Air Fryer Olive Garden Copycat Lasagna Fritta — I love cooking but don’t always have time. That’s why I love my air fryer! It’s a miracle machine that fries and bakes food quickly without all the mess.
So when I realized Air Fryers could make lasagna, it was a no-brainer for me to try out this copycat recipe from Olive Garden! The results were delicious – crispy on the outside and ooey-gooey cheesy on the inside. Give it a try if you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or weekend dinner idea with minimal clean-up required!
Air Fryer Olive Garden Copycat Lasagna Fritta-Lasagna Fritta is a traditional Italian dish you can order at the Olive Garden: cheese-filled rolled-up lasagna that is breaded and air-fried to crispy deliciousness.
If you enjoy Olive Garden recipes, give these toasted ravioli a try. Or whip up a batch of Air Fryer Olive Gardens breadsticks and the Instant Pot Copycat Olive Garden Spinach Artichoke Dip.
What Is A Lasagna Fritta Olive Garden
Lasagna Fritta at Olive Garden is a unique and indulgent appetizer that transforms the classic Italian lasagna into a crispy, deep-fried delight. This inventive dish consists of parmesan-breaded lasagna pieces fried to golden perfection, offering a crunchy exterior with a rich, gooey interior filled with cheese and meat sauce. Served atop a bed of Alfredo sauce and garnished with marinara sauce and shredded parmesan cheese, it combines the comforting flavors of traditional lasagna with the irresistible appeal of fried food.
This dish is a testament to Olive Garden’s creative approach to Italian cuisine, providing a memorable start to any meal. Lasagna Fritta invites diners to experience the familiar taste of lasagna in a novel and exciting form, making it a popular choice for those looking to indulge in a blend of classic and contemporary culinary styles.
Why You Will Love This Recipe!
- Crispy Texture: The air fryer ensures each piece of Lasagna Fritta achieves a perfectly crispy exterior while keeping the inside rich and creamy, offering a delightful contrast in every bite.
- Healthier Option: By air frying instead of deep-frying, you significantly reduce the amount of oil used, making this dish a lighter, guilt-free indulgence that doesn’t sacrifice flavor.
- Convenience: This recipe transforms a traditionally complex dish into something quick and easy, making it perfect for busy weeknights or impromptu entertaining.
- Versatile Serving Options: Serve as an elegant appetizer, a side dish, or even a main course paired with a side salad. It’s versatile enough to fit any meal setting.
- Impress Guests: The unique presentation and gourmet taste of Air Fryer Lasagna Fritta are sure to impress your guests, making it a memorable addition to any dinner party or gathering.
- Minimal Cleanup: The air fryer’s cooking method means less mess and easy cleanup, giving you more time to enjoy with your family or guests.
- Customizable: Feel free to experiment with the filling, adding different cheeses, meats, or vegetables to suit your taste preferences, making this recipe adaptable to countless variations.
With a few simple steps, you can have a great and easy dinner or appetizer, perfectly cooked with the help of the air fryer.
Ingredients Needed Olive Garden Copycat Lasagna Fritta
Dive into the delicious world of Olive Garden’s beloved appetizer with this copycat Lasagna Fritta recipe, designed for your air fryer. This dish combines the rich, comforting flavors of traditional lasagna with a crispy twist, making it a perfect gourmet treat for any occasion. Here’s what you’ll need to recreate this Italian favorite at home:
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Lasagna Noodles: The foundation of this dish, cooked al dente, provides the perfect texture to hold the savory fillings and withstand the air frying process.
- Ricotta Cheese: Adds a creamy, rich layer to the lasagna, infusing each bite with traditional Italian flavor.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Melts beautifully within the layers, offering a gooey, stretchy texture and a mild, milky taste that complements the ricotta.
- Eggs: Bind the cheese mixture, ensuring it holds together nicely when sliced and fried.
- All-Purpose Flour: You can also use gluten-free flour as an alternative.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: Coating the lasagna slices in breadcrumbs before air frying achieves that signature crispy exterior, contrasting beautifully with the soft, cheesy interior.
- Italian Seasoning: This blend of herbs brings the classic Italian flavors to the forefront, seasoning the cheese mixture and the breadcrumb coating.
- Olive Oil Spray or Parchment Paper
- Marinara Sauce: Served on the side for dipping, a good quality marinara sauce complements the rich flavors of the lasagna fritta with its bright, tangy tomato base.
- Parsley (optional for garnish): A sprinkle of fresh parsley adds color and a fresh, herbal note that cuts through the richness of the fried lasagna.
