Zucchini Manicotti


Dive into the vibrant flavors of Italy with our Zucchini Manicotti, a creative and healthful reinterpretation of the classic dish. By replacing traditional pasta with thinly sliced zucchini, this recipe offers a low-carb, gluten-free alternative that still delivers the comforting taste and texture of the original. Filled with a rich blend of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan, each zucchini roll is nestled in a bed of homemade marinara sauce, then baked to perfection. It's a dish that brings the garden to your table, perfect for summer dinners or any occasion that calls for a touch of Italian flair.

Zucchini Manicotti

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Serving Size: 2-3 manicotti

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

  • Calories: 220 kcal
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fat: 12g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sodium: 480mg


  1. 4 large zucchinis, sliced lengthwise into 16 thin strips
  2. 250g (8.8 oz) ricotta cheese
  3. 100g (3.5 oz) grated mozzarella cheese, plus extra for topping
  4. 50g (1.7 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
  5. 1 egg
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  7. Salt and pepper, to taste
  8. 800g (28 oz) marinara sauce
  9. Olive oil for greasing

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare the Zucchini: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Use a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife to cut the zucchinis into thin, flat strips. Lay the slices on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let them sit for 10 minutes to draw out moisture. Pat dry.
  2. Make the Filling: In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  3. Assemble the Manicotti: Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of a greased baking dish. Place a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture on one end of a zucchini slice, then roll it up tightly. Place the roll seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining zucchini slices and filling.
  4. Bake: Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the rolled zucchinis. Sprinkle with additional mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  5. Serve: Let the dish cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Slicing the zucchini thinly ensures that it cooks through and can be easily rolled.
  • Draining the zucchini slices before assembling helps to prevent the dish from becoming watery.
  • For an extra layer of flavor, consider adding minced garlic or a pinch of nutmeg to the cheese mixture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I add meat to the filling?

Yes, cooked and crumbled sausage or ground beef can be mixed into the cheese filling for added protein.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave.

Can this dish be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the manicotti in the baking dish, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the cooking time if baking from chilled.

As you indulge in the last bite of Zucchini Manicotti, let the melding of flavors and textures remind you of the joys of seasonal cooking. This dish not only pays homage to Italian culinary traditions but also celebrates the bounty of the garden, offering a delightful way to enjoy the simplicity and beauty of zucchini. Whether shared among friends or savored in a quiet moment alone, it's a testament to the endless possibilities that come from combining creativity with classic flavors. Buon appetito!