Pesto Lasagna Rolls

What’s for dinner tonight?  Try these tasty Pesto Lasagna Rolls made with a simple homemade marinara sauce and fresh basil pesto.  You can also double the recipe and freeze one dish for an easy meal to enjoy later.

Pesto Lasagna Rolls | Mother Thyme

I love lasagna rolls.  I have to admit they are kind of fun to make and everyone always enjoys them.

Recently I was literally rolling these Pesto Lasagna Rolls for dinner filled with basil pesto made with fresh basil from my herb garden.  They were delish!  Even though I enjoy pesto year round, there is something about this dish that is just perfect for summer.  I love the combination of basil pesto paired with a simple marinara.

You can save a few steps and use store bought pesto and marinara, but I definitely suggest making your own.  I have included the recipe for my easy basil pesto and marinara that you can whip up in no time.  If you have a can of crushed tomatoes, a clove of garlic and a few spices on hand you are good to go.  If you can spare a few extra minutes and make your own crushed tomato sauce, even better!

This is the first year we haven’t planted a vegetable garden in a long time.  I have been so bummed about it all summer.  I did plant my herb garden, but we usually have a huge garden full of tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce and even pumpkins.  Mr. Mother Thyme and I have had so much going on that we skipped the garden this year.  We both realized how much we enjoy our yearly summer garden, so no matter what next year we will be planting it again.

Our garden is normally full of tomatoes.  We usually grow so much, I can’t keep up with it.  One of my favorite things to do with the abundance of tomatoes we have is to make sauce.  I will make homemade pasta sauce for spaghetti night, and jars of whole and crushed tomatoes to use in soups and stews throughout the fall and winter.

Pesto Lasagna Rolls | Mother Thyme

If you don’t have time to do some canning, you can easily make crushed tomato sauce with just a few pounds of fresh tomatoes you can grab at the farmer’s market or grocery store.

About 2-3 pounds whole fresh tomatoes equals one 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes.
– Simply submerge tomatoes in boiling water for about 45 seconds.
– Carefully remove tomatoes and place in an ice bath to easily cut the stems, core and remove skins.
– Give them a good squeeze with your hands to remove excess seeds.
– Cut tomato in half and place in a blender or a food processor and pulse a few times until desired consistency.
– Add tomatoes in a saucepan and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, then continue making the marinara sauce as directed.

Whether you use fresh or canned crushed tomatoes, or if you just use your favorite store bought marinara, this will be a meal everyone will love.  Go ahead and double the recipe to freeze and enjoy in the colder months too!

To freeze, follow the recipe as directed without baking, then cover and freeze in a freezer safe dish for up to 3 months.  When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Cover with foil and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.   Uncover and bake for about 10-15 minutes longer until hot and bubbly.

Pesto Lasagna Rolls | Mother Thyme


Pesto Lasagna Rolls

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 9 lasagna noodles (cooked al dente)
  • 28 ounce store bought or homemade marinara sauce (easy homemade marinara sauce recipe below)
  • 9 tablespoons store bought or homemade basil pesto (easy basil pesto recipe below)
  • 15 ounce ricotta
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (divided)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Easy Homemade Marinara

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 bay leaf

Easy Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 large garlic clove (minced)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl mix ricotta, egg yolk, 1/2 cup mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and garlic.
  3. Spread 1/3 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9-inch baking or pie dish.
  4. Lay lasagna noodles on a large clean surface (wax paper works great) and spread each noodle with 1 tablespoon pesto. Top each noodle with 3 tablespoons ricotta mixture.
  5. Roll lasagna noodles and place seam side down in baking dish.
  6. Pour remaining marinara sauce evenly on top of rolls. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  8. Serve immediately.

Easy Homemade Marinara

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a low boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 10-20 minutes. Remove bay leaf.

Easy Basil Pesto

  1. Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or blender. Start blending, then stream in olive oil until blended. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.


To freeze, follow the recipe as directed without baking, then cover and freeze in a freezer safe dish for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cover with foil and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 10-15 minutes longer until hot and bubbly.

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  1. Each of these noodle roll-ups has just the right amount of filling and bakes in a fraction of the time a traditional deep-dish lasagna takes.

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