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!
If it’s love at first bite, you have to try my other Olive Garden knock-offs: Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup, Spinach Artichoke Dip, and Simple Weeknight Chicken Scampi.
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!
Weeknight Fettuccini with Sausage and Kale
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.
Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.
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Sticky Penguin says
Wow - that deep fryer must lead to some amazing experiments! And I love that you've made something that sounds so unlikely look so appealing. Much more than my sole encounter with a fried lasagne... https://penguinsandparentheses.blogspot.com/2010/04/fried-lasagne.html
Looks very good Kita, deep fryer would be dangerous at my house. I bet you are having fun with it can't wait to see what else you come up with.
Blog is the New Black says
ooo yum this looks soo good.
I could have a whole list of things you could fry.... ravioli is top of the list!
I am speechless. My decadent side says yes, yes, yes, but my healthy side says no, no, no. I think I am going with decadent this time. This looks delicious!
Jeff Rasmussen says
Deep-fried pickles. Oh please make deep-fried pickles! Trust me, nothing beats them, especially served with an aioli dip on the side. Oooh! And Mars Bars!
Just whatever you do, do not deep-fry chocolate cake.
I can't wait to see what you bust out! Good luck!
Lauren at Keep It Sweet says
Can I please come over for dinner?
Fresh and Foodie says
Holy crap. This. Is. Awesome.
Oh my word! I can only imagine how great that is! The fat kid in me is screaming for a piece!!! haha
Brooks at Cakewalker says
Way to go...what's wrong with a little indulgence, fried or otherwise? You've rocked it Kita!
Mary at n00bcakes says
Wow, that looks terrible and wonderful at the same time. Applause for creative deep-frying work! *claps*
That looks pretty damn good!!
Leanna @ Raptor Toe says
YES. PLEASE. NOW. LUNCH.
I have to say...I would love to try this! Looks delicious!
Priscilla - She's Cookin' says
Deep fried lasagna! OMG, way to get creative with the deep fryer 🙂
The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time says
I am SO jealous of your deep fryer. My thighs aren't, but I am. In answer to your question about the beer, I don't know. the carbonation works to tenderize the beef so you'd want to go with a soda of some kind if not beer. Coke? Ginger ale? They'd make for a sweeter gravy though. Would you be able to handle one of those very tasteless light beers? That would have the same result without the heavier taste.
Kimmy @ Lighter and Local says
Absolutely speechless right now. I want this right now.
Kimberly (Unrivaledkitch) says
these photos are glorious. i've made something like this before it is excellent on the fatty side of eating. Yum
The Harried Cook says
Ok... Now you've really gone and done it. I must have that now... and a deep-fryer too!
Chef Dennis says
oh , now your talking my language all that and deep fried too!! You sure know the way to a southern boys heart!
Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen says
I love that this is posted in "Fat kid friendly" totally makes me laugh! And yeah, This is brilliant and I want to eat all of those.
Danielle@Runs With Spatulas says
Oh geez, a deep fryer? That just spells trouble for my waistline right there... probably a good idea I don't get one of those. Especially after looking at the lasagna.
Jimmy Huang says
Now THAT's what i'm talking about! You can't go wrong deep frying anything!!!
That looks so awesome. I want to go through a deep frying phase!
Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels says
I need this deep fried lasagna in my life, right now. It looks amazing!! 🙂
Just the other day, I was thinking that I needed a fryer. Then, I thought, really, a fryer? Now, I realize I was right. I need this appliance! And, I want to try fried lasanga.
You fried lasagna - that's brilliant!! I hid my deep fryer a while ago because that thing is so tempting...and so delicious! Everything that you make in it comes out ten times better! 🙂
Noooo, not Olive Garden! I bet your fried lasagne taste much better than the food from there. What a yummy idea!
thanks Kita for linking this one up, I love it can you bring your new fryer over?
lol, i'd also deep fry anything, this looks amazing! any grease draining tips?
Wow, this is such a brilliant idea!! I've never thought to deep fry our lasagna...
Oh my! These look sinfully good!! 🙂
Maggie @ Vittles and Bits says
You never cease to amaze! Holy smokes, this looks incredible!! I can't wait to see what other things you have up your sleeve. A deep-fryer would be a very dangerous purchase for me haha!
Boil and stir together butter, white pepper, milk, parmesan, and feta cheese.
Did you mean ricotta cheese?
Leisa Plett says
I made this in the middle of the night, Lasagna Fritta is my favorite item on Olive Garden’s menu. I’m always afraid they’ll take it off the menu. But now you have empowered me with a copycat recipe. I think I finished making this a little after 2 am. I cut the recipe down and made 3 noodles, I ate half of it right away and the other half the next day. My husband was a little upset I didn’t share, but I didn’t care, it was calling my name from the fridge. Great recipe!!!! I’m going to make it again this weekend, I’ll make a whole batch and share this time, maybe.
Angie Daniels says
I'm at the point where it's chillin' in the freezer. I spread the milk and cheese mixture on each noodle, folded them up and they look flat. I seem to remember the ones from Olive Garden being fuller. Did I make a mistake somewhere?
This can depend on how tightly you roll and how much filling. You can always double down and use more filling less noodle. How did they turn out? I am totally craving this recipe right now!
You need to provide more instruction on step 1. I’m boiling away and this is FAR too thin to spread on noodles at its current consistency. Am I supposed to chill it until it thickens? Should the recipe call for less milk?