These scrumptious zucchini rollatini are like bite-sized lasagnas that feature all the classic flavors of Italian comfort food. A savory mixture of chickpeas, spinach, and cashew cheese is spread across thin slices of zucchini that are then rolled into a pinwheel shape and smothered in a tangy marinara sauce. Quinoa adds extra heft to the filling while crushed red pepper flakes add a delicious kick of heat. Be sure to garnish this fun dish with fresh parsley to really take the Mediterranean flair to the next level! And while eaters of any age will gobble up this recipe, it’s particularly great for picky kids, who will enjoy the cute roll shape and familiar flavor profile.
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon + ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups frozen spinach
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup cooked quinoa
- Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1½ cups oil-free marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat breadcrumbs
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
- For the cashew cheese, in a small bowl soak cashews in ⅓ cup hot water for 20 minutes. Transfer cashews and soaking water to a blender; add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, and the salt and black pepper. Cover and blend until smooth and thick like cream cheese.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place spinach in a strainer; rinse with hot water to thaw it. Drain and squeeze spinach to remove all excess moisture. Finely chop spinach.
- For the filling, in a large bowl coarsely mash chickpeas. Add spinach, cashew cheese, quinoa, the remaining ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and, if using, crushed red pepper; stir to combine.
- Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strips.
- To assemble rollatini, lay one zucchini strip on a clean surface and spoon 1 tablespoon filling on one end of zucchini strip. Starting with the filled end, roll the zucchini all the way up. Place the roll, seam side down, in a 3-quart baking dish. (If the roll starts to unwind, secure it with a toothpick.) Repeat with the remaining zucchini strips and filling. Spoon marinara sauce over zucchini rolls and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until edges of the rolls are golden brown. If using, sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm.
- For a smoother cashew cheese, soak the cashews for longer, up to 2 hours.
- If you don't have a mandoline, you can use a sharp knife to slice the zucchini. Just be sure to slice them as thinly as possible.
- If you don't have any whole wheat breadcrumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs. Just be sure to toast them in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes before using them.
- This recipe is easily doubled or tripled. Just make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.
- Serve these zucchini rollatini with a side of your favorite pasta or salad.
- Calories: 355
- Fat: 20 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 580 mg
- Carbohydrates: 27 g
- Dietary Fiber: 5 g
- Sugars: 10 g
- Protein: 15 g