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Speedy Mini Lasagna Stacks with Pesto and Marinara Sauce

How 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. 


  • 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 



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 dish with a spatula and place on the wax paper. Place in freezer until firm, about one hour.  Place into ziplocks to freeze, removing as much air as you can or use your vacuum sealer.  

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Reader Comments (43)

These look delicious! I'm definitely going to try this for a quick weeknight dinner.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeauna

What a great idea for a single person!! Thank you!

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcye

My favorite part is actually the pine nuts. Love this all together though anda great way to use up some pesto I have in my freezer.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin @ The Spiffy Cookie

I always wanted to try these wonton wrappers for ravioli instead of always making fresh pasta dough and here you come out with this great dish!! Will definitely try it!! Thanks!!

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAntonette

Can you use these wrappers to make ravioli as well? Recipe looks wonderful

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFran

What a grand idea....

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpeggy braswell

Some while back i made a crossover between eggpalnt parm and lasagnoa..using both tomato and pesto. I t recieved rave reveiws from my fellow chefs who originally thought the idea was lame.
These two sing only other comment is that I would add some "tooth" to the mix with some roasted veg. & or protein.Perhaps some roasted eggplant or peppers . As always it is a delight to hear from you and to share your amazing talent and creations.
Wes from Wesipes

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwes

This is really clever and great way to keep portions under control - and avoid the mess of cutting into a big baking dish. Love!

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Nova

This is awesome! We do something similar and make lasagna cupcakes using the wonton in a small muffin tin . . . makes a great party appetizer as well. I look forward to trying it with the pesto & marinara!!! Thanks!

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe B's

Can't wait to try these! I have twin 4 yr old boys that eat and eat and eat so I think I am going to make a ton and freeze! Healthy and ready to go! Thank you for sharing this idea!!

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlison D. From CA

These look great as individual portions - and perfect to entertain with!

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChocolate Shavings

Great idea Elane, I guess you're right, wonton wrappers are pasta! This would be fun for my Bunco girls!

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

What a neat idea! These look fantastic!!!!

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

How brilliant is this? So quick, so easy, so delicious, and no besciamella required! Thank you!

March 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeni

I made your stacked wonton lasagna tonight and we loved it. I had never made any type of pesto before and your right it was so very easy....loved the fresh spinach pesto. The only thing that I added your recipe was Italian sausage. Thank you for a great recipe.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnge

Trying this today. Perfect for Lent! Thanks for the great food...keep it coming!

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercarrie


March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaribel

I like your blog

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPun

I knew that I had to make these at first sight, but it took a couple weeks. Got the wontons last week, bought marinara yest. and make your Spinach Pesto. Used all the pesto-too much? The wontons certainly are very thin. I thought that I had set four down, and it was eight! Took them back apart, but did use several double layers intentionally. I put sliced mushrooms twice between layers. Had some leftover ricotta and used a little of that twice. Should have skipped ricotta, didn't enjoy it.
Then forgot the pine nut garnish! Rats. Put it on three remaining pieces going to freezer.
I loved how you had the wontons off set in some pictures. I did that but it wasn't noticeable. Will try again, as I certainly will be making these again. Very tasty.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGail

What a great idea to combine Lasagne with pesto!

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterculinary

I love your blog! These all look so wonderful. Please check out my blog if you would like.

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKara

Hey Elaine,
As you may know, I love most of your recipes and have cooked several with excellent results. However, this lasagne using won ton wrappers was a disaster for me. I made the lasagne following your directions except I included a layer of sauteed mushrooms mostly to add a little mouth feel. The resultant lasagne was very pasty and had a raw dough taste which turned off many of my diners.Coming from New York, I had available many Asian groceries and I bought a brand of wrappers widely used by Chinese cooks in the neighborhood rather than the more expensive Nasoya brand. Could that have been the problem? . I've used this brand before to make ravioli with good results. Any ideas would be appreciated.

April 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Ambrosino

From The Italian Dish:

Joe: How thick were the won ton wrappers? They are usually very, very thin and will cook all the way through, no problem, in 20 minutes in this recipe. It must have been the brand because I just can't imagine them still having a raw dough taste after that amount of time. Very strange. Try again with the Nasoya brand.

April 5, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I followed the recipe faithfully and it was a disaster as well. I used Nasoya brand wrappers. It was a glop of raw ish pasta and nothing gave the layers any differentiation. I will try again using the pasta sheets but try a more traditional lasagna recipe. Or Wes' suggestion of adding some ingredients with "tooth. You'll notice that most of the commenters haven't actually made the recipe they just thought it a great idea.

June 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChefJeff

From The Italian Dish:

ChefJeff: Wow, I just don't know what to say. It's actually one of my favorite things to make. I love this recipe. The wonton wrappers cook up so quickly - I don't understand why yours were still raw. All I can think of is maybe you did not put enough sauce on or maybe did not cover cover tightly with foil to bake it? The foil helps hold the moisture in, cooking the pasta sheets. This is a delicate dish with thin layers of marinara and pesto. If you want more ingredients, feel free to add them. Sorry you had trouble with the dish, but thanks for your comment.

June 10, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Perhaps did not steam enough, plent of sauce. Covered a Pyrex dish with no rim so closure is an issue. I did try & seal ( & was cognizant of that issue) but with straight sides it is an issue. Let my experience be a cautionary note. I am glad it come out so well for you.

