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Italian Beef Rollups have soft pasta rolled up with a savory beef filling, then baked smothered in sauce and cheese.

Italian Beef Rollups

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.


Italian Beef Rollups

How do you make it?

After mixing the mashed potatoes, flour and salt, the simple ‘pasta’ dough is rolled into circles, then cooked for a couple of minutes in a dry pan – similar to a crepe. (But easier to work with than a crepe!) You can make these a day ahead of time.

You can also make the beef filling a day ahead – in fact, we highly recommend that you do so.  You’ll braise a three-pound beef chuck roast low and slow for about three hours, in mixture of tomato paste, hearty and bold red wine, canned crushed tomatoes, beef stock, as well as dried basil and oregano. Once the beef is cooked and tender, shred it with a fork.


Italian Beef Rollups

Next, assemble your Italian Beef Rollups. Lay the cooked pasta circles out, then fill with the shredded beef. Roll each circle and place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Top with more crushed tomatoes as well as mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake for twenty minutes until heated through, then broil until the cheese is golden brown and caramelized.  Serve immediately – a side Caesar salad and garlic bread are great options.

Italian Beef Rollups

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!

You may enjoy these other pasta recipes:

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Italian Beef Rollups

Italian Beef Rollups

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: entree, pasta
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Italian


Italian Beef

3 pounds beef chuck

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion sliced into thick slices

6 tablespoons tomato paste

½ cup bold red wine such as merlot

1 14.5-oz can crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon dry basil

1 teaspoon dry oregano

2 cups beef stock or broth


2 cups leftover mashed potatoes*

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt


Flour for rolling the roll-ups

3 cups crushed tomatoes

12 slices provolone cheese

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Salt and pepper all sides of the beef.

In a medium heavy bottomed Dutch oven 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 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.


*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.

Keywords: Italian Beef Rollups, beef manicotti


Italian Beef Rollups

Italian Beef Rollups

Italian Beef Rollups


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  • Misty wrote:

    Can I use instant mashed potatoes? I HAVE a whole box of it and really want to use it up

    • Martha wrote:

      We’re not sure Misty…if you try it, I’d suggest making the mashed potatoes on the thicker/denser side. PLease let us know how it works out!

  • Laura wrote:

    I’m curious how much of the crush tomatoes are actually to be added to the beef “stew”? I only ask because I added it all, and then later it states to use the remaining crushed tomatoes. And I thought, “oh no, what remaining?!”

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi Laura

      Crushed tomatoes are used twice in the recipe and are listed twice. The first time they are used to cook the beef down and the second time they are split between the bottom of the pan and then over the rollups. When you are cooking the beef down, you will use one 14.5-ounce can. When you are assembling the rollups to bake, one cup goes on the bottom and two more over the top. You will need three cans total. (one can to cook with the beef and two cans to bake the rollups, with a little leftover at the end since two cans equal 29 ounces and three cups equal 24 ounces but suppose you could just use the last five ounces over as they bake).

      Good luck,

  • Luv2eat wrote:

    Made the rolls with my 9 yrs old daughter. She learned and enjoyed the whole process!!! We always have left over mash potatoes and I’ve been creative with it but never made rolls and I am so so glad I did!! Family loveD it and planning on making it again!! I love all recipes that are creative with left overs, especially since my family are so picky.
    I followed the recipe of mash potatoes and flour, but used Harvarti cheese Instead of provolone since that’s what I had on hand. Made meatballs instead of shredded beef cause I only had ground beef, but will try the exact recipe next time. Thank you Martha for the awesome left over idea!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you both enjoyed the recipe!

  • Flavia wrote:

    Was really excited to try this but I could not get the mashed potato/flour dough to work! The dough was just too sticky and couldn’t get it to roll out, I tried adding more flour and it just kept getting stickier. Any suggestions?

    • Jack wrote:


      Things that could possibly create this condition would be mashed potatoes too wet to start. Do you add a lot of milk or cream to your mashed potatoes when making them? Also I never compared potato types to see if one type acts differently than another in this recipe (Waxy vs starchy vs all-purpose). For example, I typically use Russet potatoes for my mashed which are low in moisture and fall into the starchy variety. I stay away high moisture waxy potatoes such as New Potatoes, French fingerling, Red Bliss, baby potatoes, creamers, Red Adirondack, or Russian Banana. All-purpose are middle of the road with starch and moisture and are sometimes also used for mashed with varieties such as Yukon Gold and general all-purpose. Sometimes I mix yellow and Russet but almost always use all Russet for mashed.
      Without knowing details, this is my guess on why your batch were too sticky.

      Good luck,

  • Terri R wrote:

    This can also be called Irish boxty. The wrapper for this being made up of potatoes and flour etc. would be the same ingredients for boxty (potato pancakes). Delicious!

    • Jack wrote:

      OK, now I want to do a post just on the wrapper. I bet there are many cultures that make this and call it something different. I added this to my to-do list.

  • sue reget wrote:

    I’m a little confused when you cut it in half and put it end to end. For some reason that doesn’t make sense to me. Do you have a picture for that step? My apologies.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sue – I’m sorry, we don’t have a photo of that step. But to explain a little more…the provolone cheeses is a round/circle slice and if you place that whole on the “dish rag” whole, it won’t reach to the edges. So, we suggest cutting the cheese slice in half then placing it lengthwise, end to end or tip to tip so it reaches the edges. Hope that helps?

  • Lou wrote:

    Can you make ahead and freeze to bake later?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lou – If you’d like to freeze before baking, I’d suggest freezing the cooked beef mixture and the “dish rags” separately – then thaw, bring back to room temperature, and do the assembly right before baking. To prevent the dish rags from sticking to each other as they freeze and thaw, place a sheet of parchment paper in between each one. Alternately, you could bake the tray, then freeze. Hope that helps!

  • Cynthia Dickey wrote:

    Can I use something other than wine. Not a wine lover. Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Cynthia – You can swap in beef broth for the wine.

  • Carol Doerr wrote:

    Can the meat be cooked in a crockpot? If so how would you do that? Time, etc.

    • Martha wrote:

      You can. We haven’t tried it ourselves so without some kitchen testing on our end, I’d only be guessing at the timing. (Probably for longer than if you just braised it in the oven.) Also – we’re not always fans of slow cooking over braising – slow cooking essentially steams the food, while braising (in our opinion) develops and intensifies the flavors because the foods caramelize in a way that you don’t get in a slow cooker. Plus the texture is never the same. But I understand the convenience of slow cookers, so please let us know how it comes out of you try it!

  • Ian wrote:

    Can you use beef mince in this recepie

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Ian – you could certainly swap in ground beef/beef mince.

  • Katie Bickel wrote:

    Can you use a kitchen aid pasta maker to help roll out the dough??? This looks amazing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Katie – The dough is very soft and rolls out easily. You can certainly use the pasta maker, but you might find that it rolls out just as easy with a rolling pin!

  • Dottie wrote:

    WOW Too long and too much we/time for me! Why can’t you just use Lasagna pasta? I won’t be making this, sorry 😢

    • Martha wrote:

      Your choice Dottie! Thanks for the feedback.

  • Louise wrote:

    Can this be frozen once baked?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Louise – We haven’t tried doing so ourselves,and no frozen foods are ever quite the same as freshly baked… but overall, we think this recipe should be ok.

  • Elaina Shopa-Stone wrote:

    Looks and sounds simply delicious. I can’t wait to try!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Elaine – hope you love it!

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