Vegetarian lasagna roll ups with zucchini is a weeknight-friendly twist on a classic lasagna. Though they’re lighter and quicker than the traditional Italian dish, they’re every bit as satisfying and delicious.
20ouncesricotta cheese(you can use part-skim or fat-free if you prefer)
2cupspart-skim shredded mozzarella,plus more for topping
1bunch Italian parsley,leaves chopped
Ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes(optional)
124 ounce jar tomato basil pasta sauce or easy homemade spaghetti sauce
¼cupgrated parmesan cheese
Basil leaves,for garnish
Get ready. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Line a large surface or tray with parchment paper. You will use this to roll up the lasagna noodles.
Bake the zucchini. Arrange zucchini slices on a very large baking sheet. It’s ok if they touch you just don’t want them to overlap. You may have to use two baking sheets. Brush zucchini slices with olive oil on both sides and season lightly with salt. Place in the oven and bake until tender, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F. Set aside to let the zucchini cool briefly.
Cook the noodles. While the zucchini roasts, fill a large pot or bowl with cold water, and set aside. Add the noodles to the salted boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. (Mine took about 12 minutes or so.) Drain and immediately transfer the noodles to the cold water to stop their cooking. Drain and lay the noodles flat on the prepared parchment paper.
Make the filling. In a mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta, goat cheese, mozzarella, parsley, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and (optionally) red pepper flakes to taste. Add a drizzle of olive oil, no more than 1 tablespoon. Mix until the cheese mixture is well-combined.
Begin layering. Spread an even layer of the cheese filling on each of the lasagna noodles. Top the cheese with a slice of the roasted zucchini, then roll the noodles tightly, keeping the seam-side down.
Get ready. Pour 2 ¼ cups of the pasta sauce and ½ cup of water into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Add the roll ups. Carefully turn the rolls onto their side so the spiral is facing up and arrange in the baking dish. Top with the remaining ¾ cup of pasta sauce, the parmesan, and more shredded mozzarella.
Bake. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 40 minutes. Halfway through, check to ensure the bottom isn’t dry. If needed, add up to a ¼ cup of water.
Serve. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.
To make one night ahead, fully assemble the lasagna rolls in your baking dish with the tomato sauce but do not bake. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight until ready to bake.
To freeze, fully assemble the lasagna rolls in a freezer safe baking dish with the tomato sauce but do not bake (most baking and casserole dishes are freezer safe, but you should confirm). Cover tightly (I use multiple layers of plastic wrap and foil) and freeze the unbaked lasagna rolls for up to one month. Thaw in the fridge for 36 hours or so before baking.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. reheat in a 325°F oven, tented with foil (you may need to add a splash of liquid to the bottom of the pan).