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Photo of plate with zucchini rollatini and red meat sauce.

Zucchini Rollatini (Whole30, Paleo)

  • Author: Caitlin
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Rich and decadent macadamia nuts stand in for ricotta cheese, while zucchini slices take the place of noodles for this amazingly flavorful show-stopping healthy weeknight dinner!



For the Macadamia-Cauliflower Ricotta:

  • 1 cup unsalted roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup steamed cauliflower
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or Himalayan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 12 Tablespoons water or broth

For the Zucchini Rollatini:

  • 1 pound ground beef or other meat (can also use lentils)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce of choice
  • 2 medium zucchini


For the Macadamia-Cauliflower Ricotta:

  1. Add macadamia nuts, cauliflower, salt, and lemon juice to food processor. Process until well combined.
  2. Scrape down the sides and add water or broth as needed. Add optional herbs and spices and process until a mostly smooth ricotta-like consistency is reached.

For the Zucchini Rollatini:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. If using, cook the ground beef in an oven-safe skillet until fully browned, seasoning with salt and pepper and any other desired seasonings. Pour the marinara over the beef and bring to a simmer while preparing the noodles.
  3. Wash the zucchini and chop off either end.
  4. Using a peeler, carefully peel the zucchini into wide strips. You can do also this with a mandoline or a sharp knife, but be very careful! (See video in post!)
  5. Take a scoop of the ricotta mixture (about 1 Tablespoon or less) and place it on the short end of the zucchini. Roll this part all the way to the end. Place on a plate seam-side down while you repeat with all of the remaining zucchini noodles.
  6. Nestle the zucchini roll-ups into the sauce. You can top each with a little marinara.
  7. Bake on 400ºF for about 15-20 minutes. You want everything cooked, and the sauce should get a little bubbly, but we don’t want soggy zucchini!
  8. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley and serve!


If using salted macadamia nuts, add salt at the end of making the ricotta to avoid over-salting.

If you have extra zucchini, you can chop it up and add it to the sauce or save it for your breakfast!

I like to pair this with roasted veggies or even a side dish of red lentil pasta.

STOVETOP: feel free to skip the oven! You can prepare the dish through step 6, then cover the skillet and cook covered for 10-20 minutes until fully cooked but not too soft.

  • Category: zucchini, summer, paleo, whole30, dairy-free
  • Method: oven, stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian American
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