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Fresh zucchini manicotti is a gluten-free Italian dinner

Brandi is natural born food lover of anything from gourmet cheeses and wine down to plain baked breads. When not in the kitchen cooking, she loves to be outdoors, especially near the ocean. She puts her focus mainly on healthy organic ea...

Use fresh zucchini in place of lasagna noodles for a gluten-free dinner

So I'm pretty sure almost everyone has tried making zoodles — aka zucchini noodles. And while I love them and enjoy them on a fairly regular basis, I wanted to get even more creative in the world of vegetable noodle-making by using wide zucchini strips in place of pasta tubes for manicotti.

Use fresh zucchini in place of lasagna noodles for a gluten-free dinner

In this recipe, I used a mandoline slicer to slice my zucchini super thin. You can find these in stores and online. If you don't have one, just take your time, and cut your noodles with a sharp knife as thinly as possible. And be careful, since the knife can easily slip while slicing. Once these zucchini manicotti tubes are stuffed and baked, you will never even miss the real pasta and will certainly be more impressed that it's actually a vegetable dish.

Use fresh zucchini in place of lasagna noodles for a gluten-free dinner

Fresh zucchini manicotti recipe

Using fresh zucchini in place of pasta makes this Italian dish not only super healthy but gluten-free. It's also a fantastic way to get your kids or picky eaters in the family to eat their veggies. A mandoline slicer makes cutting the zucchini evenly and thinly super easy.

Prep time: 30 minutes | Bake time: 25 minutes | Total time: 55 minutes

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 4 large, fresh, organic zucchini
  • 1 whole organic egg
  • 1-1/2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs, such as basil, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cut off both ends of each zucchini.
  3. Using a mandoline slicer or a very sharp knife, carefully slice each zucchini lengthwise into super-thin strips. (Yield will vary based on the size of the zucchini and the thickness in which you slice the vegetable.)
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, egg and seasonings, and mix well.
  5. At the bottom of the casserole dish, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce.
  6. On a clean surface, lay 3 to 4 slices of zucchini side by side lengthwise and slightly overlapping. Using a small spoon, place some of the cheese mixture at 1 end of the zucchini pasta, and carefully roll it up as tightly as possible. Repeat until all the zucchini is used.
  7. Arrange the stuffed zucchini in the casserole dish, and spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the top.
  8. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and bake for 25 minutes or until the zucchini is soft and the cheese has melted.
  9. Garnish with extra Parmesan and fresh herbs, if desired. Best served immediately.

More healthy pasta recipes

Sweet and spicy cucumber noodles
Pad thai zucchini noodles
Raw vegan zucchini noodles with avocado cream sauce

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