Forget those lasagna noodles and fall in love with these Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups! Packed with an abundance of flavor and guaranteed to become your new go-to recipe to curb those lasagna cravings. These zucchini rolls are stuffed with lean ground turkey, ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses. Then baked in your favorite sauce and topped with extra ooey-gooey mozzarella cheese!
This dish tastes like traditional lasagna, but is lower in calories, is low-carb, gluten free and only 408 calories per serving!
ZUCCHINI LASAGNA ROLL UPS
If you’re familiar with my blog and my recipes, then you know I am the biggest fan of using zucchini (and cauliflower) in recipes. It is such a versatile vegetable when it comes to replacing noodles in a traditional pasta dish.
So if you have tried my Creamy Chicken Zucchini Enchiladas dish, then your taste buds are going to fall head over heals for this Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups recipe!
If you’re looking for a guilt-free indulgence than you can twirl around your fork, try my Grilled Chicken Cauliflower Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles dish – what are you waiting for? It is one of the most remade recipes on my blog for good reason.
No matter if you’re familiar with swapping out noodles with zucchini or this is your first time trying it, I guarantee you will love this dish and be going back for seconds – if there are any!
Zucchini slices, created using a mandolin slicer, that are stuffed with lean ground turkey, ricotta cheese, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. These rolls are then topped with extra cheese and baked in your favorite pasta sauce. A slight labor of love, but more than worth it!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THESE ZUCCHINI LASAGNA ROLL UPS
- Your favorite pasta sauce
- Yellow or white onion
- Lean ground turkey (can sub with ground sausage, chicken or beef)
- Cheeses: part-skim ricotta, freshly grated parmesan and freshly grated mozzarella
- Minced garlic
- Large egg
- Seasonings: salt, pepper and dried Italian seasoning
- Olive oil
HOW TO SLICE ZUCCHINI TO MAKE ROLL UPS
There are various tools and methods out there for creating zucchini slices. If you’re not looking to add yet another gadget to your kitchen, you can certainly use a knife to cut thin slices. I find the knife method to be risky considering you have to be able to create thin slices that are approximately 1/8″ thick, as well as be consistent with your slices.
This is daunting to me, as I not only worry about getting even slices, but also about not slicing my fingers off. I would much prefer using a mandolin slicer to create my zucchini slices any day.
A mandolin slicer will take the stress away from ensuring that your slices are even and you get as many slices out of each zucchini as possible. So if you’re on the fence about owning another gadget – don’t be. This slicer also gets used to slice even slices of cheese, cucumbers for a salad, or thin onion slices for sandwiches!
LOOK LIKE A PRO
There’s nothing worse than getting excited about a recipe and it turning out like a big flop! Especially when you have a dinner party coming up and you’re looking at a recipe like this that looks visually appealing and something that will please a crowd.
So I have provided you with some basic tips below that will ensure this dish turns out exactly as you picture it and as it should!
TIPS AND TIPS FOR PERFECTING THESE ROLL UPS
- SLICING: As stated above, I spoke about slicing the zucchini using a mandolin slicer. You want to have the slices evenly cut, as well as the right amount of thickness. I used the #3 setting on my mandolin slicer. This setting will help you achieve the 1/8″ thickness needed for the perfect, rollable slices.
- ROLLING: If the slices are too thick, they will be difficult to roll and possibly break. Aim for 1/8″ thickness and if necessary – double up on some thinner slices. It’s ok if some slices are thinner than others. This will happen with slicing (even with a mandolin) – you won’t have exact thickness for every zucchini slice. Simply layer one on top of another to thicken the slice before rolling.
- WATER: Don’t forget that you’re working with zucchini here, rather than pasta. The slices will expel water during the cooking process. To remove some of the water being held, it helps to lay the zucchini slices out in a single layer over some paper towels and sprinkle a little salt over the tops of each slice. Allow them to sit for 15 minutes. The salt will help to draw out some water being held in each slice. Simply dab with a few paper towels to remove the water.
