These cheesy zucchini roll ups are made with thinly sliced zucchini, bundled up with a basil and three-cheese filling, and baked in a tomato sauce.
This zucchini rollup recipe is a great way to use up that zucchini harvest. While we love zucchini lasagna, these zucchini roll ups are easier to make. I often bake it using our air fryer/toaster oven to avoid heating up the kitchen during the summer.
You can use your favorite jarred sauce, home-canned tomato sauce, or make a quick summer marinara sauce with tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs. Also consider cooking up some ground turkey, Italian sausage, or ground beef in a skillet to add your casserole dish with the tomato sauce for a heartier meal.
Steps to Making Zucchini Roll Ups
This Italian-inspired recipe, also known as zucchini involtini, is made with zucchini strips, rolled up with a delicious three-cheese filling, and baked in a tomato sauce. It is like zucchini lasagna but without all the layers.
The full, printable recipe is at the bottom of this article, but here are the steps for making zucchini lasagna roll ups.
Step 1: Prepare the Zucchini
Use small, straight zucchini about 8-inches long and 3-inches wide. Rinse well and cut off both ends. Then, slice the zucchini as thinly as possible with a vegetable peeler, mandolin, or knife. You are aiming for about 1/8-inch thick strips that are flexible so you can roll them.
Spread out the sliced zucchini in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel to absorb excess moisture while you prepare the cheese filling.
If your strips are not flexible, they will be too difficult to roll. However, you can soften them first by placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roasting them for about 5 minutes in the oven. Let the zucchini cool, pat dry with paper towels, and then proceed with filling and rolling.
Step 2: Make the Cheese Filling
Add the ricotta cheese, about half the shredded mozzarella, grated Parmesan, egg, basil, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl and mix to combine.
Step 3: Assemble the Zucchini Roll Ups
Spread the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9-inch casserole dish. You can use any size pan that holds about 2 to 3 quarts, such as a pie plate, square cake pan, or small oblong baking dish.
Add a spoonful of the ricotta mixture to one end of the zucchini, roll it up, and place it seam-side down into the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining strips, nestling the bundles in the tomato sauce as you work. If your zucchini keeps trying to unroll, you can use toothpicks to secure it.
Step 4: Bake the Zucchini Roll Ups
Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella cheese, cover with foil, and bake in a preheated oven. Uncover for the last 10 minutes so the cheese can melt. Bake until the zucchini is cooked through and the cheese is bubbly.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs for extra flavor, and serve warm with your favorite side dishes, such as crusty slices of bread to mop up the sauce and a leafy green salad with homemade Italian salad dressing.
Cheesy Zucchini Roll Ups
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- Slice the zucchini into 1/8-inch thick strips (about 3mm) using a vegetable peeler, mandolin, or knife.
- Lay the zucchini strips in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel, and let the zucchini dry out briefly while you prepare the cheese filling.
- Combine ricotta, half the mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Add the tomato sauce to the bottom of a 9-inch baking dish.
- Pat the zucchini dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Place about one tablespoon of the cheese mixture on one end of each zucchini strip, roll up, and place seam side down on top of the sauce in the baking dish.
- Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese, cover, and bake for 20 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
- Garnish with fresh basil, grated parmesan cheese, and serve warm. Makes 4 servings.
Hungry for More?
- Zucchini Garlic Bites Recipe
- Garden Fresh Zucchini Lasagna
- Italian Ricotta Gnocchi
- 3 Ways to Preserve Zucchini
10 Cookie Mix in a Jar Recipes eBook
Homemade gifts are always appreciated because they come from the heart. Even if you are not crafty, you can give DIY gifts to your family and friends with these easy recipes for making cookie mix in a reusable jar.