This gorgeous delicious meal is Whole30, Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, and dairy-free. We have eaten it for special occasions like Valentine’s or our Anniversary…or sometimes just on a Tuesday. Lasagna used to be my favorite Italian food and I was so thrilled to make this gluten-free/dairy-free alternative.
This can be a 4-ingredient meal if you can find ground Italian Sausage that works for your dietary needs (Whole30 compliant if on a round) and the Kite Hill Almond Ricotta (I’ve seen it at Whole Foods). So easy!
We don’t have Whole30 compliant Italian Sausage in my area, so I figured out the seasoning which can be added to any ground meat of your preference. And also I’m thrilled to share this faux Almond Ricotta recipe. When I looked at the ingredients of the Kite Hill Almond Ricotta (which I can’t find locally and cost $8-9 per little container) I realized it was mostly just water and almonds ground into a paste like ricotta.
Don’t skip the salting/removing moisture step for the zucchini – it feels extra but it will prevent a soupy lasagna and make the zucchini nice and soft and easy to roll.
Don’t want to go through the hassel of rolling these into roll ups? Then just layer this like a regular lasagna making sure to cover the top with sauce so the zucchini won’t burn.
Even my 8 year old asked for more of that zucchini stuff the other day, which made my mama heart happy! It’s a must try!
Whole30 Zucchini Lasagna Roll-ups
- 2 pounds zucchini, large
- 1 pound ground meat of choice I prefer 1/2 lb ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 24 oz jar marinara sauce make sure it's Whole30 compliant if on a round
Meat Seasoning (can be skipped if using Italian Sausage that's already seasoned)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Homemade Almond Ricotta (or can use Kite Hill Almond Ricotta)
- 1 1/2 cup almonds, slivered or sliced
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt or garlic salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Place ground meat in pan on stove on medium heat. Sprinkle with spices and cook until no longer pink in the middle.
While meat is cooking, prep zucchini slices. Cut off both ends of zucchini and then slice thin, I prefer to use a mandolin slicer. Lay out in a flat single layer as much as possible on a towel and salt, to help pull out extra moisture. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Next, place all the almond ricotta ingredients in a blender and mix until combined. Be persistent in stirring down and pulsing so it's finely chopped or else you will have crunchy lasagna, ha!
Squeeze extra moisture out of zucchini. I do this by laying zucchini between two towels, then folding the towels in half horizontally and pressing down. You won't get a ton of moisture out without being able to wring it (you don't want to break the slices), but it will help prevent the lasagna from being watery and soften the zucchini so they wrap easier.
Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara in the bottom of the 9x13 pan. Once meat is cooked, add all but 1/2 cup of the marinara (save that 1/2 cup for later!) to the meat and stir.
Preheat oven to 350.
Time to layer and roll! It can get a little messy, so I put down a large piece of parchment to work on for easy clean up. Lay down 1-2 zucchini slices (I like use 2 zucchini slices laid side by side, overlapping slightly, per roll for more veggies!) and scoop 1 tablespoon almond ricotta and 2 tablespoons meat sauce onto one end of the zucchini strips. Roll up and place seam down into a 9x13 pan. Repeat until you've used up all the ricotta and meat sauce (for me it makes 15 rollups).
Cover the top of the zucchini rolls with the remaining 1/2 cup of marinara, about 1 spoonful onto each zucchini roll, covering as much as possible. Cover the pan with foil.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Enjoy and even better the next day!
If you can find/afford Whole30 compliant Italian Sausage and the Kite Hill Almond Ricotta Cheese then this becomes an EASY 4 ingredient dish!
I am not aware of a nut substitute on this one, but please let me know if you find one!