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Zucchini Pesto Roll-ups [Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free]

Zucchini Pesto Roll-Ups [Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free]

Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables. You can make it into pasta, grill it on a skewer, stir-fry it, or simply eat it raw [a squeeze of fresh lemon over top is a treat]. As it turns out, zucchini can also make quite a sophisticated appetizer with minimal effort.

And pesto… oh, pesto. A delicious mingling of what are arguably some of food’s best flavors. All it takes is basil, a handful of cashews, lemon, and garlic to create a mouthwatering pesto. Pine nuts seem to be the go-to for most pesto recipes, but cashews work just as well and cost much less [stick around here long enough and you just might learn something]. This appetizer requires little prep and process which means you can make lots of these very quickly. And then watch them disappear off the table just as fast. These suckers are like Pringles – in the sense that once you pop one you can’t stop.

INGREDIENTS [Makes 15-18 rolls depending on zucchini size]

2 zucchinis
1 container of cherry tomatoes [just enough for one per roll]
1/2 c. pesto

INGREDIENTS for the Pesto

1 c. fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
3/4 c. raw cashews
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast [optional, but recommended!]
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt

Start off by making the pesto – mainly because it becomes more flavorful the longer it sits. Combine cashews, olive oil, basil, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until the consistency is mostly smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

Zucchini Pesto Roll-Ups [Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free]

Chop the ends off each zucchini. Then, using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, start peeling long strips from the zucchini. Repeat until you’ve peeled enough strips for the amount of rolls you want to make.

Zucchini Pesto Roll-Ups [Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free]

Have the cherry tomatoes ready in a bowl and a stockpile of toothpicks. On a flat surface, lay out a slice of zucchini, portion a spoonful on the strip and smooth it out evenly. Cover 1/2-3/4 of the strip, otherwise it will be hard to roll and the pesto will ooze out everywhere. Place a cherry tomato near one end of the zucchini and start to roll the strip around the tomato. When you get to the end, spear the roll with a toothpick and set it aside.

Zucchini Pesto Roll-Ups [Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free]

Repeat the process until you run out of ingredients. If you have some pesto left over [exciting!], it will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To be honest, ours didn’t last that long because we dipped whatever we could find in it until it was gone. The stuff is so good it’s bad.

Zucchini Pesto Roll-Ups [Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free]

Simple, cute, and irresistible. What more can you ask for in a snackatizer?

[yumprint-recipe id=’6′]

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37 comments

  1. foodie@foodieportal.com 11 June, 2013 at 11:19 Reply

    I love your pictures and recipes, they are mouth watering. Would love for you to share them with us at foodieportal.com. Over at foodieportal.com we are not photography expert snobs, we are just foodies, so pretty much all your pictures will get accepted.

    • thefitchen 11 June, 2013 at 12:12 Reply

      You made us blush! Thank you for asking and tipping us off to your site. We’ll be submitting regularly from now on. :)

  2. foodienewz 5 July, 2013 at 03:33 Reply

    Your food photos are amazing. You can share your mouth watering photos with us at foodienewz.com. foodienewz.com is a new food sharing site and we actually try our best to promote your food photos. At foodienewz.com all your food photos will be published without any editorial review so I really hope you come and join us.

  3. Gail Schendel 18 July, 2013 at 18:32 Reply

    YUM!! YUM!! YUM!!! Made these for a pot luck. They were gone in a flash and everyone wanted to know where the recipe came from. I just smiled and said “It’s a secret!”

    I’m doing them again for my niece’s bridal dinner.
    p.s.
    I found it easier to use grape tomatoes and only place the pest in the middle, when rolling up, everything spread out without falling out the edges.

  4. Gail Schendel 18 July, 2013 at 18:35 Reply

    These were great! I served them at a pot luck. Next step . . . My niece’s groom’s dinner.

    I found that using grape tomatoes and putting the pesto down the middle of the strip helped to not ooze out the sides.

