Zucchini Roll Ups–a naturally gluten free take on the popular Italian stuffed pasta. Ricotta and Parmesan are rolled with fresh herbs in thin strips of Zucchini. Just add marinara sauce, bake and enjoy a delicious healthy low carb dinner.
Why this Recipe is Best
The one downside of many baked Zucchini dishes is the vegetable’s high water content. All that water makes it perfect for Zucchini Bread and other baked goods where moisture is key.
But when you’re using zucchini as a low-carb swap for pasta, the last thing you want is a plate of watery saucy mush!
Thankfully, there’s an easy solution: salt.
Yes. Salt is your very best friend when it comes to making the best ever Zucchini Ravioli.
Why? Because salt has an incredible ability to absorb water. (That’s why salty foods make you so thirsty!)
Sprinkle some coarse kosher salt over strips of zucchini and let it do its thing. After a few minutes, the zucchini will be ready to roll. Without the excess water, the zucchini ravioli hold their shape with a tender bite after baking.
Paired with these herby cheese filling, the results are spectacular. This Zucchini ravioli recipe is so delicious that no one will even miss the pasta.
Zucchini. No need to peel it first, unless you prefer to! See our tips below for slicing the zucchini into wide noodles.
Marinara sauce. If you use store bought sauce, make sure it’s free of added sugar. We love Rao’s brand.
Parmesan cheese. Grate the cheese fresh from blocks for best melting and taste. Do not use shaker can cheese in this recipe!
Fresh herbs. We used chopped basil and parsley for delicious flavor and aroma. If you have other fresh herbs available to you that you love in your Ravioli, feel free to try them here.
Cherry tomatoes. We love their juicy flavor when baked on top of the zucchini ravioli. Grape tomatoes would be tasty on the ravioli too.
STEP 1. Slice and salt the Zucchini
This is arguably the most important step in making the perfect Zucchini ravioli.
Hold the zucchini vertically over a cutting board. Press a vegetable peeler or mandolin into the top of the zucchini. Pull the peeler downward to create a long thin strip. Repeat until the entire zucchini has been sliced.
Now, put the Zucchini strips on a sheet of parchment paper or paper towel. Sprinkle them with kosher salt and top with another piece of parchment paper while you make the cheesy ravioli filling.
STEP 3. Make the filling
Saute the spinach and garlic. Mix together the cheeses, herbs and egg in a bowl then fold in the spinach mixture.
STEP 4. Assemble and bake
Place 3 strips of zucchini in a star formation as shown.
Spoon a half cup of filling over the zucchini. Fold the zucchini noodles to create a pocket. Repeat until all the zucchini strips have been used.
Pour your marinara sauce into a baking dish. Add the rolled zucchini ravioli to the dish then scatter some whole cherry tomatoes on top.
Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes.
Tips and Tricks
- Slice your zucchini carefully to make the strips as thin and even as possible. You’ll need about 15 strips of zucchini for this recipe.
- Garnish servings of this low carb ravioli with extra Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs for even more flavor!
- Serve this dinner with some gluten free Garlic Bread!
By salting the zucchini and giving it time to dry, you draw out some of the extra moisture in the vegetable. This prevents the zucchini ravioli from ending up mushy. Remember, you will be baking the zucchini ravioli in marinara sauce, so keeping the “noodles” from getting soggy is key. If you sprinkle the salt on the zucchini before making the filling, the zucchini will be ready to roll (literally) by the time the filling is done.
Yes, you can freeze the ravioli two ways: unbaked or baked. For unbaked zucchini ravioli, cover the dish of ravioli with plastic wrap and foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before baking. To freeze baked zucchini ravioli, transfer it to an airtight freezer safe container. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw and reheat in the microwave.
Leftover Zucchini Ravioli is best stores covered with foil or plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until heated through.
Yes, this ravioli recipe is gluten free if made as directed. If you’re using store bought jarred marinara sauce, we recommend double checking to label to ensure it is free of gluten, flour and added sugars.
- Gluten Free Stuffed Mushrooms
- Big Mac Salad
- Low Carb Pizza Casserole
- Balsamic Glazed Chicken
- Roasted Radishes
- 3-4 large zucchini, sliced with a mandolin or vegetable peeler
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
For the Cheese Mixture
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place sliced zucchini on parchment paper and sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Place a second piece of parchment paper over the top of the salted zucchini. Let sit while you prepare the cheese filling.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- For the filling, saute spinach and garlic in large skillet over medium heat until the spinach has wilted. Remove from heat, set aside.
- In a mixing bowl. combine ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, basil and parsley. Mix well, then fold in the spinach and garlic mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste (I do about 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper).
- To assemble, take 3 strips of zucchini and lay them out to form a star shape (be sure to check out my process photos in the blog post). Spoon about 1/2 cup of filling onto the center and fold the zucchini noodles to create a ravioli pocket. Repeat with remaining zucchini and filling.
- Pour marinara sauce in bottom of a 13x9 baking dish and place the 5 large ravioli on top of the sauce. Scatter the cherry tomatoes over the top.
- Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the cherry tomatoes are blistered. Garnish with extra herbs and parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Salting the zucchini and allowing it time to dry helps remove some of the excess moisture, preventing your ravioli from being watery. You'll need about 15 slices of zucchini. You can use a mandolin or a standard
vegetable peeler to thinly slice the zucchini into lasagna noodles. Carefully slice the zucchini the long way across the mandolin, or carefully slide your vegetable peeler the long way down the zucchini to create even strips.
- Be sure to choose a no added sugar marinara sauce. We love Rao's Marinara!
- How to freeze the zucchini ravioli.To freeze unbaked zucchini ravioli: prepare the ravioli as directed and cover with plastic wrap and foil and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Once you are ready to make it, let the ravioli thaw in the fridge overnight then bake as instructed. To freeze baked zucchini ravioli: place the ravioli in airtight freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to eat, thaw the ravioli and reheat in the microwave or the oven until hot through.
- Cover the ravioli and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven until hot through.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 690mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 22g