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I don’t know who started the whole swap-zucchini-for-pasta trend, but I kind of want to hug them. See, in the fall, I love to add squash to my favorite recipes, and making this yummy zucchini roll up is a perfect way to swap out lasagna noodles for squash in one of my favorite family recipes. There’s just something about a hearty meal that the whole family will love (probably because it tastes just like pizza) that’s still a little bit friendlier at working in fresh produce. Making the most of seasonal produce is a pretty important thing– why not use produce that’s at its peak? That’s why when I saw Prego Farmers’ Market® on the shelves at my local Walmart store, I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to make using the fresh produce and that sauce.
Walmart is usually my go-to store for fresh produce anyway because they have an awesome seasonal selection. It’s how we discovered that Ketchup was a big fan of guava, and it’s our favorite place to buy a ripe pomegranate. It was a no-brainer to pick up some zucchini there, along with our favorite pizza toppings like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. In the pasta sauce aisle, I also grabbed some Prego Farmers’ Market® classic marinara sauce for the recipe, but you can sub in any of the Prego Farmers’ Market® sauces you’d like.
When you cook with seasonal produce, you make sure that you’re feeding your family great food while still giving them the best possible flavor.
I know it’s a value my mom instilled in me, to shop and enjoy fresh produce whenever possible, and to pick what’s in season to enjoy.
The problem is, some of my favorite produce items, like tomatoes, aren’t always in season here… that’s why I’m a big fan of Prego Farmers’ Market® sauces being picked at peak, so they always taste great (even when the core ingredients aren’t in season in the middle of Kansas winters).
To make this recipe, you’ll start by chopping and gathering your favorite produce, like I did. I focused on onions and bell pepper for this, but you can use any pizza toppings you like– ground beef, mushrooms, even pineapple (if you’re weird like that…)
Next, cut your zucchini lengthwise into 1/8″ slices. I enlisted the help of my brother for this part and we were able to slice through a couple of zucchini with hard cheese slicers in a matter of minutes. A grater with straight-line edges would also work. Soak them in water as you slice to prevent any discoloration, then boil them for a few minutes until they’re pliable and will roll without snapping.
While your zucchini boils, prepare the cheese mixture. For 12 roll ups, you’ll need 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella. Add 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, a half teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and two teaspoons of garlic. Microwave for about 15 seconds or until the cheese comes together nicely when mixed.
In the bottom of a greased baking dish, pour a half cup of Prego Farmers’ Market® classic marinara. It’ll really enhance the flavor of the zucchini. What’s great is, it’s made with the kind of ingredients you’d find at your local farmer’s market. Think vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh herbs like basil, and made the way you’d make your own pasta sauce, with a little olive oil, some fresh cracked pepper… it’s truly a sauce I love to feed my family.
Spread your cheese mixture over the zucchini, then top with your favorite pizza toppings (or leave it cheese-only for those cheese lovers).
Nestle the zucchini roll ups in the sauce, then top each one with about a teaspoon more sauce and a little sprinkling of cheese. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the zucchini is tender.
I’ll just tell you straight up. My dad won’t eat vegetables… he refuses them, and if I try to sneak them in, he can always tell. So imagine my surprise when he not only ate these zucchini roll ups, but asked for seconds, and then took them for his work lunch the next day. This is my meat-loving dad, guys, and he willingly ate some zucchini. That’s how delicious these are!
I don’t know about you, but I’m a pretty big fan of melty cheese, heavenly sauce, and fresh vegetables on my plate, so this is a dream meal in my mind. Plus, it’s easy to make, and could be made on a weeknight without too much hassle! Not sure how your family will take to a zucchini roll up? If zucchini isn’t your thing, it can easily be swapped out with lasagna noodles… but trust me, the zucchini is worth a try with your family!
- 2 zucchini, sliced into 1/8th inch slices
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese plus additional for top
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup Prego Farmers' Market sauce, divided
- Pizza toppings of choice
- Boil sliced zucchini for 3-5 minutes until zucchini is pliable.
- Mix together mozzarella, parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper, microwaving for 15 seconds as needed to make it easier to combine.
- Pour 1/2 cup Prego Farmers' Market sauce in bottom of baking dish.
- Spread cheese mixture on zucchini slices, then top with pizza toppings and roll.
- Place seam side down in baking dish.
- Top each zucchini roll up with a teaspoon of pasta sauce and some additional cheese.
- Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes.
What’s your favorite fall produce item? Let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget you can pick up the ingredients to make this, including the Prego Farmers’ Market® sauce, at your local Walmart. There’s even a coupon available now! And, watch Prego Farmers’ Market® take over a city space with their own Pop-Up Farmer’s Market here! Bon appetit!