Speedy mini-lasagna stacks with pesto and marinara

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minilasagnaopenshotHow would you like a super fast way to make lasagna?  I know I do a lot of pasta making from scratch on this site and I wanted to show you guys a really fast way to make lasagna without having to make or boil noodles and that would cook up much faster than regular lasagna.  This is also a much lighter lasagna – it doesn’t have any bechamel or ricotta cheese in it, just a little sprinkling of mozzarella on top to finish it off. And it’s incredibly delicious. In fact, I think it’s maybe my all time favorite lasagna.

The secret to this method is that you use won ton wrappers.  Do you know that won ton wrappers are just fresh pasta sheets?  That’s right.  And they are pre-cut and easy to use.  You can find wonton wrappers in produce aisle in the refrigerated area.  The pasta sheets are very thin and delicate, so there is no need to boil them prior to assembling the lasagna. I make little mini lasagna stacks with them – just layering the pasta sheets and the sauce.  It’s so simple and easy and because they are so light, they bake up in just about 20 minutes and then a few extra minutes to brown the top and melt the cheese.

it’s the combination of of pesto and marinara that is so incredible!

 

This recipe is so light – I don’t use any ricotta or bechamel sauce. I layer marinara sauce and pesto sauce together.  The combination is out of this world – you really have to try it. I made my pesto with spinach, since basil is not that great this time of year.  I love spinach pesto – it’s so fresh and vibrant.  In a pinch, you can use ready made pesto but honestly – you can make pesto in 30 seconds in your food processor, so why not make it fresh?  It’s so much better.  Just substitute fresh spinach, if you want, for basil in a pesto recipe. This makes a great vegetarian main dish or a nice side dish.

You can make these mini lasagna stacks in separate au gratin dishes, which are nice to serve to guests.  You can also just make up a batch in a regular baking dish.  They are easy to scoop out and serve – no slicing lasagna here!

This makes a great vegetarian main dish or a side dish.

you can make these in individual serving dishes

 

 

Mini Lasagna Stacks with Pesto and Marinara Sauce

 

 

for a printable recipe click here

I use Nasoya brand won ton wrappers.  Each package has 50 square pasta sheets in it.

You can do 4 mini lasagna stacks from each package, using 12 squares per lasagna

You can either make all 4 in one baking dish or use 4 individual small gratin dishes.

Note: You can make these lasagna stacks ahead of time.  Just assemble and refrigerate.  Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature, about a half hour, before baking. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of wonton wrappers (I used Nasoya)
  • ¾ cup freshly made pesto (I made mine using spinach)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (I added some red hot chili pepper to mine for a little spice)
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • freshly ground pepper

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Prepare either a baking dish or four small gratin dishes by spraying with a little nonstick cooking spray.

Layer the lasagna stacks by strarting with a square of pasta, spreading about a teaspoon of marinara sauce on top and then about a teaspoon of pesto on that.  Add another square of pasta and repeat.  You don’t need much marinara sauce at all on each sheet and you can even skip every other layer for the pesto.  It’s up to you. Repeat layers until you have used 12 squares for each stack.  Top with marinara, some pesto and a sprinkling of the mozzarella.  Add a few pine nuts on top of each stack and then a pinch of the oregano and some freshly ground pepper. Cover tightly with foil.

If using individual gratin dishes, place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the lasagna for about 20 minutes and then remove foil. Bake for an additional 7 -10 minutes, or until cheese on top has melted to your liking. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes to set up a little before serving.

Note:  You can freeze these lasagna stacks.  To do this, place a sheet of wax paper on a small rimmed baking sheet. Remove each lasagna stack from the baking dishwith a spatula and place on the wax paper. Place in freeze until firm, about one hour.  Place into ziplocks to freeze, removing as much air as you can or use your vacuum sealer.

About The Italian Dish 29 Articles
My name is Elaine and I live in neighboring Okemos. My mother, Angela, was from Italy and I guess I just have that Italian gene in me — I love to feed people. I began this blog to teach people how to cook. It pains me that so many people do not cook for themselves and instead order carryout five nights a week. Cooking from scratch is much easier than most people think. It's healthier and cheaper. Cook along with me — I'll show you how. I love photography and, in a previous life, was a painter. My food photography enables me to really show you how to create things, step by step. I love the beauty of food and the creativity of the kitchen. Developing my own recipes is just another way to fill a canvas. I hope you enjoy what I love so much — cooking for people and the joy of the table.