Mediterranean Zucchini Roll Ups

Author: Sarah Cobacho

Published: May 2, 2024

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Close-up of Mediterranean zucchini roll-ups in a skillet, showcasing the crispy tops and vibrant tomato sauce.

Enjoy these easy Mediterranean Zucchini Roll Ups—perfect for a nutritious, high-protein plant-based meal that’s surprisingly quick to prepare. This dish is packed with protein at 29 grams per serving and is notably high in calcium. It’s also lower in calories, making it a great option if you’re looking for a light lunch or dinner that brings some delicious Mediterranean flavors.

Each roll is crafted from thinly sliced zucchini, filled with a rich mixture of tofu, basil, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and nutritional yeast, then smothered in a hearty tomato sauce and topped with crunchy almonds. You are going to love it!

As always, let me know if you make it in the comments at the bottom of this post!

Freshly baked Mediterranean zucchini roll-ups served in a skillet on a wooden cutting board, ready to serve.

Why I Love This Recipe

  • High in Protein: Each serving is packed with tofu, making it a great source of protein.
  • Lower-Calorie: Ideal for those seeking a nourishing meal without excess calories.
  • Prep-Ahead Convenience: Easily assembled ahead, perfect for hosting.
  • Refreshing: The zesty lemon and fresh basil make each bite burst with summer flavors.
Vibrant ingredients for a Mediterranean recipe on a white surface, including fresh produce and condiments.

Ingredient Notes

  • Extra Firm Tofu: High in protein and a perfect texture for roll-ups.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Adds a cheesy flavor while being vitamin B-rich.
  • Kalamata Olives: They give a bold, Mediterranean flavor to the dish.
  • Sundried Tomatoes: Offer a concentrated burst of umami and sweetness.
  • Zucchini: Its mild flavor makes it perfect for highlighting the robust filling, and the texture adds a light crunch.

How to Make This Recipe (Summary)

Start by preheating your oven to 400°F. Combine basil, garlic, sundried tomatoes, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, and olives in a food processor. Add tofu and blend until mixed but chunky. Shave the zucchini into thin slices and layer on a spread of tomato sauce. Roll the tofu mixture in zucchini slices, place in a dish, and cover with more sauce. Bake until golden. View recipe card below for detailed instructions.

Overhead view of a food processor bowl with a Mediterranean-inspired tofu and vegetable mixture for stuffing zucchini.
Detailed process of hands rolling a Mediterranean zucchini slice with a tofu and vegetable filling.
Close-up of hands rolling a Mediterranean zucchini slice filled with a nutritious tofu and herb mixture.
Close-up of a hand placing a Mediterranean zucchini roll-up filled with tofu mixture into a skillet with tomato sauce.
Hand placing a cast iron skillet of Mediterranean zucchini roll-ups ready to be baked on a wooden surface.
Hand placing a cast iron skillet of Mediterranean zucchini roll-ups ready to be baked on a wooden surface.
Overhead shot of Mediterranean zucchini roll-ups beautifully arranged in a skillet, served on a light-colored table.

Variations and Tips

  • Substitute Almonds: Try toasted pine nuts for a different crunch and flavor.
  • Make it Crispy: Add bread crumbs on the top before baking.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve with toasted buckwheat bread for added texture. A nice green side salad would be lovely, or if you’re looking for one that’s slightly more elaborate, my Tuscan Salad would pair really well with the zucchini roll-ups.
  • Save the Core: Use the zucchini core in other dishes such as soup or in pasta sauce. They would be great in my Minestrone Soup or Roasted Veggies Lasagna.

Why You’ll Love These Mediterranean Zucchini Roll Ups TLDR

  • Nutrient-rich
  • Flavorful
  • Easy to prepare
  • Customizable
  • Perfect for guests
Detailed close-up of Mediterranean zucchini roll-ups in a skillet, highlighting the textured fillings and rolled zucchini.
Close-up of Mediterranean zucchini roll-ups in a skillet, showcasing the crispy tops and vibrant tomato sauce.

Mediterranean Zucchini Roll Ups

5 from 2 votes
A delicious, high-protein, and low-calorie meal perfect for summer hosting. Features zucchini, tofu, and a robust mix of Mediterranean flavors. Can be made ahead and reheats well.
Sarah Cobacho (plantbaes.com)
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes

Video

Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 4 sundried tomatoes
  • 1 lemon (zest only )
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 9 Kalamata olives (pitted)
  • 10.5 oz extra firm tofu
  • 2 zucchinis (use outer part, avoid watery core)
  • 14 oz passata (or Napoletana pasta sauce)
  • 1 tbsp chopped almonds

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  • In a food processor, combine basil, garlic, sundried tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, nutritional yeast, and olives. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are coarsely chopped. Add the tofu and process until the mixture is well combined but still retains some texture.
  • Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline, shave the zucchini into thin, long slices. Make 32 slices.
    I prefer using the outer part of the zucchini for this recipe because the core tends to be more watery (when you get to the “seedy part”) and doesn't hold together as well. Save the remaining zucchini cores for another dish.
  • In an oven-safe skillet or baking dish, spread half of the tomato sauce evenly along the bottom.
  • Take roughly 2 tablespoons of the tofu mixture and firmly press it in your hands to shape it into a small, oblong log.
    Layer 2 zucchini slices together. Place the log at one end of the zucchini slices. Gently press to set it in place, then carefully roll the zucchini tightly around the tofu log. Stand the roll upright in the prepared skillet, with the tofu log facing upwards. Ensure it is snug but not crowded. Repeat with the remaining zucchini slices and tofu mixture. I made 16, but it’s okay if you make a bit more or less; it will vary slightly depending on the size of your zucchinis.
  • After all the rolls are placed in the skillet, pour the remaining tomato sauce in between the zucchini rolls.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the tofu tops are slightly golden and the sauce is bubbling.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Top with chopped almonds and enjoy on their own or with a slice of toasted bread.

Per Serving

Calories 413kcalCarbohydrates 28gProtein 29gFat 22gSodium 717mgFiber 6gVitamin A 541IUVitamin C 29mgCalcium 692mgIron 7mg
COURSE Main Dish
CUISINE Mediterranean-Inspired
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FAQ

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Absolutely, assemble the rolls ahead and bake when needed.

Is this recipe suitable for vegans?

Yes, it uses plant-based ingredients like tofu and nutritional yeast.

What can I do with leftover zucchini cores?

They’re great for stir-fries or adding to soups.

Can I freeze the prepared but unbaked roll-ups?

Yes, they freeze well. Just thaw and bake when ready to eat.

Are there any nut-free alternatives for almonds?

You can use seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds as a substitute.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Absolutely, the zucchini roll-ups are suitable for a gluten-free diet.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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