This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Italian Beef Rollups have soft pasta rolled up with a savory beef filling, then baked smothered in sauce and cheese.
Get ready for some seriously delicious comfort food!
Italian Beef Rollups are similar to a beef manicotti, but the soft pasta rollups are an old-fashioned recipe of leftover mashed potatoes and flour, plus a little salt. This potato pasta is one variation sometimes referred to as dish rag pasta in Italian cuisine.
A savory beef filling is made by braising a beef chuck roast low and slow in tomato paste, a hearty and bold red wine, canned crushed tomatoes, beef stock, and seasonings. Once the beef is fall-apart tender, shred with a fork.
The beef is rolled up in the soft pasta, then baked with more tomatoes and two kinds of cheese on top until hot and bubbly.
Why You’ll Love Italian Beef Rollups
- The soft pasta rolled around the savory beef filling and the sauce and cheese is absolutely fantastic.
- This dish is different (in a good way) than the typical Italian American dishes most often served…and your dinner guests will love it!
- You can cook the beef filling ahead of time and make the soft pasta ahead too. Then assemble and bake the casserole when ready to serve.
- The soft pasta can be used for many other dishes – plus it’s a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.
“Made the rolls with my 9 year old daughter. She learned and enjoyed the whole process! We always have leftover mashed potatoes and I’ve been creative with it, but never made rolls and I am so glad I did!! Family loved it and planning on making it again! – Luv2eat
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Beef – Buy a three-pound chuck roast for this recipe. It’s a flavorful and budget-friendly cut of beef that benefits from long, slow cooking.
- Salt & Pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Onion – We suggest a sweet or yellow onion for this recipe.
- Tomato Paste
- Red Wine – Choose a bold red wine such as Merlot
- Canned Crushed Tomatoes
- Dry Herbs – Basil and Oregano
- Beef Stock or Beef Broth
- Leftover Mashed Potatoes
- All Purpose Flour
- Cheese – Provolone, Mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses are all used
Special Tools You’ll Need
- Dutch Oven
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling Pin
- Large Saute Pan
- Sheet Tray
- Parchment Paper
- Cheese Graters
How do you make Italian Beef Rollups?
- Cook the beef filling until fork tender. Shred with a fork. (You can do this a day ahead of time.)
- Prepare mashed potatoes, then combine with flour and salt to make a soft dough. Roll into 12 rounds and fry lightly in a dry pan. (This step can also be done ahead of time.)
- Lay out each round and top with a slice of provolone cheese, then a spoonful of the beef filling.
- Role each round around the filling and lay in a baking pan.
- Top with crushed tomatoes and cheese.
- Bake until hot and bubbly and the cheese has melted.
- Broil to brown the top if you’d like before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make other recipes with the ‘dish rag pasta’? You sure can! Other recipes we’ve seen cut or tear the pasta into smaller pieces – then it’s served, just as any other pasta would be served, with tomato sauce, Alfredo sauce, or this recipe. Or – just like a crepe – you could make a sandwich, or spread with peanut butter and jelly for the kids. The possibilities are endless!
- Can I make the beef in a slow cooker? While we haven’t tried doing so ourselves, it should work.
- Can I use instant mashed potatoes in this recipe? This is another one that we haven’t tried ourselves, but we do think it would work. Just avoid making overly mushy mashed potatoes for the pasta dough.
This Beef Rollups recipe originally appeared on A Family Feast in September 2020. The post has been updated with additional information but the delicious recipe remains the same.
You might like these other pasta recipes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Salt and pepper all sides of the beef.
- In a medium heavy bottomed Dutch over medium high heat, add oil and sear the beef on all sides, about two minutes per side.
- Remove beef and add onions and cook two minutes.
- Add tomato paste and cook for another two minutes.
- Add the wine, deglaze then add the crushed tomatoes, dry basil, dry oregano and stock.
- Nestle the beef back in, cover and cook for 1 ½ hours. Turn beef over in the pot, cover and cook another 1 ½ hours.
- With two forks, shred beef into the liquid. Set shredded beef aside or if making a day ahead, refrigerate.
- Make the rollups by mixing the mashed potatoes, flour and salt to form a dough.
- Roll into a log and cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
- Flour your counter and roll the dough balls into a 7” circle with a rolling pin. They are easy to roll so I just rolled as I cooked.
- Heat a medium to large nonstick saute pan over medium and once hot, lay out one rollup and cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Have another one rolled and ready and remove the first one and replace with a new one. Repeat for all 12, wiping the pan of any flour a few times during the cooking process. If using right away, loosely cover with plastic and set aside. If making ahead, stack on a plate, cover with plastic and refrigerate.
- When ready to assemble, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Cover the parchment with about a cup of the crushed tomatoes.
- Lay out the 12 rollups on your counter and cover each with a slice of provolone cheese (cut the slice in half and lay the two halves end to end to cover to the edges).
- Heat the filling in the microwave if cold and divide the filling equally between the 12 rollups, about ½ cup or more each.
- Roll each tight and line up on the sheet tray, seam down.
- Spread the remaining two cups of crushed tomatoes over the tops of each.
- Divide the shredded mozzarella evenly over the tops of each.
- Sprinkle the tops with the Parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes.
- Place under the broiler until browned and serve.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.
*Russet potatoes work best for this recipe. Mashed potatoes made with waxy potatoes such as New Potatoes, may produce mixed results when mixed with flour and salt.