Zavioli with Spinach and Ricotta


This healthy recipe with ricotta cheese is a low-carb take on ravioli. Thin strips of zucchini are stuffed with pesto and a magro (lean) filling, topped with tomato sauce and cheese, then baked. Serve garnished with fresh hot chile peppers or pepper flakes and more Parmesan cheese.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
9 zavioli


Cheese Filling:

  • 1 ¼ cups ricotta cheese

  • 1 cup chopped spinach

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste

  • ½ clove garlic (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts


  • 1 extra large zucchini

  • 9 toothpicks, soaked in water

  • ¼ cup pasta sauce

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. Make filling: Mix together ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, and pepper in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.

  3. Make pesto: Grind together basil, extra-virgin olive oil, and garlic into a chunky paste using a mortar and pestle. Add pine nuts to pesto; crush until nuts are coarsely ground. Set aside.

  4. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 18 strips using a mandoline. Lay 2 zucchini strips in the shape of a cross on a work surface. Drop a spoonful of filling in the middle of the cross. Top with a dollop of pesto. Fold ends into the center to create a parcel, starting from the bottom end and moving clockwise. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining zucchini strips, filling, and pesto.

  5. Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Arrange zucchini parcels on top, about 1/2-inch apart. Top each parcel with remaining pasta sauce. Sprinkle with Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven until sauce and zucchini begin to brown, about 20 minutes.


You can toast the pine nuts if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

267 Calories
18g Fat
14g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 267
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 240mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 34mg 168%
Calcium 303mg 23%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 718mg 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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