Lasagna Roll-ups with Classico Family Favorites Sauce

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I wanted to make a delicious family dinner that the girls could have fun making with me. We decided to do Lasagna Roll-ups & Breadsticks with Classico Family Favorites Sauces.

Click here to save $1 off Classico favorites when you buy two jars!

Heinz Classico Family Favorites Sauce

Ada found the alfredo sauce at Walmart for dipping our breadsticks in!

Heinz Classico Sauce

The breadsticks turned out just okay, so I’m not going to share the recipe with you. If I find a better one then I’ll share it. The Lasagna Roll-ups were AMAZING though, so I will share that recipe with you :) Ada is so serious while helping, it’s adorable. Heinz Classico Lasagna Roll ups  karainthekitchen com   1 of 1

They loved helping twist the dough: Heinz Classico Lasagna Roll ups  karainthekitchen com   1 of 1 2

And spreading the cheese mixture on the noodles with their little spatulas: Heinz Classico Lasagna Roll ups  karainthekitchen com   1 of 1 3

So proud of their work!

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Pretty roll-ups all lined up in the pan, ready to be covered with sauce and cheese. Heinz Classico Lasagna Roll ups  karainthekitchen com   1 of 1 6

After being in the oven for only 20 min. they come out cheesy, melted, and ready to be devoured! Heinz Classico Lasagna Roll ups  karainthekitchen com   1 of 1 7

This recipe made enough to fill two pans, so I cooked one up and froze the other. Try making these with your kids! They will have so much fun. I was really impressed with how well my girls did…even if we did have a little meltdown because cheese was coming out of the sides. I told Lola the more cheese the better :)

Lasagna Roll-ups
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Perfect for little hands to help make!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6-8
  • 18 lasagna noodles
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 jar Classico Parmesan & Romano Cheese Family Favorites Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Basil
  • For the filling:
  • 30 ounces Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cups Grated Asiago (or Parmesan) Cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil, Minced
  • 1 pound Mozzarella, Grated
  1. Cook lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain and lay flat on a large sheet of aluminum foil.
  2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned throughout. Drain any excess grease, then add Classico Sauce, salt, pepper, and basil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, make the filling by combining ricotta, eggs, Asiago, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil. Stir to combine.
  4. To assemble, spoon a little sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 in. pan. Spread 2-3 tablespoons ricotta filling on each noodle, then roll them up. Lay in pan, top with remaining sauce, grated mozzarella, and grated Asiago.
  5. If baking immediately, bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until melted and bubbly.
  6. If baking from frozen bake, covered in foil, at 350 for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 15 minutes, or until lasagna is done.

New Ragú TraDish Mini Personal Lasagnas

As part of ModernMom Insiders, I was sent a promotional item to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% mine and this recipe is my original twist on a classic.

Have you ever made homemade lasagna before? The first time I did, I was surprised at how hard it was to keep the lasagna noodles from tearing once they were cooked. It was a long process that was totally worth it in the end, but I don’t have that kind of time on a daily basis.

Today, I’m sharing my twist on a classic lasagna recipe. It’s ready in 30 minutes and your kids will love helping you assemble the personal lasagnas!

I used Ragú®’s Old World Style® Traditional Sauce, cheese raviolis, and mozzarella cheese. So easy!

Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce is made with 11 juicy tomatoes, making it its richest, thickest recipe versus their previous OWS formula.

Ada & Lola were so excited to help me on our assembly line! I did the sauce, they were the ravioli and cheese distributors.

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Sauce, raviolis, repeat.

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Little (clean) helping hands!

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Ready for cheese:

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Finally the messiest & most fun part – topping with cheese!

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Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, brown under the broiler, serve with garlic bread and a green salad and you’ve got a perfect Italian meal!

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We invited the Parkers over for dinner, we go way back! Tiana and I have been best friends since we were three years old. We both married boys who speak French and each have two kids.

I busted out the tablecloth and cloth napkins for our feast! So much fun with this bunch, we could talk and laugh for hours.

I tend to take pictures right after everyone takes a huge bite…look at Lola!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Mini Personal Lasagnas
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Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 9
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce
  • 1 (20 oz.) package refrigerated cheese raviolis
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place oven-safe ramekins on counter.
  3. Boil refrigerated raviolis according to package directions (approx. 10 min.) and drain.
  4. Spoon about a Tablespoon of sauce into the bottom of each ramekin.
  5. Layer raviolis on top, we used three for each layer.
  6. Follow with another layer of sauce, and another layer of raviolis, repeating until you have reached the top of the ramekin and ended with the sauce layer.
  7. Top each lasagna generously with mozzarella cheese.
  8. Arrange mini-lasagnas on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted. Broil for 5-10 minutes until cheese is browned.

For more authentic Italian recipe ideas, visit:

Also, Ragú has a Better and Better Sweepstakes running right now that you should go enter! You can win Authentic Italian themed prizes, including a grand prize trip to Italy for a family of four at Yes, please!

