Your favorite comfort food with a healthy twist! This vegan zucchini ravioli smothered with marinara and creamy Alfredo sauce is the ultimate of low carb vegan recipes.
This recipe was originally published on 12/20/2016
I survive on flavorful comforting indulgent food. I mean salads are cool every now and then, but there is nothing like a really satisfying meal. But not all satisfying meals have to make you bloat post consumption. Which is why I created these vegan zucchini ravioli. A low carb vegan meal like no other.
Low carb recipes
I ate low carb for half a day once and almost died. True story. Well, I didn't actually almost die, but I was so hungry I consider that a slow death. People get so wrapped up in diet fads, they often forget that eating is supposed to be amazing.
I am usually what is called a carb maniac, I love my carbs and my body craves them. But from time to time, I feel the need to have a carb vacay. However salad doesn't usually cut it for me.
What can I make for dinner that is low carb?
Glad you asked! As I was looking for more low carb vegan recipes (did you see this one yet?), I got inspired to make these vegan zucchini ravioli. Little pockets of tightly wound thin zucchini slices filled with a basil and spinach ricotta to die for, and topped with flavorful tomato sauce, creamy Alfredo.
The cherry on the top (or the cheesy topping) is buttery hemp seed pine nut parmesan. I bakes to a borderline crisp and is so good, you'll almost forget you're not actually eating pasta. Almost.
Is eating hemp seeds good for you?
Hemp seeds are my favorite dirty little secret. Tiny pockets of whole food fat filled with protein. They are rich in essential nutrients, and also provide dietary fiber. They make a perfect plus one with our fabulous butter friend, the pine nut.
This yummy combo first appeard in my Scalloped Cauliflower recipe. I mixed them with breadcrumbs to form a perfect crispy topping. So I thought I'd give it a try as the cheesy sub to these bad boys here too. Side note: You can also make this grateable parmesan cheese.
How to make zucchini ravioli?
Vegan zucchini ravioli may seem like a pain, but they are actually quite simple.
- Make ricotta filling.
- Slice the zucchini into strips, fill and fold.
Tricks to making these even easier
The key to successful dinners is to cut corners. Yep, I am telling you to cheat. No one ever said survival is truthful all the time, so go with it.
- Skip the alfredo or use store bought.
- Use your favorite jarred tomato sauce.
- Make the ricotta ahead of time, heck double the batch and freeze for next time!
- Slice the zucchini the day before and keep in the fridge until ready.
- You should always have some vegan Parmesan on hand, so that's a no brainer.
How to make this vegan ravioli kid friendly
Because I am an advocate in making one meal work for everyone, here is how I have had less mean looks at my table:
- Serve the ravioli as is over pasta.
- Cut up the ravioli and mix in with pasta.
- Serve ravioli in parts in a kid build your own pasta bar. Blanch the zucchini strips by putting them in the bottom of the pasta strainer and draining the hot pasta over it. Then serve the sauces and ricotta separately and let kids build their pasta bowls themselves. My kids have control issues so this always helps.
- Play with your food! Put everything out on the table and let the littles make their own zucchini pockets. You can even add more fillings and let them decide what to put in.
PS- If you want to make this meal low fat too, sub the ricotta for the cauliflower ricotta in this recipe!
By the way, if you are stuck in a dinner rut and need some help there, I have a comprehensive FREE guide on weekly meal planning that comes with a FREE 3 day meal plan and shopping list! Join here!
Zucchini Ravioli: A Low Carb Vegan Meal
- 4 zucchini (medium sized)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup walnuts
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ - 1 teaspoon sea salt (depends on red sauce used)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 cup fresh spinach
Hemp Pine Nut Parmesan:
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon sea salt (see note)
- Easy Tomato Marinara
- or Crockpot Red Sauce
- Cream Sauce (use sauce portion only)
- or Creamy Alfredo (use sauce portion only)
- If you’re making your own marinara, make now and set it to cook while prepping the rest of the meal.
- If you haven’t made Alfredo make it as well, follow the directions in the link.
- Make parmesan by adding all ingredients to a food processor and blending until you get a nice crumble.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
- Slice zucchini lengthwise into very thin strips. A mandolin slicer will give you the best results but you can also do it with a sharp knife and some patience! You can throw away the very edge pieces as those are all skin. You should have about 15 thin slices per zucchini.
- Place slices on paper towels and sprinkle a little salt on them to help draw out some of the water. Let them sit while you make ricotta.
- Place cashews, walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper, water, basil and spinach into a food processor. Pulse until you get a ricotta like texture. You want it slightly chunky, on the verge of pureed.
- Wipe of the excess water and salt from the zucchini strips. Take two strips at a time and make an X.
- Place a spoonful of ricotta mixture in the middle where the slices cross.
- Then fold the tips of each slice into the middle one by one (see photo in post) to make a ravioli like pocket. Place them into a 9 x 12 baking dish.
- Once all ravioli are made, drizzle both marinara and Alfredo over the ravioli. You can put as much or as little as you prefer.
- Sprinkle with Hemp Pine Nut parmesan.
- Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until zucchini is fully cooked. Allow to set about 5-10 minutes after baking. Serve while still nice and warm!
- This makes a total of about 30 ravioli. Each serving is 5 ravioli.
- Nutrition info does not include the marinara or cream sauce.
- You can add all basil or all spinach if you prefer, just up to 2 cups of whatever one you do.
- Adjust the salt for both the ricotta and parmesan to your liking. It all depends on the amount of salt used in the other parts of the recipe.
- If you don’t have pine nuts, you can always sub walnuts, although it won’t have that same deep buttery flavor.
- To make this even easier, you can always use a jarred marinara sauce and skip the creamy Alfredo, but it’s highly recommended to make your own of both!
- If you want to use the ricotta as a topping for something, use less liquid to make it thicker and more stable. Start with only a few tablespoons of water and add more to get the texture you like.
- You can also sub the ricotta for this low fat version
- Make ricotta, parmesan, red sauce and Alfredo.
- Make sure ravioli is cooked really well. Cut into small pieces and serve with favorite pasta.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.
I absolutely love the way you made the "raviolis"! I am a total carb addict so any way that I can duck them and still feel like I haven't been cheated is great with me!!! Thanks. Looking forward to trying this out.
Thank you! I love my carbs but I'm telling you these are so satisfying and good!
April J Harris
I love this recipe! I eat very few carbs now and I've lost a lot of weight but I do crave comfort food like ravioli from time to time. Your Low Carb Zucchini Ravioli is definitely on my list of recipes to make to stay healthy over the holidays!
Oh you'd love these!! Such a healthy yet satisfying meal! Let me know if you try them!
I'm a total carboholic, but I'm in love with this recipe!!! What a great idea! Can't wait to try it after the holidays when I know I'm going to be craving some healthy "real" food! Throw in the fact that it's a unicorn food! Who could possibly resist?!? ?
LOL! It's definitely the unicorn of healthy low carb meals! We eat them weekly and every time I'm sad it's gone. Ha!
Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy
I love this creative twist on classic ravioli. It's definitely low carb and sounds so delicious!! Great way to add more veggies to a meal!
Thank you! I cut them up for the kiddos too!
The Vegan 8
I love my carbs, so I don't need low carb but I LOVE zucchini, which is one of my favorite veggies, so I would just eat the entire pan! I have always wanted to try zucchini lasagna (but too lazy lol), so I imagine these would be just as yummy. I love how you didn't skip on the sauce either!! The ricotta sounds delicious too. I made a pine nut ricotta a couple of years ago but never perfected it. I love that you put walnuts in yours, the texture looks perfect!
I love my carbs too but sometimes I need a fully veggie filled lower carb meal and these hit the spot every time! You can even throw them over pasta! Joe eats the ricotta with a spoon until I swat him away. LOL! Thanks mama!
Such beautiful little zucchini packets! I love your use of hemp seed hearts for the topping. Amazing way to make ravioli low carb.
Thank you! Yes, they are like little veggie presents! LOL
Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy
I always love trying out new homemade vegan ricotta, and can always go for low-carb versions especially after the holidays! This looks delicious sophia!
Thanks Anjali! This is defiantly my favorite ricotta to date. I tend to mix walnuts into many of my ricottas because I like the flavor it brings versus cashews alone. But I love them all nut based because of how healthy they are and the whole food aspect. These are my husband's favorite recipe I think! He asks for them every week. LOL
Linda @ Veganosity
Carb lover right here! These look amazing and I love that I could eat the entire pan without feeling guilty.
Oh I almost did...LOL! I love carbs too but sometimes it feels good to take a break! Thanks mama!
This sounds amazing! I'll definitely want to make this (I just have to use my nut-free ricotta). What a great idea.
Thanks Nicole! Let me know if you try them! With your ricotta make sure to add in the basil and spinach, it gives it such great flavor and adds to the overall taste!
What a delicious and gorgeous looking recipe! Your ravioli are so neat! I just love everything about it and really need to try it soon.
Thanks Mel! They really aren't hard to make this neat. They get nice and tight and pretty after they are baked too!
Ultimate unicorn of food!! I love it!! This is seriously so genius, Sophia! I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I've had ravioli (maybe 10+ years ago) and this sounds way better than anything I've had in the past. The homemade ricotta sounds amazing! And using BOTH marinara and alfredo is epic! I want a big plate of this right now!!
Thank Mandy! You would love these! I serve them over pasta for the kids and they go bonkers!
Dianne's Vegan Kitchen
Ooooo... I love this! I've made zucchini "pasta" before, but I've never even thought to make ravioli. Pure genius!
Thanks Dianne! They are SO good!
What! This is genius. And I love that it has healthy hemp hearts in it.
And it's easy! I swear I was even shocked the first time. LOL!
I was going to buy ravioli for Christmas Eve dinner, but I'm making this instead!! Can't wait! Will report back ?
You'll love them!! Let me know how it goes!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Ooo that sounds delicious!!! Better than zoodles, better than nooodles...all more fun in every way! 😀
Thanks Rebecca! Way better than zoodles!