How To Make Lasagna Fritta In Air Fryer
Making Lasagna Fritta in the air fryer is a delightful way to enjoy a crispy, cheesy treat inspired by the Olive Garden favorite. Here’s how to create this delicious appetizer at home:
Here are the step-by-step directions on how to make this delicious appetizer!
Cook the lasagna noodles as directed on the package. Drain the noodles and rinse with the lasagna noodles with cold water.
Place two noodles down on a flat surface and make an addition symbol; add a scoop of ricotta cheese to the center of the noodles. Spread a portion of the cheese mixture evenly over each noodle, leaving a small border around the edges. Roll up the noodles tightly and set aside.
Set up your dredging stations; you will have three:
- 1`st Bowl: Flour in One Bowl
- 2nd Bowl: Panko Breadcrumbs and Italian Seasonings in another bowl
- 3rd Bowl: Shredded Mozzarella, parsley, and eggs in another bowl.
Bread the Lasagna Rolls:
- Dip each lasagna roll first in flour, shake off the excess, then in the beaten egg, and then coat evenly with breadcrumbs.
As you coat them, place them on a greased baking sheet.
Place the breaded lasagna noodles into the freezer for about 2 hours until they are completely frozen.
Spray your air fryer basket with olive oil, or line the basket with parchment paper,. Preheat your air fryer for 3-5 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Set the frozen Lasagna Frittatas into the air fryer basket, and spray GENEROUSLY with olive oil spray. Air fry for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees F, flipping halfway and spraying again with olive oil.
Exploring variations of the Air Fryer Lasagna Fritta can add exciting twists to this already delicious appetizer, allowing you to customize the dish to suit different tastes and occasions. Here are some creative takes on the classic recipe:
- Spinach and Ricotta Filling: Incorporate cooked, well-drained spinach into the ricotta mixture for a vegetarian version that adds a touch of color and a boost of nutrition.
- Meaty Bolognese Layer: Add a layer of rich, meaty Bolognese sauce between the lasagna noodles for a heartier bite that meat lovers will appreciate.
- Alfredo Twist: Swap the marinara dipping sauce for a creamy Alfredo sauce to dip your Lasagna Fritta in, offering a decadent alternative that pairs beautifully with the crispy exterior.
- Spicy Arrabbiata: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, serve the Lasagna Fritta with a spicy Arrabbiata sauce, adding a fiery kick that contrasts nicely with the cheese filling.
- BBQ Chicken Filling: Mix shredded BBQ chicken with the ricotta cheese for a smoky, savory filling that adds an unexpected twist to the traditional Italian flavors.
- Mexican-Inspired: Infuse the ricotta mixture with taco seasoning, and add layers of black beans and corn for a Mexican-inspired variation. Serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping.
- Pesto Genovese: Blend pesto into the ricotta cheese mixture or layer it within the lasagna for a fresh, herby flavor that brightens up the dish.
- Buffalo Chicken Version: Combine shredded chicken with buffalo sauce and mix it into the ricotta for a spicy, tangy take. Pair with a blue cheese dipping sauce for the full buffalo experience.
- Sweet Lasagna Fritta: For a dessert version, swap the savory fillings for sweetened ricotta mixed with mini chocolate chips, and serve with a side of warm chocolate or raspberry sauce for dipping.
- Vegan Lasagna Fritta: Use vegan cheese substitutes and egg replacer in the filling, and opt for a plant-based lasagna noodle to create a vegan version that everyone can enjoy.
These variations on the classic Air Fryer Lasagna Fritta allow you to experiment with flavors and ingredients, making the dish adaptable to any taste preference or dining occasion. Whether sticking close to the traditional recipe or venturing into new culinary territory, these ideas promise a delicious and satisfying experience.
Creating the perfect Air Fryer Lasagna Fritta, reminiscent of Olive Garden’s beloved appetizer, can be both fun and rewarding. Here are some professional tips to ensure your homemade version turns out deliciously crispy and flavorful:
- Prep the Noodles Properly: Cook the lasagna noodles until they’re just al dente. Overcooked noodles can become mushy when air fried, while undercooked noodles won’t provide the right texture.
- Chill Before Frying: After assembling your lasagna layers, chill the entire dish in the refrigerator for at least an hour or even overnight. This firming step makes slicing and handling the pieces much easier, ensuring they maintain their shape during the air frying process.
- Even Coating: When breading the lasagna slices, ensure each piece is evenly coated with egg and breadcrumbs. This not only helps achieve that desirable crispy texture but also seals in the flavors.
