These plant-based ricotta and spinach zucchini roll-ups are perfect when you want Italian food without the pasta.
The dairy-free ricotta cheese is made from almonds. We combine the cheese with chopped spinach and roll it up with lasagna-shaped zucchini slices. Top with marinara sauce and plant-based parmesan cheese, and call it a meal!
After slicing the zucchini, you will want to spread the slices out on paper towels or a clean tea towel, sprinkle them with salt, and allow them to sweat for about 15 minutes. This releases water so your dish will not turn out runny, and it renders the zucchini slices limp so you will be able to roll them without them breaking.
You can use bottled marinara sauce, but keep in mind most brands will contain olive oil. For an oil-free version, look for fat-free on the label. You can also make your own very simply with organic tomato sauce and Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Roll-Ups
- 2 large zucchini
- 2 cups blanched almonds
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 10-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 8 ounces mushrooms, washed and chopped
- 1-1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce, preferably oil/fat-free
- Optional: fresh basil, vegan parmesan cheese
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 2 Make sure the chopped spinach is completely thawed and you have squeezed out all excess water.
- Step 3 Wash the zucchini and trim the ends. Slice them lengthwise into very thin slices. If you have a mandoline or wide vegetable peeler, this is the time to use it. You want about 2 dozen strips.
- Step 4 Lay the zucchini slices out on paper towels and lightly sprinkle with salt. This will make them sweat water out, which will make them limp and easy to roll.
- Step 5 While the zucchini sweats it out, make your ricotta cheese filling. Add the almonds, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, milk, and salt. Blend until almonds are granule-sized but not pureed.
- Step 6 Transfer the almond mixture to a mixing bowl and add the spinach, mushrooms, and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
- Step 7 Lightly grease the bottom of a baking dish.
- Step 8 Using a tablespoon, scoop walnut-sized portions of filling onto the wider end of the zucchini slices. Roll each slice up and place in the bottom of the dish.
- Step 9 Pour marinara sauce over rolls, spreading it to cover completely.
- Step 10 If desired, top with fresh basil or vegan parmesan cheese.
- Step 11 Bake, uncovered, for 40-50 minutes.