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Zucchini Involtini
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

With cheese-stuffed ribbons of zucchini nestled in an easy Italian sausage-tomato sauce, this delicious Zucchini Involtini is a fabulous make-ahead meal that's perfect for family dinners and entertaining!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Zucchini, Zucchini, Involtini
Servings: 6
Calories: 465 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
Ingredients
For the sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 15- ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes (2 400g cans)
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (794g)
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
For the zucchini:
  • 3-4 medium zucchini 6-8 inches long
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt (table salt is fine but not kosher salt)
For the filling
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese I like whole milk mozzarella
  • 1 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish, if desired
Instructions
For the sauce:
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium-large, heavy-duty pot over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook until nicely browned, breaking up the sausage into small pieces with a metal spatula while it cooks. Drain all except 1 tablespoon of fat off of the sausage. (If your Italian sausage is very lean, add enough extra virgin olive oil to equal 1 tablespoon.)

  2. Add the Italian seasoning, garlic salt and red pepper flakes and cook for another 2 minutes.

  3. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and garlic salt to the sausage mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and fragrant. Add the chopped fresh basil and stir. Taste and season with more garlic salt, if needed. Transfer the sauce to a lightly greased (I use cooking spray) 9x13-inch baking pan or a 3 quart baking dish.

  4. While the sauce is cooking prep the zucchini and make the filling.
For the zucchini:
  1. Using a mandolin or Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini into ⅛-¼-inch slices. Lay them flat on a work surface lined with several thickness of paper towels. You should have 24 slices. Sprinkle the slices lightly with the ½ teaspoon fine salt and allow to sit while the sauce finishes cooking and you make the filling.

For the filling:
  1. While the sauce simmers, make the filling by combining the ricotta cheese, egg and garlic salt in a medium-sized bowl. Stir well to combine then add the shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan and stir again. Set aside.

To finish prepping:
  1. Pat the zucchini dry with paper towels. Overlap two zucchini strips at a time on a work surface (see pic above in the post). Use all 24 strips to make 12 double strips.

  2. Divide the ricotta mixture between the 12 strips and spread to an even layer. Starting at one short end, roll each strip into a spiral and nestle each one into the sauce, spaced fairly evenly.

  3. At this point the Involtini can be refrigerated, if desired. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425˚F. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the zucchini are slightly browned on the top.

  4. Allow the Zucchini Involtini to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  5. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired, serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.

Nutrition Facts
Zucchini Involtini
Amount Per Serving
Calories 465 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 118mg39%
Sodium 1592mg69%
Potassium 912mg26%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 1128IU23%
Vitamin C 32mg39%
Calcium 576mg58%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.