Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups: It’s zucchini season, and I’m always looking for new ways to use the mass amounts of zucchini I have at this time of year! Enter: Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups. This recipe is the perfect dinner option for when you’re craving lasagna but want something lighter and more sustainable to reach your goals! It’s made with fresh zucchini, Italian sausage, light ricotta, and marinara sauce to pull it all together.
ingredient list for zucchini lasagna roll-ups:
Zucchini: The star of the show and the main ingredient! Zucchini replaces the noodles in this recipe and adds a full serving of vegetables.
Italian Sausage: I find that Italian sausage gave this recipe the most flavor, but you can also use lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken as well!
Light Ricotta: I used light ricotta for this recipe, but you can use whole ricotta as well. If you’re dairy-free, Kite Hill has a dairy-free ricotta substitute that would be perfect for this recipe. I am personally not dairy-free, so I used the light ricotta to add some more protein!
Onions and Garlic: For the aromatics!
Marinara Sauce: The metaphoric “glue” that holds this recipe together. I used Rao’s which is my favorite brand of marinara sauce that has clean ingredients and is sugar-free.
Parmesan: A sprinkle of shaved parmesan on top of the dish to add that extra layer of melty goodness.
Fresh Basil Leaves: For a garnish and added fresh flavor.
important notes for this recipe:
- The most important thing to follow in this recipe is salting the zucchini pieces to remove some water. Zucchini is a vegetable with high water content so if you don’t remove some of it, your dish will be soppy. Once your zucchini is sliced, add to a stack of paper towels and salt with a few teaspoons of salt. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so and the water will begin to pool on top. Blot the excess water with paper towels and it’s good to go!
- If you don’t want to roll your zucchini pieces, you can just as easily layer them to create the classic lasagna layered feel! It’s whatever you prefer and is easiest for you!
- Feel free to substitute the Italian sausage for ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken. I found that the Italian sausage gave the most flavor, so you may need extra seasoning if you use regular lean meat.
- If you aren’t following a low-carb diet, feel free to serve this with some pasta as well! When making this for my husband, I always serve with a brown rice pasta for some more carbs!
If you liked this recipe, check some other dinner recipes:
Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups
- Mandoline Slicer (optional)
- Medium Sized Baking Dish
- 2 or 3 small/medium zucchini's
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 jar marinara sauce I used Rao's
- 1/4 white onion diced
- 1½ tsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp sea salt divided
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1½ cup light ricotta
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan
- fresh basil leaves chopped
- Start by thinly slicing your zucchini into 1/8-1/4 inch strips. The easiest way to do this is with a mandoline slicer, but if you don't have one- you can thinly slice them with a sharp knife.
- Once you have sliced all of the zucchini, place the pieces on a few paper towels. Cover the zucchini with some sea salt and let sit for 10 minutes or so. You will gradually see all of the water pool on top.
- Blot the water from the top of the zucchini with more paper towels or a clean cloth. This will prevent your dish from getting soggy with too much water!
- While the zucchini sits, saute the onion in a skillet pan for about 2 minutes and then add in the Italian sausauge. Cook until fully brown with garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
- In your baking dish, add the jar of sauce to the bottom. In a separate bowl, take your Italian sausage from the stove and add in the ricotta until it's all coated.
- Take each piece of zucchini and spoon the sausage and ricotta mixture on each one (about 1-2 oz each). Roll the zucchini pieces up with the mixture inside, and place each roll in the baking dish with the sauce.
- Top the roll-ups with shaved parmesan and more sauce if you'd like. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until zucchini is tender and the top is golden brown.
- Once baked, top with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!