The first few weeks after having a baby, we survived on trays of food brought over by our amazing friends and family. Some of my favorite meal ideas to bring new parents are a hearty chicken pot pie, or a tray of breakfast burritos (no one ever brings breakfast, you’ll be a star!). One friend brought us a delicious and healthy jar of trail mix that was amazing to nibble on for quick snacks. Perhaps the most classic of freezer dishes to bring new parents falls into the Italian casserole category. We ate all of them during those first few weeks home with the baby: lasagna, baked ziti, chicken parmesan, and eggplant rollatini.When my friends at Peapod asked if I had any ideas for good frozen meal recipes, I jumped at the chance to delve into this topic because I feel like after weeks of taste testing freezer meals, I’ve become a bit of an expert! And having sampled so many great frozen meals lately, I got the idea to combine all of my favorite elements into one super-dish! I combined the noodles from lasagna, with eggplant and cheese from eggplant rollatini, and baked it in a hearty meat sauce inspired by my favorite baked ziti dishes. I guess it should be called Baked Cheesy Lasagna-Sausage-Eggplant Rollatini, but since that’s a mouthful (food jokes!) we’ll go with Loaded Lasagna Rollatini.To make it, I breaded and cooked crispy eggplant and sliced them into small strips. Inside each long sheet of lasagna noodle I spread a ricotta-mozzarella mixture and tucked in a few pieces of crispy eggplant strips. Then I rolled the noodles up into little pasta rosettes and tucked them into a baking dish filled with a hearty tomato sauce packed with Italian sausage. You can use store-bought tomato sauce, or make a very easy homemade sauce (I swear by this three-ingredient recipe!). I finished the dish off with a bit more sauce and cheese on top, you can never have enough cheese, and baked it to melt the cheese and give the top that ‘edge of the lasagna pan’ crisp. And like all of the inspiration dishes that went into this “super-dish,” it will freeze well if covered securely in a few layers of foil or made inside an airtight container. Full recipe below!

Loaded Lasagna Rollatini.
  • Large eggplant
  • 1 Cup of flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of panko bread crumbs
  • One box of lasagna noodles
  • 1 Cup of mozzarella (divided)
  • ¼ Cup of parmesan cheese
  • 2 Cups of ricotta cheese
  • 2 Teaspoons of oregano
  • Tomato sauce
  • 4-6 cooked Italian sausages
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Heat up a jar of tomato sauce and chopped up cooked sausage in a saucepan.
  2. Slice eggplant into thin strips, and coat in flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large skillet with olive oil and cook battered eggplant in batches until crispy.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook lasagna noodles until al dente (being careful not to break the noodles).
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, half the mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and oregano; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Once all of the components are prepared, it’s time to assemble the rolls. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with several scoops of sausage-tomato sauce.
  7. Roll out a piece of lasagna and spread a spoon of the ricotta cheese mixture down the center and place 2- eggplant strips, leaving about 1 inch of noodle at the end clear to close up the roll. Roll tightly, and place upright in the baking dish.
  8. Repeat until all of the ingredients are used and rolls fill the baking dish.
  9. Cover with more tomato sauce, remaining mozzarella cheese, and more parmesan if desired.
  10. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until bubbly, serve with more sauce if desired.
  11. *If freezing this dish, cover tightly with foil (or make in a container with an air-tight lid). To heat, remove from freezer and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, until center is hot and sauce is bubbling.

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