Pesto and Veggie Roll-Ups

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Pesto and Veggie Roll-Ups
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Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 20-25 minutes

I saw a recipe for pesto and cream cheese-stuffed shells on Pinterest, but I wanted to make them a little more healthy. Shredded zucchini and chopped spinach are great ways to add loads of nutrients without turning kids off to the them - both vegetables meld right into the cream cheese filling. Both of my little girls scarfed them right up! 

Also, when I was first learning to cook, I discovered that there is no quicker way for me to get frustrated than trying to stuff filling into shells. I find it so difficult! Those shells keep slipping all over the place, and I can't keep them open with one hand while trying to spoon in filling with my other hand. So, now whenever I make a recipe that calls for stuffed shells, I use lasagna noodles instead. I just break them in half before cooking, lay them flat, dollop the filling on one end and roll them up. So much easier! 

What you'll need

  • 7 - 8 uncooked lasagna noodles, broken in half
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini or yellow squash, grated
  • 2 cups baby spinach, tightly packed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup pesto

How to make it

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles until al dente, then drain and lay flat in a single layer on a piece of wax paper or tin foil. 

  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, zucchini, spinach, Parmesan cheese, garlic and chicken (if using). Salt and pepper to taste. 

  3. Scoop one spoonful (about 2-3 tablespoons) of filling onto the end of each noodles, then roll up and place in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Repeat with remaining filling and noodles. 

  4. Spread the pesto over the top of the rolled noodles, then sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the cheese is beginning to brown on top. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. 

     

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