It is zucchini season!! I am sure you’re seeing the zucchini and squash piled high at the grocery store so stock up, and let’s have some fun with it with these Dairy-Free Zucchini Roll-Ups in Easy Bolognese Sauce!
I absolutely LOVE zucchini. It’s such a versatile veggie and you can have a lot of fun with it while keeping a dish lower carb. Of course, the zucchini noodle was a big trend– but zucchini can be used in so many other ways, too! This green fresh, tender veggie blends well with most other ingredients due to its delicate flavor and it really highlights the taste of fresh herbs. You can make zucchini cakes, zucchini bread, zucchini lasagna (I have a great recipe for this in my cookbook) and more!!
Here, I have made a zucchini roll-up that is gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free! A quick and flavorful bolognese-style sauce forms the base of the dish. Next, tender and thinly sliced zucchini is filled with an almond-milk ricotta ‘cheese’ blend, rolled up, and baked until just tender– but never soggy!!
The end result of these Dairy-Free Zucchini Roll-Ups in Easy Bolognese Sauce is truly remarkable. Lots of layers of flavor, healthy, and absolutely delicious. When my husband took a bite he said, “wow, this is cookbook worthy.”While I agree, I couldn’t wait to share this with you. It’s too good and we need to put zucchini season to great use!
Now, the only “tricky” part you may encounter is getting your squash/zucchini sliced thinly enough. I swear by a good mandolin– but be careful when using! I like this mandolin because it has a safety guard to use when slicing. If you have good knife skills– feel free to slice thinly. But the mandolin is the way to go. Other than that, this recipe is super easy and you will LOVE IT.
Paleo Zucchini Roll-Ups
Make the Quick Bolognese:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup finely diced carrot (or 1 small carrot)
- 3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1/2 of a medium onion)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 [15 ounce] jar of marinara I like Rao's brand
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup dairy-free creamer I like NutPods Original DF Creamer (you can sub milk here if you are okay with Dairy)
Make the Zucchini Roll-Ups:
- 1 [8-ounce] carton almond milk ricotta I like Kite Hill brand
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- sprinkle of black pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced parsley
- 2 yellow and/ or green zucchini squash
- fresh basil for serving
- Preheat oven to 375F.
Make the Quick Bolognese:
- Heat a cast-iron skillet (or another oven-safe skillet) with oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion and garlic.
- Cook, stirring, until onions are slightly tender; about 4 minutes.
- Once onions are softened, add the ground beef, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, dried thyme and dried oregano. Cook, breaking up meat with back of a spoon, until meat is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off excess fat and return to the skillet over medium heat.
- Add the marinara, water, bay leaf and dairy-free creamer to the skillet and stir to combine. Reduce heat and let the sauce simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, while you prepare the zucchini roll ups.
Make the Roll-Ups:
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir until well combined, set aside.
- Trim the ends of the squash. Using a mandolin (or with a sharp knife), slice lengthwise into thin strips. (I used a mandolin on the 1/16 of an inch setting). Lay slices a single layer on a kitchen hand towel and continue until all are sliced thin.
- To assemble, slightly overlap two slices of the zucchini. Add one tablespoon of the ricotta mixture at on end then gently roll. Once rolled, nestle each zucchini roll-up seam side down into the simmering sauce. Continue until all are rolled and nestled. (You should end up with 12-14 roll-ups).
- If you have any remaining ricotta mixture, scatter some dollops on top of the roll-ups in the skillet.
- Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and cook, uncovered, until the zucchini is just tender, about 10 minutes. You want your zucchini to still have a slight bite to it, and not be soggy.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil, serve and enjoy!