One Skillet Taco Bake

I made this up the week we moved into our house. I had some dry pasta, canned tomatoes and beans, taco seasoning, and ground beef. Voila! Ze One Skillet Taco Bake was born. Seriously easy, incredibly fast, and my whole family eats it. Mark this one down as a winner!IMG_2138

One Skillet Taco Bake
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Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 5
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups rotelle pasta
  • Garnishes:
  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Grated cheese
  • Ranch dressing
  • Sour cream
  1. Over medium heat in a cast iron skillet, brown ground beef.
  2. Drain the fat.
  3. Add taco seasoning and tomatoes with liquid and stir, incorporating all of the seasoning.
  4. Stir in the black beans, pasta, and1/4 cup water.
  5. Cover skillet, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Check the pasta and give it a stir, covering again, and simmering for 10 minutes more, or until pasta is cooked.
  7. Serve with garnishes of choice and enjoy!



Our Picnic Dinner with Stouffer’s Satisfying Skillets

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

As you all know, we just moved. Needless to say, there have been a lot of pizza and fast food dinners going on in our house recently. It’s so hard to prepare meals when you don’t have anything unpacked. I barely got the kitchen boxes emptied and our dining room table set up yesterday!

I missed not having a WalMart nearby when we lived in Santa Cruz. Three years ago, I never would have dreamed that I would say those words! But it’s true, I missed it. The Santa Maria WalMart has a new grocery addition, where Linens-n-Things used to be. It is so bright and new, and was empty when I went shopping at 8 PM! #Dinner4Two #shopMatt & I put the girls down to bed and decided to have our own little picnic dinner in our new house. We got crazy and even busted out some sparkling cider! It was fun to toast to this new chapter in our lives, talk, laugh, & eat a simple meal uninterrupted.#Dinner4Two #shop#Dinner4Two #shopI was impressed with the food! When I thought of Stouffer’s before, I thought of squishy lasagna and single-serve freezer meals. These are different. They are in the frozen section, but in a bag. You just have to place it in the pan on medium for 8 minutes then stir, then cook 10 more minutes stirring frequently (there is also a microwave option). I thought they tasted fresh and flavorful, and were perfect for us. Each package serves 2, so we had more than enough food with leftovers for lunch. These would be a welcome meal for a new mom, busy family, or new neighbors! #Dinner4Two #shop

Penne with Tomato, Basil, Olives, & Pecorino

A few weeks ago, Matt texted me and said he had dinner taken care of for Sunday night. Okay! Awesome! Best text ever! The Jamie Oliver Foundation had come to Google and dropped off “Weekend Survival Kits” for employees to take home. Matt chose the Penne with Tomato, Basil, Olives, and Pecorino. It came with everything, down to the little container of sea salt. It’s very similar to my Pasta Italiano, so I was in heaven! Fresh and fulfilling.

Sidenote: I am loving the #ABeautifulMess app for writing and doodling on your photos! Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and they have the cutest borders and graphics. I used it on both photos below.

Matt was so cute about everything. He kept asking me questions as he was cooking & even put that little basil there so it looked pretty for a picture. We paired the meal with our favorite Trader Joe’s salad – Spinach with Cranberries, Gorgonzola Cheese, and Pecans.

Penne with Tomato, Basil, Olives, & Pecorino

Penne with Tomato, Basil, Olives, & Pecorino
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Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 3.5 ounces kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, torn
  • 1 chunk pecorino cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, then bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Place the tomatoes into a large roasting tin, drizzle them with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in warm oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Once water is boiling, add the penne pasta and cook until al dente.
  4. Once roasted, squish the tomatoes with a fork to release juices. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and set aside.
  5. Combine the drained pasta, tomato mixture, olives, and basil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with grated pecorino.
  6. Enjoy!

On Monday night, I had to get my workout in after the girls went to bed. Matt asked if I wanted some leftover pasta after I was done, and I said yes. He said he saved some for me, so after I finished I walked over to see a tupperware with 4 or 5 bites left! I was starving and he was so ashamed!! I made a huge deli sandwich which he ended up finishing for me :) Penne with Tomato, Basil, Olives, & Pecorino

Pesto Pasta Chicken Salad

My aunt and uncle came up to visit us a few weekends ago, it was such a fun time! We went to the Boardwalk & walked along the wharf. Aunt Lizzie with Lola & I:

On their way up, I texted and asked if they wanted to grab lunch somewhere when they arrived. My uncle responded with, “What, you don’t have a gourmet meal waiting for us?” I knew he was kidding, but then realized that I had this awesome pasta salad sitting in the fridge! So we had a good laugh and ate it when they got here.

This salad tastes wonderful warmed up, or cold straight out of the fridge. I love a versatile dish!

As I was slicing the mozzarella, Ada walked up behind me and said, “Oooooohhhhhh! CHEESE! That’s good for me, right?” Right, little one. You are so completely right :)

Pesto Pasta Chicken Salad Recipe

adapted from Real Simple

1 lb. whole wheat penne pasta

4  boneless, skinless chicken thighs (3/4 pound)

1  tablespoon  olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper

1/2  cup  chopped pitted kalamata olives

1  cup  halved bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)

3/4  cup  walnut pesto

Walnut Pesto Recipe:

1 cup walnuts

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste

2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

2 cups fresh basil leaves

Toss walnuts, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, cheese, and basil into food processor. Pulse while adding olive oil in a stream.

