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.
- 2tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3pounds zucchini
- 1teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1pound ground beef
- 1teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- ½teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3cloves garlic, minced
- 1cup ricotta cheese
- 1large egg, beaten
- ⅓cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅓cup minced fresh parsley
- ¼teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- cooking spray
- 2cups marinara sauce, divided
- ¼cup tomato paste
- 2cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2tablespoons minced fresh basil
Step 1Preheat 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.
Step 2Wash, 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.
Step 3Cook in the preheated oven until zucchini slices are soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.
Step 4Remove from the oven and place on several layers of paper towels to absorb any excess liquid. Set zucchini aside to cool.
Step 5Meanwhile, 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.
Step 6Stir in minced garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Step 7Stir together ricotta, beaten egg, grated Parmesan cheese, minced parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Step 8Combine marinara sauce and tomato paste in a separate bowl, stirring well.
Step 9Spray a 9x11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 of the tomato mixture over the bottom of the baking dish.
Step 10When the zucchini is cool enough to handle, blot with paper towels. Line up 6 or 7 slices of cooled zucchini on the sheet pan.
Step 11Spread 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.
Step 12Beginning 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.
Step 13Pour reserved marinara mixture over the zucchini rolls and sprinkle with reserved grated mozzarella.
Step 14Bake in the preheated oven until zucchini rolls are heated through, the sauce is bubbly, and the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.
Step 15Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 20 minutes. Garnish with minced fresh basil, if desired.