- Don’t Overcrowd: Air fry the lasagna fritta in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the basket. Proper air circulation is key to achieving a uniform golden brown crust.
- Flip Carefully: Use a spatula to gently flip the lasagna fritta halfway through cooking. This ensures both sides get evenly crisped without disturbing the breadcrumb coating.
- Serving Temperature: Serve the lasagna fritta warm to enjoy the melty cheese filling and crispy exterior. However, ensure it cools slightly after air frying to avoid burning your mouth.
- Dipping Sauces: Offer a variety of dipping sauces such as marinara, Alfredo, or a garlic aioli to complement the flavors of the lasagna fritta and add a layer of customization to the dish.
- Garnish for Freshness: A sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley or basil not only adds a pop of color but also introduces a fresh flavor contrast to the rich and crispy lasagna fritta.
- Experiment with Fillings: Don’t hesitate to experiment with different fillings like spinach and ricotta, meaty Bolognese, or even unconventional flavors inspired by global cuisines to keep the dish exciting.
- Monitor Cooking Times: Since air fryers can vary in power, start checking your lasagna fritta a few minutes before the recipe’s suggested cooking time ends. Adjust as needed to achieve the perfect crispness without burning.
By following these pro tips, you can master the art of making Air Fryer Lasagna Fritta, bringing a touch of gourmet Italian flair to your table with ease and confidence.
Can I make Lasagna Fritta ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the lasagna slices and freeze them before air frying. Just assemble, bread, and then freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer-safe bag. Air fry directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
How do I prevent the Lasagna Fritta from becoming soggy in the air fryer? Ensure the lasagna slices are well-coated with breadcrumbs to seal in moisture. Also, avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket to allow for proper air circulation, which helps achieve a crispy exterior.
What’s the best way to serve Lasagna Fritta? Serve it hot directly from the air fryer for the crispiest texture. Accompany it with a side of marinara sauce for dipping and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or fresh herbs for garnish.
Can I use homemade lasagna instead of store-bought? Absolutely! Homemade lasagna can be sliced, breaded, and air fried following the same steps. Just ensure it’s fully cooked and chilled before slicing for easier handling.
Is it necessary to flip the Lasagna Fritta during cooking? Yes, flipping the lasagna slices halfway through cooking ensures they crisp up evenly on both sides. Use a pair of tongs for easy flipping.
Can I use any type of lasagna for this recipe? While traditional lasagna works best, feel free to experiment with different fillings like spinach and ricotta or meat sauce. The key is to ensure the lasagna is dense and fully set before slicing and breading.
What if I don’t have breadcrumbs for coating? Panko breadcrumbs are a great alternative for a crispier texture, but in a pinch, crushed crackers or even cornflake crumbs can be used as a breading material.
How do I store leftovers? Leftover Air Fryer Lasagna Fritta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes to restore crispiness before serving.
Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Yes, by using gluten-free lasagna noodles and substituting the breadcrumbs with a gluten-free alternative, you can easily adapt this recipe to be gluten-free
While you can eat this alone, I usually serve mine, a huge salad, and a side of Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks.
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Air Fryer Olive Garden Copycat Lasagna Fritta
- 1 box lasagna noodles
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces mozzeralla cheese, shredded
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons parsley, diced, fresh
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 cup Marinara sauce, for serving
- Cook the lasagna noodles as directed on the package. And then drain the noodles, rinse with cold water.
- Place two noodles down on a flat surface, and make an addition symbol, add a scoop of ricotta cheese onto the center of the noodles.
- Spread a portion of the cheese mixture evenly over each noodle, leaving a small border around the edges. Roll up the noodles tightly and set aside.
- Set up your dredging stations. You will have three: Flour in One Bowl, Panko Breadcrumbs, and Italian Seasonings. in another bowl add Shredded Mozzarella, parsley, and eggs in another bowl.
- Dip the foldest lasagna noodles into the flour mixture, the egg mixture, and the Panko Bread Crumb mixture. As you coat them, place them on a greased baking sheet.
- Place the breaded lasagna noodles into the freezer for about 2 hours until they are completely frozen.
- Spray your air fryer basket with olive oil, and then preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Set the frozen Lasagna Frittatas into the air fryer basket, spray GENEROUSLY with olive oil spray. Air fry for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees F, flipping halfway and spraying again with olive oil.
- Plate, serve, and enjoy!
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Parchment Paper, optional