This Lasagna Fritta an Olive Garden Copycat recipe, is a breaded, deep-fried, traditional Italian dish. Layers of lasagna noodles, meat, cheese, and hearty tomato sauce come together in this comforting dinner.
If you love copycat recipes, Olive Garden lasagna fritta is going to be right up your alley.
This easy lasagna fritta recipe is one of my favorites.
What makes it especially delightful is the blend of red and white sauce, under and over the pasta, along with the texture of the fried lasagna. It is the best of flavors combined on one plate without me having to pick and choose.
Initially, I thought it was hard to get this olive garden copycat recipe perfect but it turns out it’s pretty simple!
What is Lasagna Fritta?
f you haven’t been to Olive Garden lately, you may be entirely in the dark as to the origins of this over-the-top, cheesy decadence.
Found on their appetizer section, it’s a rolled pasta dish filled with traditional lasagna filling and fried instead of oven baked. The pasta is then served over a bed of alfredo sauce and topped with a drizzle of classic marinara.
It’s savory, crispy with fried pasta and filling. The flavors blend so well together and aren’t lost in the layers of melted cheese you find in traditional lasagna. Needless to say, it made an impression.
What you need to make this recipe
This recipe requires a few ingredients and some prep work but is absolutely worth every ounce of delicious effort.
Gather lasagna noodles, milk, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, pepper, butter, your favorite marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, egg, bread crumbs, and ground sausage as shown in this recipe.
How to make Lasagna Fritta
Ok, this recipe is a little tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier! Here are our step-by-step photos and handy how-to make guide for this copy-cat Olive Garden recipe.
Start by prepping the cheese sauce, boiling the milk, and whisking in the parmesan, ricotta, white pepper, and butter. I also opted to add a heavy dose of Italian seasoning at this point.
Prep your pasta by boiling the noodles according to the package. After the pasta reaches al dente, drain it and hang it over a sanitized wire hanger so that the noodles don’t become stuck to one another in the pot.
Next, spread the milk and cheese mixture into each noodle. If using, now is when you sprinkle the cooked sausage over the center.
Roll up each pasta in thirds, like a piece of paper going into an envelope. Make sure you give yourself time to freeze the pasta at this point. Par-freezing the pasta for 1 hour helps the pasta firm up and retain its shape when you place it in the fryer.
It’s a vital part of making sure this recipe works. Don’t skip it.
Once the pasta has been in the freezer for 1 hour, prep your oil for frying in a deep fryer or Dutch oven with a heavy bottom and high sides. As a rule of thumb, for frying, make sure you have at least 2" above the oil of high walls to protect from oil splashing out minimizing the thread to burns and fire.
Dip the par frozen pasta in the egg wash and bread crumbs to get a nice coating and fry until crispy.
Remove the pasta from the fryer with a long-handled wire spoon. Set on a wire rack over a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain any excess oil while you assemble the platter as fancy as you like.
The final steps are lining the bottom of a plate with marinara and stacking the lasagna fritta on top like tilting dominoes. Finally, spoon heated marinara over the top and garnish.
For presentation, one big dish is beautiful when serving this. However, smaller serving plates for individual portions is pleasing as well.
This dish was originally discovered as an appetizer and is impressive at big parties for just that. But when it’s a regular weeknight, I serve this lasagna fritta with a salad as the main course and finish dinner with this million dollar pound cake.
Can I freeze my lasagna fritta?
Yes, you can freeze leftovers or uncooked, after the rolled-up stage where we initially put it in the freezer for one hour. Place the entree in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
How do I reheat?
Thaw completely in the fridge before reheating in the oven or air fryer.
Lasagna Fritta Variations
Create a meatless version of this fried lasagna by replacing the meat with any of the available plant-based substitutes available in your grocery store or nixing it all together.
Want to spice things up? Feel free to grab spicy Italian sausage for a nice kick.
Play with your fixings, the possibilities are endless:
- butternut squash
- ground beef
- different cheese additions
If you're also itching for some more easy Italian-inspired recipes, look no further. These recipes will warm you up inside and out!
If you’ve tried my Lasagna Fritta recipe or any other recipe on passthesushi.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also follow along for more good eats and travel tips on Instagram @passthesushi & @girlcarnivore, Twitter& Facebook.
For the Lasagna:
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 6 oz ricotta
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 7 lasagna noodles
- marinara sauce
- alfredo sauce
For the Breading:
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 cups Italian Bread
- Boil and stir together butter, white pepper, milk, parmesan, and ricotta cheese.
- Boil Lasagna noodles as directed.
- When the noodles are finished, spread a thin layer of cheese & milk mix along noodle and fold into 2 inch pieces.
- Let set in the freezer for 1 hour, placing something heavy on top to keep it together.
- When you take them out of the freezer, cut the pieces in half long-ways.
- Dip each piece in the milk/egg mixture, then the bread crumbs.
- Fry at 350° for 4 minutes
- Spread Alfredo on the bottom of the serving plate, placing each piece in the sauce.
- Drizzle marinara sauce on top.
I added a handful of Italian seasoning to the ricotta mixture when it was being boiled.
I also browned some fresh ground sausage and added it as a layer inside the roll-ups as well to my marinara sauce. Simply sprinkle the cooked ground sausage over the cheese layer before you roll the pasta up.
The original reference recipe calls for feta instead of ricotta, but I don’t really think feta would give the flavor I was going for, so I substituted the ricotta.
Adapted from Tastebook
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Hamilton Beach (35021) Deep Fryer, Cool Touch With Basket, 2 Liter Oil Capacity, Electric, Professional Grade
Ultrean Air Fryer, 4.2Qt Electric Hot Air Fryers Oven Oilless Cooker with LCD Digital Screen and Easily Detachable Frying Pot, ETL/UL Certified,1-Year Warranty,1500W
Nordic Ware, Big Sheet Jelly Role Pan
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 554mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g
Nutrition information provided is an estimate from nutritionix.com. For specific health concerns, please put the recipe into your Dr recommended nutrition calculator.