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Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups With Spinach and Cheese

These Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups With Spinach and Cheese use zucchini instead of lasagna noodles and are a delicious lower-carb meatless dinner that everyone will love!

The zucchini in my garden have entered the don’t-blink-because-we’ll-be-huge-any-second-now mode. Those cute little baby zucchini somehow turn themselves into the size of a baseball bats overnight. How the heck do they do that?

So I might have not paid attention to my zucchini for like a day or two, and now I have about 8 extra-large zucchini to use! These zucchini lasagna roll-ups (sometimes called zucchini rollatini) were the perfect way to use up a couple of them!

In fact, you pretty much have to use bigger zucchini for this recipe so that you can cut them into long and wide planks that resemble lasagna noodles and roll up the yummy spinach and three-cheese filling inside.

Then you cover the roll-ups in your favorite marinara sauce, sprinkle on a little more cheese, and then bake them until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted (YUM!).

They’re basically just a lighter, low-carb version of my Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells, but they’re so delicious, I bet you won’t even miss the pasta!

zucchini lasagna roll-ups with spinach and cheese in a baking dish

Ingredients you need:

  • Cooking spray
  • Zucchini
  • Salt and pepper
  • Frozen chopped spinach
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Egg
  • Dried basil
  • Nutmeg
  • Marinara sauce
  • Fresh basil (optional)

Check out my recipe for Quick and Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce if you’d like to make your own sauce instead of using store-bought sauce. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes!

Here’s how to make it:

two images showing how to make zucchini lasagna roll-ups
two images showing the steps to make zucchini lasagna roll-ups
two images showing the steps to make zucchini lasagna roll-ups
two images showing the steps to make zucchini lasagna roll-ups
two images showing the steps to make zucchini lasagna rolls
two images showing how to make zucchini lasagna roll-ups
two images showing how to make zucchini lasagna roll-ups
two images showing how to make zucchini lasagna roll-ups

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Larger zucchini work better than smaller zucchini in this recipe. The slices need to be long and wide like a lasagna noodle. My zucchini weighed about 2 pounds each and were about 8 to 10 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide.
  • If you use smaller zucchini, that’s okay, but you just might need to cut more than 16 slices so that you have enough zucchini for the amount of filling.
  • Slicing the zucchini is the most challenging part of this recipe. Here are some tips:
    • Cut the slices about 1/8 inch thick. If they are much thicker, they will take longer to soften and might be harder to roll. If they are thinner than 1/8 inch, they may fall apart when rolling.
    • Try to pick zucchini that are straight from top to bottom rather than ones that curve at the top.
    • If you have a mondoline slicer, this would be a good time to use it! It’s the easiest way to get even slices.
    • If you don’t have one, just carefully cut them by hand with a sharp knife (this is how I did it). The slices don’t have to be perfect. When they are rolled up, no one is going to know what they looked like when you cut them!
  • To soften the zucchini for rolling, you could also grill them or fry them in a small amount of oil instead of baking them.
  • Make sure your spinach is squeezed as dry as possible so that your filling isn’t watery. I put mine in a clean kitchen towel and wring out the water.
  • Bake the roll-ups until the filling is heated through and the sauce in the center of the dish is bubbly as well as on the sides. The zucchini may release some water as they bake, but if you bake them until bubbly in the center, a lot of that extra liquid should evaporate out.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days and reheat very well.
one zucchini lasagna roll-up being lifted out of the baking dish on a serving spoon

These roll-ups are more filling than you might think, so you may actually be able to serve more than 4 people with this recipe. Two or three roll-ups per person might be enough depending on appetites and whether you serve side dishes like salad or garlic bread.

If you’ve got lots of zucchini to use up, check out the list below for some more delicious zucchini recipes!

