Swiss chard-flecked garlicky ricotta fills these special-occasion Chard Lasagna Rolls, which are then topped with flavorful sauce. The spirals make a beautiful presentation!


  • 9 lasagna noodles* (see note below)
  • 10-12 ounces Swiss chard, wilted in a skillet and chopped finely** (see note below)
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg*** (see note below)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • About 32 ounces flavorful pasta sauce (I used a marinara from Claro’s Italian Market)
  • 9 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (or use mozzarella)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on box. When done, remove noodles one by one from boiling water, pat dry with a kitchen towel and lay them on parchment paper or waxed paper.
  2. Ladle about 1 cup pasta sauce into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, coating the entire bottom.
  3. In a bowl, combine chard, ricotta, grated Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.
  4. Divide mixture into 9 portions (so you don’t inadvertently over- or understuff the rolls). Spread each portion of the filling evenly over each noodle. Carefully roll the noodles and place seam side down in the sauced baking dish.
  5. Ladle some sauce over the noodle rolls in the baking dish, cover dish with foil and bake 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle each roll with 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan (heat from rolls will melt the cheese).
  6. Warm remaining sauce and serve at the table for anyone who would like more.
  7. Serves 6-9 (most will eat one; big eaters will want two)

Quick notes

Barilla wavy lasagna noodles

*About the noodles: This requires regular, old-school wavy-edge lasagna noodles, NOT the no-boil variety. I thought I would be a smarty-pants and soften the no-boil noodles in boiling water, just enough so they would be flexible enough to roll. Big mistake. They tear and fall apart as soon as they are flexible. So I had to start over with normal noodles. I share this so you won’t think you need to be a smarty-pants too. Just use the regular noodles the first time around.

**About the chard: If you can find Cut `n Clean Greens bagged chard (green, red or rainbow varieties), your job is that much easier, because the chard is already triple-washed and sliced. If you buy a bunch of chard leaves, simply cut away the thick center rib and discard it, wash the leaves well, wilt them in a hot skillet (no fat needed; the water clinging to the leaves will suffice) and then remove and cool. When cool, mass the chard on a cutting board and chop finely. Squeeze out excess moisture, and use in recipe.

***Nutmeg? Yes! It’s a classic flavor agent for spinach or other greens, and often used in cream/béchamel sauces like you might find on creamed spinach. Try it!

Make ahead: You can either assemble the roll-ups a day ahead and keep them covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake them, or bake them a day ahead, cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat before serving.


Casey gave credit to Skinnytaste for the recipe, and here is Casey’s version.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 minute
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 6-9
Culinary tradition: Italian

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanette May 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Love the idea of swiss chard in these beautiful lasagna roll-ups!


Rituparna May 3, 2012 at 6:54 am

Those lasagna rolls look delicious. I am sure I could give it a try with some fresh spinach as well. Yum yum …


Dorothy May 3, 2012 at 7:11 am

Oh yes, spinach would be fine, or beet greens, or any other dark leafy greens you like, including kale, mustard, turnip or escarole. Just wilt (different timing for each green, since some are sturdier than others).


Jenni May 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

This looks awesome! I have been wanting to try these rollups for a while now! I might have to actually get to it after seeing these beauties!


Dorothy May 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Don’t wait a whole decade, like I did!


Shoba Shrinivasan May 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm

OMG I loved loved loved loved the lasagna roll ups. They look super cute and elegant at the same time.



kristy lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty May 1, 2012 at 8:45 am

OMG!! Look at your chard plant!!! That is chard on crack! (also a chard fan…more so than spinach actually. I find it has a better texture once its cooked)…

i just pinned and bookmarked this dish. it’s beautiful and i can imagine i’d love the flavors and textures. to make list material for sure!


Dorothy May 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Chard on crack, indeed! You should see it now…the stalk is 2 inches in diameter!


Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama May 1, 2012 at 3:20 am

Oh yum!! I have been wanting to make these for so long! I think this is on the menu this week!!


Dorothy May 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Let me know how you like it!


Gretchen April 30, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Yum…I have been meaning to make a vegan version of lasagna roll-ups and your pics look so good that I think I need to get on that ASAP.


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Thank you, Gretchen!


avril April 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm

These are the most beautiful lasagna roll-ups I have yet to see…gorgeously d’lish!


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm

How nice of you to say!


Casey April 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Thanks for the kind words! 🙂 I loved this recipe, too!! It’s a great meatless option where you hardly miss the meat!


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I was so happy to make these after all those years of pining after them.


Asiya April 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm

This is absolutely mouthwatering! Great SRC pick!


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Thank you!


amy @ fearless homemaker April 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm

aren’t lasagna roll ups the greatest? since it’s just my husband + i at home, i make ’em, freeze most of them, then just thaw a few as needed for a delicious dinner. yours sound awesome!


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm

great tip on freezing! They made 2 dinners for us, and I just kept them in the refrig., but that’s a great idea for make-ahead.


bakingaddict April 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

These look so cute and delicious! Great pick for SRC 🙂


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Baking Addict,
The hardest part of participating in SRC is deciding what to make!


Carol Penn-Romine April 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I have a chard tree in my backyard, too. Looks like a miniature redwood! Can’t wait to go plunder it and make this.

Thanks, Dorothy!


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm

How great to hear that I am not the only one with bolting chard!


Novia May 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I love this recipe! I’ve made it twice, once with chard and once with collard greens, which make it taste a bit stronger and punchier but still great.


Nicole @ The Daily Dish April 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Oh these look fantastic Dorothy – your photography is beautiful – so well lit (I’m working on that). These just look super good, and remind me of these chicken roll ups I make…. I need to post that recipe. Anyway, this was a perfect choice for {SRC}. Thanks for stopping by!


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

How nice to hear that! The photography is the biggest challenge, I find. Lighting is devilish! I would love to make your chicken roll-ups.


Kimberly April 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

What a beautiful website … so glad I found you through SRC!

And I love lasagna roll ups! And since I also love Swiss chard, I’m certain I would love these! Great post!


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Thanks, Kimberly!


April @ Angel's Homestead April 30, 2012 at 11:46 am

You had me at lasagna, one of mine and my daughters favorite dishes. I’ve never tried swiss chard before, but this yummy looking recipe sure makes me want to try it.


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

April, I predict you will love chard.


Danielle April 30, 2012 at 10:32 am

Swiss chard is one of my favorite summer veggies. It is so plentiful, that I seem to always have some on hand. I love the idea of stuffing it in some lasagna noodles!


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm

You could try it with kale, too, for another variation.


SallyBR April 30, 2012 at 10:13 am

Oh, I love lasagna type rolls, and your filling with chard makes it even more special!

I love Casey’s blog too, subscribe to it and have a ton of fun reading it


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Her blog is very fun! She has a infectious spirit!


Kirstin April 30, 2012 at 10:12 am

YUMMY! I’m going to mark this as it sounds simple and easy.


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I liked it also because it looked quite elegant, so could make a wowser company dish.


Connie Kaiser April 30, 2012 at 9:29 am

I LOVE THIS IDEA! I like lasagna but the huge-pan filled thing is intimidating – to make, and to eat from. Serving size! Perfect!!!!


Dorothy April 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Exactly right, on all counts.


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