- LASAGNA FILLING: I recommend adding the filling to each slice prior to rolling any slices. This way, if you have any leftover meat and cheese mixture, you can add it to a few slices that may be able to hold a little extra (some slices will be thicker from side to side than others). OR you can spoon the extra filling over the top of the rolls before adding the extra sauce and cheese.
- SODIUM: If using the salt method listed above on the zucchini slices, I recommend watching how much extra salt you add to the ground meat. Remember to season to taste. Check the sodium level on the cheeses, as well as the sauce you use.
ZUCCHINI LASAGNA ROLL UP COMBINATIONS & SWAPS
Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by the labor of love that goes into creating a dish like this. It’s not complicated or difficult. It just requires a little bit of time and patience, as well as attention to detail.
If you’re not a fan of certain ingredients – swap them out! Are you a vegetarian? Swap the meat for beans or simply omit!
- Use any sauce of your choosing: marinara, tomato, alfredo, pesto, etc. Use what you have on hand or what appeals to your taste buds.
- You can use any ground meat of your choosing. This recipe calls for lean ground turkey, but this can easily be swapped for Italian sausage, ground chicken or ground beef.
- Want a meat-free option? Omit the meat entirely and load these rolls up with the cheese mixture. Just be sure to double the cheese mixture if you have extra zucchini slices.
- Meat-free, high-protein option: swap out the meat for beans! Rinse and drain the beans, add them to the pan after the onions have sautéed and cook 1-2 minutes to warm.
- Swap the zucchini squash for summer squash. Both are very similar in texture, as well as taste.
MORE ZUCCHINI DISHES THAT WILL WOW YOUR TASTE BUDS
- Creamy Chicken Zucchini Enchiladas
- Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Five Ingredient Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Grilled Bruschetta Chicken with Zoodles
- Simple Teriyaki Shrimp over Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups
- 3 large zucchini, (ends trimmed and then sliced 1/8" thick)
- 1/2-1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce, (use sauce of your choosing)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion, (or white onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, (minced - 1 tsp.)
- 1 lb lean ground turkey, (or ground meat of choice)
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- salt and pepper, (to taste)
- freshly chopped parsley or basil, (or both)
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Line a few baking sheets (or your counter) with paper towels. Lay each slice of zucchini flat on the paper towels in a single layer. Sprinkle a little salt over the tops of each and allow the zucchini to sit for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Once the pan is heated, add the olive oil to heat.
- Saute the onions for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook untl fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Stir.
- Add the ground turkey followed by the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper (both to taste).
- Using a spatula, break up the ground turkey until no large peices/chunks remain. Stir well to incorprate the seasonings, onion, and garlic. Cook until the meat is cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
- Using a paper towel, blot the tops of the zucchini to remove the water that has escaped.
- To a large bowl, combine the parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, egg, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and the turkey mixture. Stir well to fully mix.
- Add 1 cup of pasta sauce to the bottom of a 9x9 or 9x13 baking dish, spreading it out from corner to corner. The size baking dish you use will depend on how many slices you have. You want a dish that will "sandwich" these rolls together to keep them in tact.Baking dish pictured: 10" circumference.
- To each zucchini slice, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture. Spreading it out from one edge all the way to the other end, but stopping 3/4 of the way down. Leave the edge exposed for the mixture to move down a bit as you roll.
- Continue to spoon the turkey mixture onto each zucchini slice.If you have any leftover mix, you can either spoon it onto a zucchini slice that will hold it or spoon it over the top of the rolls once in the baking dish.
- Roll each zucchini starting with the full end and rolling to the empty end. You can place the rolls into the baking dish facing up or line them up in rolls. Whichever works best for you.
- Spoon the last 1/2 cup of pasta sauce over the tops of each roll. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese to the top.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the sauce bubbling.If preferred, turn the broiler on LOW for 2-3 minutes (or less -WATCH!) to brown the cheese slightly.
- Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or basil (or both) and parmesan cheese.