This Vegan Zucchini Involtini with Cashew Ricotta Recipe is a simple low-carb take on traditional Lasagna Rolls that’s healthy, gluten-free, delicious and so easy to make! So if you’re looking for a quick zucchini recipe, this Mediterranean casserole with flavorful tomato sauce is just perfect!
One of my favorite things about this Zucchini Involtini is that it looks fancy, but is actually so simple! These zucchini lasagna rolls are impressive enough to serve to guests but also easy enough to whip up on a regular weeknight at home.
What is Zucchini Involtini?
Involtini di Zucchini (or Involtini di Melanzane = eggplant) is an Italian dish traditionally made by spreading ricotta cheese on eggplant or zucchini slices, rolling them up, and baking them in tomato sauce. It’s similar to lasagna rolls but kept way easier, gluten-free, and low-carb!
Anyway, these zucchini lasagna rolls are a healthier, vegan version of traditional Involtini that tastes flavourful, rich, and indulgent, but are actually incredibly light and lower in calories!
How to make Zucchini Involtini
Step 1: Prepare the Cashew Ricotta and Tomato Sauce
The first step in this vegan Zucchini Involtini recipe is to make the cashew ricotta and tomato sauce. If you’re short on time or want to make this recipe even quicker, you can use store-bought vegan cream cheese instead of the vegan cashew ricotta. You can also replace the homemade tomato sauce with and a jar of store-bought marinara sauce.
Anyway, I prefer making the same flavourful tomato sauce used in my Vegan Stuffed Shells with Spinach Cream, but if you’re looking for a richer tomato sauce, you can also try this Vegan Tomato Cream Sauce Alla Vodka. And if you want more protein in your dish, you can also try the Lentil Bolognese Sauce of my Vegan Lasagna Recipe – That’s your choice!
Step 2: Prepare the zucchini
Begin by trimming the ends off of each zucchini, then peel the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. There will be some leftover zucchini, so just chop it up into small pieces to set aside for now. These will be used later to make the filling!
At this point, the zucchini is still firm and needs to be softened a little bit. To do this, place some paper towels on either a large cutting board or another work surface. Lay the zucchini pieces on top, then season with a little bit of salt. This step will make the zucchini slices easier to work with when it comes time to roll them up into Involtini rolls later.
Step 3: Make the filling
While the zucchini slices soften, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Then sauté the onions and leftover chopped zucchini. Once they are tender and browned, add in the garlic and sauté a little bit more, then take the mixture off the heat and transfer it to a bowl. Allow the mixture to cool down a bit, then stir in the chopped parsley and season it with a bit of pepper. Since the zucchini slices are already quite salty, there’s no need to add extra salt.
Step 4: Make the Zucchini Lasagna Rolls
Before you begin rolling the zucchini, preheat the oven. Then pour the tomato sauce into a baking dish and set aside.
The zucchini slices might be a bit wet, so start by patting them dry with some paper towel. Now spread a thin layer of cashew ricotta cheese over each slice. Then layer the sautéed onion mixture over top of the ricotta. Carefully roll up each of the slices, trying not to let the filling fall out, then place them in the baking dish of tomato sauce. Place the rolls fairly close together in the baking dish so that they don’t come apart.
Before you put the Zucchini Involtini in the oven, spray a little bit of cooking oil over them. Bake for around 25 minutes or until the tops have turned slightly golden brown.
Once baked, sprinkle the zucchini lasagna rolls with some vegan parmesan cheese and garnish with any fresh herbs you like! My favorites to use are basil, parsley, cress, or green onions but any will do!
How can I add more protein to this dish?
As mentioned before, you make the Lentil Bolognese Sauce of my Vegan Lasagna Recipe for a more protein-rich meal. However, you can also replace the cashew ricotta with almond tofu ricotta or add in vegan tofu feta or vegan mozzarella.
Can I use eggplant instead of zucchini?
Absolutely! This recipe is incredibly versatile. If you prefer to make a more traditional but still healthy and vegan Involtini by using eggplant, this recipe will still taste just as delicious!
This Zucchini Involtini Recipe is:
- Vegan, Vegetarian
- Easy to make
- Perfect for a quick vegan lunch or dinner!
More Easy Vegan Zucchini Recipes to try:
- Creamy Zucchini and Corn Risotto
- Crispy Corn Zucchini Fritters
- Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
- Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- … or what about Chinese Eggplants with Chili Garlic Sauce?
If you try this Vegan Zucchini Involtini recipe, please leave me a comment and rating because I’d love to hear your feedback! And if you take a photo of your low-carb lasagna roll-ups dish and share it on Instagram, please tag me with @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka to be sure I don’t miss your post! 😊
Vegan Zucchini Involtini with Cashew RicottaAuthor:
For the Zucchini
- 2-3 medium zucchini or sub eggplants
- salt to sprinkle
For the Sauce
To Garnish (optional)
- vegan parmesan cheese
- fresh herbs e.g. basil, parsley, cress, green onions
- *Note: See step-by-step photos above!
- Trim the ends of each zucchini and peel them lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices using a Mandoline or vegetable peeler. Chop up leftover zucchini and set aside to use for the filling.
- Lay the zucchini slices on a large wooden cutting board (or work surface) lined with paper towels. Sprinkle the slices with salt and set aside for 5 minutes to soften (this will make it easier to roll them up later).
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onions and leftover chopped zucchini until tender and browned. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly. Then stir in chopped parsley, and pepper to taste.
- Preheat your oven to 392°F (200°C). Pour the tomato sauce into a baking dish and set aside.
- Once the zucchini slices are soft enough to easily roll, pat them dry with paper towels.
- Spread cashew ricotta over each zucchini slice and top with sautéed onion mixture. Roll up each slice and place the rolls side-by-side in the baking dish of the tomato sauce so they do not unroll.
- Spray the zucchini lasagna rolls with cooking oil (so they don’t dry out) and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly golden-brown on top.
- Remove from the oven then sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese and fresh herbs like basil, parsley, cress, or green onions as desired.
- Feel free to use eggplant instead of zucchini.
- This recipe uses the same homemade tomato sauce used in my Vegan Stuffed Shells with Spinach Cream, but if you're looking for a richer tomato sauce, you can also try this Vegan Tomato Cream Sauce alla Vodka. Also, my Lentil Lasagna Sauce would be a great choice for more protein. You can also replace the cashew ricotta with Almond Tofu Ricotta or add in Vegan Tofu Feta or Vegan Mozzarella.
- Please read my blog post for further information on this recipe.
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