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChefjeff

Well I for one have made lasagna using the won ton wrappers several times. We usually make them in a cupcake tin to get mini ones for party appetizers . . . maybe those having a problem with under cooked pasta have sauces that are thicker w/ less liquid to cook the pasta? Just a thought/ troubleshooting. I've not tried the pesto & marinara combination but since we have some fresh spinach-basil pesto in the fridge I'm going to try this in my gratin dishes!! I'm going to try adding ricotta to one as well but I was curious Elaine, is there a reason that you didn't use ricotta in this recipe? I love your site & many of your recipes . . . you have given us great ideas and inspired us to try several of your delicious recipes. I look forward to perusing the index & finding others!!! thanks

June 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharita

Okay, I've gone completely crazy making things from your fabulous site over the last few days! REALLY, TRULY!!! I have been blessed with an abundance from my California garden right now, and some of these dishes might not be so easy to replicate as lusciously once I'm down to my preserved stash later in the year. And that point brings me to this point...these easy little lasagna's freeze WONDERFULLY! : )
Thank you Elaine!

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I just made these mini lasagnas tonight and we loved them. My husband usually finds vegetarian dishes to be missing something, but he thought these were great. Using the wonton wrappers made them so light. I used the pesto every other layer and the wrappers I bought were so thin, I'd probably go to 18 layers next time so that one lasagna would be enough for an adult as a main dish. I also added the mozzarella at layer 7.

The one thing I would change next time is to put the pine nuts on top after I removed the foil. Mine got a little soft from having steamed while the dish was covered.

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRainwood

omg i totally love these..and so easy to make.i never made anything with pesto before because i thought i wouldnt like it but i made the spinach pesto and i am crazy in love with it..i made more of these and put them in the freezer for a fast meal when i am craving these again,like right now.LOL..if you have not made these your missing out on a great meal.

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterglo

I have made the won ton lasagnas twice now and each time they are wonderful. In fact, I am just finishing up with some pictures of this dish for my blog..According to Braswell..they are so light, easy, and great for freezing. You have a winner here as far as I am concerned.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpeggy braswell

I made these last night - easy to put together, looked good, smelled great, came out looking just like picture, tasted good too! I made sure each sheet was separate, but they did tend to be gummy, or stuck together if that is the right way to explain the final product. I did make sure that they pan was well-sealed with foil to make sure the steam did not escape. I used Nasoya brand, and cooked them 25 minutes at 350, then browned for 10 minutes. Any suggestions on what I can do to eliminate the "gummies"? Otherwise, it is perfect! Thanks!

October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCam

Not to beat a dead horse Elaine, but I believe all the posts concerning " gumminess "of the lasagne have nothing to do with how thin the won ton wrappers are. I actually tried the recipe again using Nasoya instead of the brand I used previously with the same disappointing result.I do think won ton wrappers are great for ravioli, but for lasagne they cook too long and get gummy. I prefer to use sheets of uncooked pasta and cut them into "cocktail" size squares after they come out of the oven.

October 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Ambrosino

I made the LaSagna two weeks ago. I used frozen won ton wrappers from an Asian Marketplace. I thawed them completely. They are very thin and pliable. Be sure to get just one sheet at a time. Thawed my frozen homemade pesto. Made four stacks as a main course. I varied the ingredients by sheet--usually pesto and marinara, sometimes a small amount of shredded mozzarella and marinara (2 or 3 layers), sometimes just marinara. Cooked covered for 25 minutes, removed cover and browned top layer after spreading a little marinara and some shredded mozzarella. Was grand----served with caprese salad ( fresh tomatoes and basil). Accompanied by a white wine. The recipe is a winner.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterluke

I love this site. You make us all feel so capable of being good cooks.

November 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLesley Buse

Elaine, this is a great idea for a really fast, taste of Italian. Thanks Joe, for the tip to use lasagna noodles. I re-made these using the "no boil" lasagna noodles that I had in the pantry. I made two individual stacks using 4 lasagna noodles for each stack, and cut them in serving sizes when done. Same great flavor, they looked and tasted great, and made up in a heartbeat! Best of all, no gummy taste or texture! My Mom was Italian; she would have loved these!

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCam

This is brilliant. Must try it!

January 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

Made these tonight. I found them to be far too dense and there was just a raw dough taste.
We followed recipe exactly.
I thought maybe adding some ricotta could lighten them up. Or cooking at a higher temperature? I am just not sure.
Love the idea, but it was just pasta taste, even the pesto was overpowered by it -- and that takes some doing.
The wonton was very thin and we were very careful to make sure it was one wonton at a time.
Any suggestions?

February 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMosieOsie

wow that chefjeff guy is a d%@#, what is he whining about? thanks for the idea i had fun with it!

and i LOVE this blog!

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJazzy

Jazzy, I think you totally miss the point of why people like Elaine write blogs. We are passionate about our cooking and appreciate valid criticism. Your comments make it seem that Elaine needs to be defended. I hardly think that's the case. and, by the way I happen to be one who has actually used the recipe and like Jeff was disappointed with my results. That does nothing to take away from Elaine's cooking, or her blog. Not every comment has to be glowing praise. Grow up!

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Ambrosino

From The Italian Dish:

Okay guys I made these again last night and they turned out great. It remains one of my favorite dishes. There have been a few comments about the texture and density of this finished dish. My conclusion is that it just must be a matter of differences in taste. I actually like the density of the layers of the pasta sheets. I don't find any raw taste at all and I don't think they are gummy. I think if you make sure you cover the pan tightly with foil while you bake them, they cook all the way through. They are a different kind of lasagna, so if you think they will be like regular lasagna, this might not be for you. So I appreciate the exchange in the comments - I love to hear what all of you think - but I guess it just comes down to a diversity in taste! Some people will like it and some won't. Thanks for trying it!

March 13, 2014 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

This looks deslishes! Will try it soon.


August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDesme

Wow this actually looks to die for. Thanks so much for this recipe. Will be making this on the weekend..


April 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterplasterers bristol

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