    • thefitchen 22 July, 2013 at 11:47 Reply

      That’s a tough one. Nightshades make up a huge percentage of vegetables… Perhaps mushrooms would work as a substitute?

      • D 20 February, 2015 at 13:43 Reply

        So pretty! Which type of mushrooms would you recommend (if needs to be cut, what size)?

        Also, if one can’t have citrus fruit/juices, what can one use instead of lemon juice?

        In advance, thanks!

    • thefitchen 30 July, 2013 at 16:13 Reply

      Oops, looks like we forgot to write that in…the nooch just goes in with the rest of the ingredients in the food processor. It adds a salty, savory flavor. We’ve made it with and without, and definitely recommend using it :).

  5. Renee 31 July, 2013 at 10:07 Reply

    is there a way to have your recipes formatted to fit or print out on a smaller 3 x 5 card instead of sometimes multiple sheets, and in black ink instead of blue or other????

    • thefitchen 6 August, 2013 at 17:37 Reply

      That will work just fine! You might want to 1/2 the salt in the pesto since the cashews are already salted.

  6. Anita Strickhausen 6 August, 2013 at 20:42 Reply

    I would REALLY like to copy this recipe but don’t want all the pictures. Do you have a format with JUST the recipe? I’m really interested in making pesto as I have an abundance of basil. Your recipe sounds SO good.

    • thefitchen 7 August, 2013 at 12:45 Reply

      We are currently in the process of adding recipe cards to each of our recipes! I just finished this recipe so you should be able to print out a single page card without pictures :). Thanks for visiting! Enjoy!

  7. vicky 10 August, 2013 at 08:53 Reply

    Wow! love your recipes. I made these last night and they were fantastic! I made the first few zucchini slices thicker and then made the rest thinner — the thinner were easier to eat. They were delicious!! Thank you!!

  8. Anita Strickhausen 15 August, 2013 at 23:41 Reply

    Made them without the nutritional yeast & they were delicious. I used a peeler to make thin slices of zucchini. Had enough pesto left to make more for a baby shower on Tuesday. They’ll be a hit.

  9. HealthyIsland.com 53 Healthy Paleo Snacks - HealthyIsland.com 16 October, 2014 at 15:03 Reply

    […] 45. Zucchini Pesto Roll-ups These veggie roll ups are great to make ahead of time, and it’s a good idea to plan snacks into your day, rather than waiting until you get hungry and then frantically making something. Cucumber acts as the roll, and a tomato is the prize inside. Cashews act as a nice filling to help hold it all together, once they get blended up into a sort of paste. Olive oil, garlic, sea salt and basil are all Paleo goodies, so you can feel totally fine by having this as a snack anytime you get hungry and it’s not time for a full meal. […]

  10. 53 Healthy Paleo Snacks to Keep You Satisfied Between Meals 13 January, 2015 at 15:31 Reply

    […] 45. Zucchini Pesto Roll-ups These veggie roll ups are great to make ahead of time, and it’s a good idea to plan snacks into your day, rather than waiting until you get hungry and then frantically making something. Cucumber acts as the roll, and a tomato is the prize inside. Cashews act as a nice filling to help hold it all together, once they get blended up into a sort of paste. Olive oil, garlic, sea salt and basil are all Paleo goodies, so you can feel totally fine by having this as a snack anytime you get hungry and it’s not time for a full meal. […]

  11. 53 Healthy Paleo Snacks You Will Love | PaleoRecipe24.Com 23 February, 2016 at 11:05 Reply

    […] 45. Zucchini Pesto Roll-ups These veggie roll ups are great to make ahead of time, and it’s a good idea to plan snacks into your day, rather than waiting until you get hungry and then frantically making something. Cucumber acts as the roll, and a tomato is the prize inside. Cashews act as a nice filling to help hold it all together, once they get blended up into a sort of paste. Olive Oil, garlic, sea salt and basil are all Paleo goodies, so you can feel totally fine by having this as a snack anytime you get hungry and it’s not time for a full meal. […]

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