Summer is on the near horizon and that means it’s almost time for everything zucchini! A few years ago I spiraled into a zucchini overload! Pinterest was bombarded with so many different delicious looking recipes that called for zucchini and I couldn’t resist trying some of them. I’ve always bought zucchini off of a local farmer down the road. He sells them for $2 and they are massive!! I swear you could make 20 different recipes from just one of them! We’re very fortunate here in Southern Ontario to have a wide assortment of fresh and local fruit and vegs at our fingertips from May to October.
Growing up, I don’t remember my Mom cooking or serving zucchini at all. Or maybe she did but I refused to try it. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had tried it for the first time~at my parent’s house! My mom cut one into chunks and then grilled it with Italian salad dressing on it. It was nothing fancy but yet it was really good. I was hooked! My husband and kids, however, would not even entertain the mere idea of trying zucchini ‘in the raw’ the way my mom made it. I knew I had to convince them somehow that it wasn’t as bad as they thought. It was time to get creative!
One of the first recipes I came across were these cheesy, yummy pasta roll ups. They are so easy to make. Also, the first time I made them I did not have a food processor so it took a bit of extra time shredding the zucchini manually with a shredder.
If you do have a food processor, it’ll cut your time in half. Hands down, best small kitchen appliance purchase ever! My boys helped me make them, which meant they could see exactly what went into this recipe. They weren’t too concerned with the zucchini being in here because prior to making this recipe, I had made cookies which had zucchini in them as well and they loved them! Recipe here: Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies.
This one right here is a great recipe. These roll ups have such a light and cheesy taste since they’re not filled with the typical meat filling which lasagna usually has. I easily scarfed down 2 of these bad boys but without feeling super full because of the meat/zucchini swap. Guess what? My family did too! Not AS much as I did, but hey, at least they tried it and also ate the entire thing. And that’s definitely a win-win!
Cheesy Zucchini Goodness
*Important. Make sure to squeeze as much of the moisture from the zucchini as possible or else the rolls will be soggy with the excess liquid in the dish.*
Cheesy Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and dried
1 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium zucchini (7 oz each), grated and squeezed dry
1 cup + 2 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 3/4 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
fresh basil for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
First, ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Next, in a medium skillet, sauté garlic and olive oil over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add in the zucchini, salt and pepper to taste and cook for around 4-5 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile, cook the lasagna noodles according to the instructions on the box. Drain well and let dry completely before filling.
Then in a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, Ricotta Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Lay out the lasagna noodles on a clean work surface making sure the noodles are dry.
Next, take 1/3 cup of cheese mixture and spread evenly over the noodle. Carefully roll and place noodles seam side down into the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
Ladle the remaining sauce over the lasagna rolls and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese.
Finally, cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes or until the inside is heated through and the cheeses have melted. Top with fresh basil if that’s your thing and enjoy!
How did yours turn out? Did you add anything different to them?