Spicy Pesto and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Involtini

Summer zucchini sliced into ribbons and rolled up with a basil pesto and ricotta cheese mixture. Then baked in a spicy, herby tomato sauce that’s creamy and so delicious!


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound ground spicy Italian chicken sausage
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can (14 ounce) crushed San Marzano tomatoes (or 2 cups tomato sauce)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt and black pepper
2 large zucchini or yellow summer squash
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded fontina cheese
3/4 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
4 ounces mozzarella, torn
fresh basil, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish or dish of similar size.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken sausage and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the bell pepper, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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