Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

Sometimes in the summer, home gardeners are blessed with an abundance of zucchini. Here's another way to use some of that lovely veggie. Thinly sliced zucchini is used, instead of lasagna noodles, to make these zucchini lasagna rolls. We like seasoned ground beef for the filling, but you could easily sub in some Italian sausage.
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  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a 12x18-inch half sheet pan with foil and brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Step 2

    Wash, dry, and trim the ends of the zucchini. Carefully slice each zucchini lengthwise into seven 1/8-inch thick slices using a mandolin or sharp knife. Place zucchini slices on the prepared pan and sprinkle with salt. Toss slices to distribute salt.
  3. Step 3

    Cook in the preheated oven until zucchini slices are soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Remove from the oven and place on several layers of paper towels to absorb any excess liquid. Set zucchini aside to cool.
  5. Step 5

    Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and season with Italian seasoning blend, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir ground beef until brown and crumbly, about 5 minutes.
  6. Step 6

    Stir in minced garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  7. Step 7

    Stir together ricotta, beaten egg, grated Parmesan cheese, minced parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  8. Step 8

    Combine marinara sauce and tomato paste in a separate bowl, stirring well.
  9. Step 9

    Spray a 9x11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 of the tomato mixture over the bottom of the baking dish.
  10. Step 10

    When the zucchini is cool enough to handle, blot with paper towels. Line up 6 or 7 slices of cooled zucchini on the sheet pan.
  11. Step 11

    Spread each slice of zucchini with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the meat mixture over the slices. Setting 1 cup of grated mozzarella aside, sprinkle each zucchini slice with 1 tablespoon grated mozzarella.
  12. Step 12

    Beginning with the end nearest you, roll up each zucchini slice over the filling, jelly roll-fashion, and place in the prepared baking dish. Repeat until there are 4 rows of 7 zucchini rolls.
  13. Step 13

    Pour reserved marinara mixture over the zucchini rolls and sprinkle with reserved grated mozzarella.
  14. Step 14

    Bake in the preheated oven until zucchini rolls are heated through, the sauce is bubbly, and the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.
  15. Step 15

    Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 20 minutes. Garnish with minced fresh basil, if desired.