Zucchini Roll Ups

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1-pound lean ground beef
2 cups fresh baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 large eggs
1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
24-ounce jar marinara
3-4 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise using mandolin
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet or shallow Dutch oven to medium. Add onion and garlic and sauté 3-4 minutes, then add the ground beef and cook an additional 6-7 minutes using a wooden spoon.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Incorporate the spinach and cook until mostly wilted. Drain any excess fat from the beef mixture, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  5. Add the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, remaining ¼ teaspoon black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to the bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
  6. Pour the marinara into the same large oven-safe skillet or shallow Dutch oven and set aside.
  7. Stack two slices of zucchini on top of each other so that they overlap, then dollop a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture onto the middle of the slices. Tightly roll the zucchini around the ricotta mixture, then place into skillet or Dutch oven. Repeat with the remaining zucchini slices and ricotta mixture, lining them all in the pan until filled. Top off the rolls if there is extra mixture.
  8. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Top with fresh basil and serve.

Inspired from the Have a Plant website: http://www.fruitsandveggies.org

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