Once desired consistency is achieved, taste and add salt if needed.

Pasta Salad Directions:

Cook  pasta until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain and return to pot to let cool.

Heat oven to 400° F. Rub the chicken with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes; shred. (You could sub any chicken

here. I took the time to cook the thighs and could taste a difference; my husband said he thought he was eating a

rotisserie chicken the whole time! So I’ll be saving myself the work and using easier chicken from now on).

Toss the pasta, shredded chicken, olives, and bocconcini with the pesto and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Top with seasonings to taste and freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy!

Ziti al Forno Pasta Recipe

When I worked at Olive Garden, Five Cheese Ziti al Forno was my most common meal choice. I LOVE a good, cheesy, baked pasta. (Al forno means from the oven in Italian). This recipe is one I made up the first time I had my in-laws over for dinner! It’s simple, dirties only one bowl, and makes a ton that of food that reheats beautifully for lunches. Just ask the husband.

Ziti al Forno Pasta Recipe

Ziti al Forno Recipe
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Cuisine: Italiano
Serves: 12
  • 1 lb. pasta - I use whole wheat
  • 24 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, mix pasta, ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella cheese, egg, and half of the jar of spaghetti sauce.
  4. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan and spoon in pasta mixture. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce, followed by the parmesan cheese and the rest of the mozzarella.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, then turn on the broiler. Cook 5 minutes more to get that nice, browned, cheesy crust on top.
  6. Enjoy!

Ada’s little plate, she wanted hers to be in a picture :)

Broccoli, Carrot, & Cheese Orzo

I saw this recipe on Weelicious and thought it sounded healthy & fast, so I made it. It didn’t disappoint! Ada ate a whole bowl and Matt & I ate the rest. I doubled the broccoli because we love it, and it had a broccoli soupishness to it. I just made that a word, it’s official. Soup-ish-ness! I also let everything go in the food processor longer so that the vegetables were smaller and added more cheese. More cheese is always a good thing in my book! This would be a perfect meal to serve on St. Patrick’s Day because of the green color! That is, if you’re not making corned beef & cabbage.

Apologies for the iPhone photos, but my nice camera was downstairs. When you have a hungry toddler and a baby on your hip, you just want to sit down and eat what you can while it’s hot!

Broccoli, Carrot, and Cheese Orzo Recipe – adapted from Catherine at Weelicious

1 clove garlic
1/4 of a large yellow onion
2 medium carrots
2 cups broccoli
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup orzo (small, rice-like pasta)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Put onion and garlic in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add broccoli and carrots to the bowl and pulse, scraping down the sides as needed. Continue pulsing until the vegetables are finely chopped.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the vegetable mixture, raw orzo and salt and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the water and chicken broth to the pot and continue to cook over medium heat. Let it cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, or until some of the liquid evaporates and the pasta thickens up.

At this point, stir in the parmesan cheese and mix in until melted. Spoon into individual serving bowls, top with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with more cheese. A good thing :) Enjoy!

Santa Rosa Chicken Salad Recipe

Santa Rosa Chicken Salad -

A couple of weeks ago, we had our friends over for FHE. I made this salad and this one…both delicious and filling! We love, love, LOVE this salad and it’s always a hit whenever I bring it anywhere. Hope you like it!

Santa Rosa Chicken Salad -


Santa Rosa Chicken Salad
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  • 1 box Uncle Ben's long-grain wild rice
  • Rotisserie chicken, cubed
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1 yellow or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of cooked asparagus, chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Dressing:
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. Combine dressing ingredients and set aside. Cook rice according to package directions (I don't use the seasoning packet) & cool.
  2. Toss rice together with all salad ingredients and add dressing. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving to let flavors marinate. (I thought it tasted better for lunch the next day!) Serve and enjoy.

Macaroni & Cheese

With cauliflower?! Yep. And it tastes good? YEP!

This recipe is adapted from Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook. My mom gave it to me as a Mothers Day gift when I was pregnant with Ada (2 years ago), and I am finally getting around to making some of the recipes! Jessica makes purees out of vegetables and sneaks them into food so that her kids get more nutrients without even knowing it. In this dish, I couldn’t even taste the cauliflower and was amazed at how quickly it comes together. I added extra cheese and breadcrumbs on top for texture. I even made Ada her own little dish. It’s toddler approved!

Macaroni & Cheese – Serves 4

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni

1 T. olive oil

1 T. flour

1/2 c. skim milk

1/2 c. cauliflower or butternut squash puree

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided

4 oz. cream cheese (next time I will reduce this by an ounce)

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. paprika

1/8 t. pepper

1 c. breadcrumbs

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander.

While pasta is cooking, warm a saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, then flour, stirring constantly until mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetable puree, 1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, cream cheese, seasonings, and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in macaroni to combine.

Spoon macaroni into an oven safe dish and sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are toasted.