Zucchini Rollatini with Quinoa and Chickpeas

  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 20 to 22 rolls
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These scrumptious zucchini rollatini are like bite-sized lasagnas that feature all the classic flavors of Italian comfort food. A savory mixture of chickpeas, spinach, and cashew cheese is spread across thin slices of zucchini that are then rolled into a pinwheel shape and smothered in a tangy marinara sauce. Quinoa adds extra heft to the filling while crushed red pepper flakes add a delicious kick of heat. Be sure to garnish this fun dish with fresh parsley to really take the Mediterranean flair to the next level! And while eaters of any age will gobble up this recipe, it’s particularly great for picky kids, who will enjoy the cute roll shape and familiar flavor profile.

For more zucchini recipes, check out these tasty ideas:


  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon + ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups frozen spinach
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup cooked quinoa
  • Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1½ cups oil-free marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)


  • For cashew cheese, in a small bowl soak cashews in ⅓ cup hot water 20 minutes. Transfer cashews and soaking water to a blender; add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, and the salt and black pepper. Cover and blend until smooth and thick like cream cheese.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Place spinach in a strainer; rinse with hot water to thaw it. Drain and squeeze spinach to remove all excess moisture. Finely chop spinach.
  • For filling, in a large bowl coarsely mash chickpeas. Add spinach, cashew cheese, quinoa, the remaining ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and, if using, crushed red pepper; stir to combine.
  • Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strips.
  • To assemble rollatini, lay one zucchini strip on a clean surface and spoon 1 tablespoon filling on one end of zucchini strip. Starting with the filled end, roll the zucchini all the way up. Place the roll, seam side down, in a 3-quart baking dish. (If the roll starts to unwind, secure it with a toothpick.) Repeat with the remaining zucchini strips and filling. Spoon marinara sauce over zucchini rolls and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until edges of the rolls are golden brown. If using, sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm.

Comments (32)

(5 from 19 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I just made it and it is soooo good! Definitely saving thus recipe.

Michelle Dunn

So I adapted as didn't have chickpeas so used butter beans. Doubled the whole recipie and made a lasagna instead, layer tomato/courgette/cheese mix and repeat 3 times! Topped with sesame seeds! Soooo good. Defo one for the save file

Jordan Hoekwater

Really enjoyed the recipe and it was quite easy to follow, coming from someone who is terrible at cooking. I messed up the cashew cheese the first time however it turned out better the second time. I really enjoyed the craftiness of the meal and the flavors were nice! Added a little more red pepper to spice it up some more! Would be interesting with some mushrooms!


Can I freeze? How to cook from frozen?

Carolyn Osborn

Omg! This was so delicious. The texture of the cashew cheese was great... I devoured it. Plus it was super easy to make. This recipe will definitely be on repeat!


Can I sub the nutritional yeast?

Patti Hill

Love this....we got lazy and made it like traditional lasagna. I used fresh raw spinach and it worked great. Love the simplicity and how much it reminds me of lasagna.


DELICIOUS! My friends tried it and couldn't believe it was vegan! Swapped the frozen spinach for fresh and sauteed like another user recommended - thank you!

Zach Curlin

Great flavors, quick & simple recipe. I couldn't get the zucchini to properly roll (user error!) so pivoted to open face, like Bruschetta and they turned out amazing! I had fresh spinach, so just a simple Sauté to add to the mix.


This recipe was great! Hosted last night and made this recipe bc one of our friends is dairy free and gluten free (I omitted the bread crumbs). I don’t think I would have tried this recipe otherwise. Everybody loved it and our guest asked for the recipe at least 2x. I, like another commenter, was excited bc hubby loved it despite not liking beans or quinoa! This’ll be a great way to get him to consume more veggies!


I had trouble slicing the zucchini thin enough to roll up, but I layered everything like a lasagna and it was delicious! (Cooking time was longer; I cooked until the zucchini was tender.)

Jenn Jerome

Very good recipe but just a little bland herb wise. Its probably something I did, I am not great with herbs. I will definitely be making this more often.


Incredibly good! Better than traditional lasagna…Thank you!


What is the nutritional breakdown for this dish


Very good. My husband and I both liked it!

Jenny Brown

I made this last night and my husband couldn't stop talking about how good it was, and how amazed he was that the "wanna-be-cheese actually tastes like cheese"(his words, lol) . I used a veg peeler and it was kinda tedious, but if you have a mandoline it would probably go a lot faster. The only sub I made was almonds for the cashews, as I didn't have cashews on hand. I thought for sure the zucchini would turn to mush, but it held up well, and the bite-sized rollatinis did not fall apart. I will definitely make this again!

Betty Snyder

I just put it on the oven. Filling is delicious but I did add some more salt, pepper & garlic powder. I need to get a mandolin. I sliced with a knife by hand as my vegetable peeler cuts extremely thin & use it to peel carrots just to get the outer layer of skin off. I’ll add a comment about flavor after it’s eaten.


I used a vegetable peeler to make the zucchini slices. It worked pretty well. This recipe is pretty labor-intensive, but boy is it delicious! Even my husband liked it and he hates garbanzo beans and quinoa! Shhh. What he doesn't know...


You have to add salt - a lot. 1/8 tsp is not enough. Bland.


If you eat little salt it’s plenty. I suggest you add more herbs instead of more salt.


I would say more lemon also. Sometimes we think something is bland because of a lack of salt but we can tingle our tongues in other ways as well!


Very good


I think it's really good but I don't recommend it for dinner it's more of a snack


I wish I could add this to my meal planner so I could save it for future use. Disappointed.

Steven, FOK Support

Keep an eye out for the "Add to Meal Planner" button to be synced with the recipe, Nina! FOK website recipes are published first and then they are synced. Enjoy this in your Forks Meal Planner :-)


Can you use fresh spinach instead? And if so, how much?

Brooke Bennett

Hi Joanne, Yes, you can use fresh spinach. We recommend lightly cooking down the fresh spinach to make filling to rollatini easier. 1lb of fresh spinach will cook down to about 1.5 cups, so using 1.25 to 1.5 lbs of fresh spinach should be the equivalent of 2 cups frozen. Let us know how it goes!

Rosemary Birkholz

Great success! I threw in a bit more spinach and garlic powder. My family loved it, and I will make it again.


Any chance I can use fresh spinach rather than frozen? I can’t ever seem to get all the moisture out of frozen. How many cups fresh would you recommend?

Lori McCrossin

This looks sensational. I would love to try this bc I know it would be A huge hit in my home. Any suggestions what I can use in place of the cashews. (No nuts)


Raw sunflower seeds make a great substitute for cashews.


You can always use a can of white beans (like cannelloni) instead of cashews or any nuts. They work well for sauces.

About the Author

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About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com and follow her on Instagram for more.
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