I hope you try this recipe for Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups With Spinach and Cheese and love them as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups With Spinach and Cheese

These Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups With Spinach and Cheese use zucchini instead of lasagna noodles and are a delicious lower-carb meatless dinner that everyone will love!
5 from 3 votes
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 4 (4 roll-ups each)
Estimated Calories: 589

Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchini, about 2 pounds each, 8 to 10 inches long, and 3 to 4 inches wide
  • cooking spray
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce, or 3 cups homemade sauce
  • chopped fresh basil, optional, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 16 strips that are ⅛ inch wide (you should be able to get 8 strips from each zucchini). Note: The easiest way to do this is to use a mondoline if you have one. If not, carefully cut them by hand using a sharp knife.
  • Lightly spray two large baking sheets with cooking spray (I use two 17¼ x 11½-inch pans). Arrange the zucchini slices on the baking sheets in a single layer (it's okay if they overlap slightly). Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the zucchini slices once halfway through, just until they have softened and are pliable enough to roll without breaking. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle.
  • While the zucchini are baking, mix the spinach, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, the egg, dried basil, nutmeg, and some salt and pepper until well-combined.
  • Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Take one zucchini strip and place it on your work surface. Place a spoonful of the spinach and cheese mixture on the end of the zucchini strip closest to you. Roll up and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining zucchini and filling. Note: I pre-divide my filling into 16 portions before I start rolling so that each roll-up will have about an equal amount.
  • Top the roll-ups with the remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until the filling is heated through and the sauce is bubbly in the center of the dish as well as around the edges. Note: The zucchini may release some water as they bake. A lot of the excess liquid should evaporate if you allow the roll-ups to bake until bubbly in the center.
  • Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow the roll-ups to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil, if desired.

Notes

  • Larger zucchini work better than smaller zucchini in this recipe. The slices need to be long and wide like a lasagna noodle. If you use smaller zucchini, that’s okay, but you just might need to cut more than 16 slices so that you have enough zucchini for the amount of filling.
  • To soften the zucchini for rolling, you could also grill them or fry them in a small amount of oil instead of baking them.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days and reheat very well. 
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe Rating




Eve

Thursday 28th of March 2024

Hi! Does this recipe need an egg? What should I use if I don’t have one?

Michelle

Friday 29th of March 2024

Hi, Eve! Yes, the recipe calls for one egg. Egg is used as a binder in lasagna filling to help the ingredients hold together/set up better, but the recipe can still work without it. So, rather than using other alternatives that might change the flavor and/or texture of the dish, I would say you can just omit the egg if you don't have one. Thanks for your question!

Lisa

Thursday 6th of April 2023

Do you think I could make this and freeze without baking it so I can thaw and bake at a later date?

Michelle

Thursday 6th of April 2023

Hi, Lisa! Thank you for your 5-star rating! I've actually never tried (and don't really recommend) freezing these rolls simply because, in my experience, zucchini tends to get pretty soft and very watery after being in the freezer. I just think the results would be very different. That being said, you could always give it a try it and see how it goes!

Susan Brown

Sunday 15th of January 2023

Made this using eggplant as that was what I had. The family of 4 loved it. Have zucchinis now so making it again tonight.

Michelle

Sunday 15th of January 2023

Hi, Susan! Ooh, I love the idea of making this with eggplant...so glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you enjoy it with zucchini as well! Thanks!

Stella

Thursday 1st of September 2022

Can we use Swiss Chard instead of spinach. I’m growing SC. ?

Michelle

Thursday 1st of September 2022

Hi, Stella! Sure, you could use your Swiss chard. I would cook it first and then, once cooled, squeeze it dry to remove any excess liquid. I'd love to know how it goes!

Mary K

Wednesday 10th of August 2022

I wasn’t sure if this would be a Pinterest flop or not and it was NOt! I didn’t do the best job cutting the zucchini but it was still delicious. I used a spicy Marinara which gave it extra flavor. Tasted much healthier than using pasta! Thank you for this recipe/ I will make again pending husband and son’s reviews.

Michelle

Wednesday 10th of August 2022

Hi, Mary K! Thanks so much for your comments and 5-star rating! I'm so happy you enjoyed these (and we just had them for dinner tonight)!