These Creamy Zucchini Alfredo Roll Ups (with ricotta) are the perfect bite-sized appetizer! Baked and stuffed with a ricotta herb filling then topped with a homemade creamy Alfredo sauce. You’re guests will love this as a side dish or delicious appetizer!
Who doesn’t love a good Alfredo sauce?!
It’s probably the MOST indulgent sauce there is.
These Creamy Zucchini Alfredo Roll Ups are my way of getting around that heaviness without depriving you of the creamy goodness that makes a good Alfredo sauce!
These zucchini roll ups can be served as an appetizer or a side dish. If serving as an appetizer, I suggest offering toothpick skewers so your guests don’t need to use their fingers. Yes, almost all of my recipes are totally finger-friendly but a few need some help in the utensil department.
How To Make An Alfredo Sauce Without Heavy Cream
Just use some milk and a roux! It does not have as much fat as heavy cream but it will work. You just need to make sure you do two things:
- Use whole milk
- Make a roux with flour and butter
You need some fat so whole milk is your next best option. Don’t use low fat or skim! It will not have the same rich flavor that Alfredo sauces are meant to have.
A “roux” is a fancy word for thickener. I remember learning about it in college and now wonder how I ever cooked without making them.
Now? I LOVE making rouxs!
It is such a simple, quick way to thicken any sauce you want and uses only two ingredients. Those ingredients are typically flour and butter.
It allows you to form such a simple foundation for any sauce whether it’s a white wine lemon sauce, a cheese sauce, a gravy, anything!
So for this Alfredo sauce, I made my roux first by melting some butter and flour together and then whisked in my whole milk. It thickens nicely and doesn’t need much more than some salt and/or cheese.
*Your roux is always a 1 to 1 ratio. (This is about the time my students fall asleep…) But it’s easy. If you use 1 tablespoon butter, you need 1 tablespoon of flour. 2 tablespoons flours, 2 tablespoons butter. Simple.
Then, you need to wait for the roux to “BB”, as I say…Bubble and Brown. This will make sure your sauce doesn’t taste floury and does the job it’s supposed to do, which is thicken.
The whole process takes about 3 minutes from start to finish so it’s quick but requires your full attention.
Baked OR Grill Your Zucchini Strips
These Creamy Zucchini Alfredo Roll Ups, can either be baked or grilled! I love the flavor the grill gives vegetables but if you don’t have access to a grill, go ahead and bake them!
I have made these doing both and both turn out delicious. I have to say that grilling gives these roll ups a slight edge.
Just be careful not to overcook your slices of zucchini! You do not want mushy roll ups. You want to keep the bite of the zucchini so make sure you keep an eye on them while you bake/grill! You want them ‘al dente’ like your pasta.
The point in baking/grilling them is simple…to soften them so you can roll them into cute little roll ups.
You cannot roll it raw. So just bake/grill them until they become “roll-able”.
Here are the steps I took…
Spread or pipe your ricotta filling onto each slice.
Here are some other fancy party appetizers:
Creamy Zucchini Alfredo Roll Ups
- 4 Small Zucchinis ((small will give you bite-sized))
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- 1/4 Tsp. Garlic Powder
- 2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Basil
- 1/4 Tsp. Salt
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 3 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Cup Milk
- 3 Tbsp. Parmigiana Cheese
- 1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/4 Tsp. Salt
- Trim zucchini ends and using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise no less than ¼“ thick.
- Lightly season with salt, pepper and olive oil and either grill zucchini well on one side OR bake your slices at 350 degrees F for 9-10 minutes on the bottom rack. The edges of each slice should be slightly tender but NOT mushy. Make sure you do not over-bake!
- In the meantime, melt the butter and flour together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter fully melts, wait about 30 seconds then add the milk immediately whisking until a smooth thick sauce begins to form.
- Once sauce begins to thicken nicely, turn off heat and add nutmeg, salt and cheese. Your sauce should only take a few minutes to thicken. (Do not stop whisking or it will burn!)
- When zucchini is tender enough to roll, take out of oven (or off grill) and let cool slightly.
- Combine ricotta filling ingredients in a bowl. Set aside or add to plastic bag to pipe.
- Spread ricotta filling onto each slice and gently roll leaving end side down on serving dish. **If filling is too thick to spread, you can either use a plastic bag to pipe (squeeze the filling) easily onto each slice or you can just add a touch of water to the filling but I prefer it thicker!
- Finally, spoon Alfredo sauce over top of each roll and garnish with more basil and cheese. Serve warm!