Thin slices of zucchini are stuffed and rolled up with a chicken and broccoli filling then baked in sauce until hot and bubbly. The filling is flavored with red onion, garlic, roasted red pepper, mozzarella and white cheddar cheese plus a little cream cheese to act as the “glue” to hold everything together.
For best results the zucchini should be salted and laid out on a wire rack to leach out some of the water. This makes them pliable and easier to roll up plus they won’t be as soggy. If you don’t like zucchini, cooked lasagna noodles can be used instead. They’re way too long as is so I would cut them in half first.
The zucchini has to be cut lengthwise making it a little tricky to cut. I’ve made this twice now and can tell you the first time was a disaster. I threw out almost as many slices as were usable. I found that using a big chef’s knife, one who’s blade is as long as the zucchini, works the best for getting even slices. And taking your time helps too – slicing them slowly gives you better control. If the slices are uneven or too thick you can lay them flat and carefully shave off some of the thicker pieces. If they’re too thick they’ll be difficult to roll.
This is kind of like a deconstructed lasagna collided with a deconstructed chicken Parmesan and had a baby. A food baby, not a baby baby. Silly.
It has the same decadence but with a lighter air because it’s made with zucchini instead of carby pasta making it the perfect warm weather meal. The strange thing about is the zucchini doesn’t turn to mush and has the texture of al dente pasta so you won’t miss it at all.
In fact, you might find yourself wondering what else you can stuff into them. Or maybe not. Maybe that’s just a food blogger thing.
Leave it to me then.
Thin slices of zucchini are stuffed and rolled up with a cheesy chicken and broccoli filling then baked in sauce until hot and bubbly.
- Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices using a large chef's knife (discard the end slices). You need about 17 - 18 slices.
- Spread them out on a wire rack set over newspaper and sprinkle each side with salt. Let them sit 20 minutes to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile grease a 9x13 casserole or roasting pan with butter. Add the sauce to the bottom of the pan and drizzle 1/4 cup half & half over it.
- Melt the cream cheese in the microwave 15 - 20 seconds until it is easy to mix. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup half & half into it. Add the rest of the ingredients (except 1/2 cup of the mozzarella - save for the top) and mix until combined. Season with 1 teaspoon coarse salt or 1/2 teaspoon fine and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pat the zucchini with paper towels to get the excess water and salt off them.
- Working one at a time scoop up 2 heaping tablespoons of the mixture and place it on one end of the zucchini. Gently roll up and stand up in the pan. Repeat, setting them close together so they help each other stay rolled up.
- Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and bake 20 - 25 minutes longer until golden brown on top and bubbly.
- Let sit 5 - 10 minutes to set up. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
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