Heart-Healthy Lasagna Roll-Ups

Heart-Healthy Pesto Lasagna Roll-Ups with whole-wheat breadsticks and a light side salad.

The term “heart-healthy” doesn’t necessarily conjure thoughts of delicious food. But I’m going to help turn that around. Even incorporating a few heart-healthy foods into your diet can make a big impact on your health — and they can taste good, too.

Since it’s American Heart Month — and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner — we tend to think about the heart a lot in February. Whether it’s showing affection toward your sweetheart, or that pumping vessel in your chest keeping you alive, the heart deserves a lot of love.

You can combine the two with this heart-healthy lasagna roll-up recipe. Make it for Valentine’s Day and you’ll keep your heart, and your sweetheart, happy. Now, I will say that this is a little “carbier” than some recipes, but for a holiday like Valentine’s Day, it’s OK to splurge a little bit.

I’ve been making lasagna roll-ups for several years using different types of fillings. Chicken and cheese. Spinach and ricotta. For this recipe though, I wanted to use something a little more unique that really packs in heart-healthy ingredients. So I found this spinach, basil and walnut pesto recipe.

Heart-Healthy Lasagna Roll-Ups Ingredients

Ingredients for a spinach, basil, and walnut pesto.

 

Spinach? Check. Walnuts? Check. Basil? Well, no check, but it tastes and smells delicious. These are all great, heart-healthy foods. Roll up this pesto into a brown-rice or whole-wheat lasagna noodle and you’ve got the makings of a delicious meal.

Pesto Lasagna Roll-Ups

Heart-Healthy Roll-Up

Pre-baked roll-up.

Ingredients:

  • 9 brown-rice or whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2–3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish with tomato sauce and set aside. Boil water in a large pot.
  2. Meanwhile blend basil, spinach, walnuts, garlic cloves and lemon zest together in a blender or food processor. Pour in olive oil, add Parmesan cheese, and process for a few more seconds. Add salt to taste.
  3. Carefully place lasagna noodles in water and cook until al dente. Once cooked, pull each noodle out of the water and place on waxed paper to cool slightly.
  4. Take a spatula full of pesto and spread it on the noodle. Roll up the noodle and place seam-side down in baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles and pesto.
  5. Top each roll with a little tomato sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes.

Note: You can serve the lasagna rolls-ups with these delicious honey-herb whole-wheat breadsticks and a nice light salad.

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