Are you a carb counter? No judgement if you are, I know many. While I don’t classify myself as one, I have certainly become much more aware of carbs over the years. I still believe in having it all in moderation, and with that comes choices. And I can’t lie, I really like pasta. But not all pastas, good, homemade pasta with homemade sauces. But that has become indulgent treat to me, like a big bowl of ice cream was when I was a kid.
To maintain the moderation mindset, I have, over the years looked for ways to modify what and how at eat at times. While I love a bowl of linguini with clam sauce and would not think to uncarb this dish, others, have more flexibility. This is one of my new favorite quick meals; chicken sausage zucchini rolls, think rigatoni crossed with lasagna, sans the pasta.
I already made a noodle-less vegetarian zucchini lasagna dish that I’ve been making for years. But my younger son is not a fan, he wanted something with meat, so he is my inspiration behind this dish. Carb-less, but not vegetarian. Truth-be-told, if you enjoy cooking, it’s a rather fun, playful dish to make. Yes, it requires you to slice the zucchini into thin slices, but you don’t need a mandoline slicer to do it.
There are a few different ways you can assemble this chicken sausage zucchini rolls, fancy or otherwise. I place my rolls close together in a baking pan which I think turns out well. But you can separate them, stand the rolls upright, you name it, it works, so go ahead and get creative with it. Any tomato sauce will work here, but my go-to is my simple tomato sauce which is very easy to make.
Chicken Sausage, Ricotta Zucchini Rolls
- 3 large zucchini, trimmed, sliced lengthwise into 24 ⅛-inch-thick strips
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound ground Italian sausages, casing removed
- 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups homemade or store bought marinara sauce, divided
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Lay the zucchini slices flat in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each side with 1/4 teaspoon salt, let stand 15 minutes.
- Step 2 In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minute. Drain any excess fat.
- Step 3 In a medium mixing bowl, add the sausage, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, basil, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Step 4 Spread about 1 cup marinara sauce onto the bottom of a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and set near your work station. Spread 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture evenly along each zucchini slice, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Roll up and place in the prepared skillet. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices and filling.
- Step 5 Top the zucchini rolls with remaining 1/2 cup marinara sauce and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
- Step 6 Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lasagna rolls are heated through and the cheese is beginning to brown. Serve immediately.
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