Delicious lasagna rolls made using zucchini instead of pasta. A healthy, gluten free alternative with all the flavor of the traditional version!
Every once in a while I like to spend a little more time and effort making dinner. During the week I’m all about easy, fast recipes, because let’s be honest who wants to come home after a long day at work and have to spend a lot of time trying to get dinner on the table. Not me and I work from home! The weekend however, especially Sunday, is a great time to try out a new recipe or cooking technique that you wouldn’t normally. This doesn’t mean spending hours in the kitchen, trust me I’d rather spend my afternoon out on a hike or bike ride, but it does mean spending more than 30 minutes. These Zucchini Lasagna Rolls were not only a new recipe, but a new technique that I tried last weekend and I absolutely loved how they turned out!
I decided to use zucchini instead of pasta to make these lasagna rolls for a couple reasons. The biggest being that my garden is producing an insane amount of zucchini right now and I need to find ways to use it. You might be thinking that using zucchini as a pasta replacement sounds like a lot of effort or maybe isn’t going to taste very good, but I actually found it to be a great healthy substitute.
It actually took less time for me to cut the zucchini into planks and grill it (you could roast it as well) until it was soft and pliable, than it would have taken to cook the pasta. As far as flavor, no it is not pasta so don’t go into it thinking that it is. However, zucchini has a very mild neutral flavor and when it’s rolled up with ricotta and Italian sausage, topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella, you hardly even notice you’re eating a vegetable!
I kept the filling for these lasagna rolls on the lighter side by using part skim ricotta and low fat cottage cheese instead of whole milk ricotta. I stuck the ricotta and cottage cheeses along with my seasonings, some parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs in the blender and blended it until smooth. Along with filling the zucchini lasagna rolls with the ricotta mixture I also added a some pieces of crumbled Italian turkey sausage. If you want to keep it vegetarian, just omit it. Once the zucchini planks were filled and rolled I topped them with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese then baked them just until the cheese was melted and they were warmed through. It was the perfect lightened up, vegetable packed lasagna, and a great way to use my garden fresh zucchini.