Zucchini Roll Ups

Ricotta & Beef Zucchini Roll-Ups

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Herby ricotta beef filling tucked in thinly sliced zucchini rolls simmered in a bright tomato sauce.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1-pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, torn
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 24-ounce jar marinara or 2 cups homemade marinara
  • 5 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise using a vegetable peeler
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet or shallow Dutch oven to medium. Add onion and sauté 3-4 minutes, then add the ground beef and spinach and cook an additional 6-7 minutes, breaking the beef using a wooden spoon, until browned. Stir in garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Drain any excess fat from the beef mixture, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the ricotta, ¼ cup Parmesan, egg, Italian seasoning, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, remaining ¼ teaspoon black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to the bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
  3. Pour the marinara into the same large oven-safe skillet or shallow Dutch oven and set aside.
  4. Stack two slices of zucchini on top of each other, then dollop a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture onto the middle of the top slice. Tightly roll the zucchini around the ricotta mixture, then place into skillet or Dutch oven. Repeat with the remaining zucchini slices and ricotta mixture, lining them all in the pan until filled.
  5. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Top with fresh basil and serve.


Substitution Tip: Use summer squash instead of zucchini, or a mix of the two.


Keywords: easy, filling, healthy, low carb, summer, vegetables, nutritious