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Bean & Cheese Zucchini Rolls {a.k.a. Zucchitos}

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 Rolls
Author: The Kitchen Prep

Ingredients

  • ½ cup salsa verde {I like Trader Joe's brand}
  • 2 large zucchini cut lengthwise into thin strips *
  • 1 can refried beans {I buy the vegetarian kind because they don't contain lard}
  • ¾ cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • {Optional} Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour salsa verde into the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking dish and spread with a spoon. Set aside.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil {so you can just toss the mess when you're done}, and place zucchini strips on sheet. Spread about 2 tablespoons of refried beans onto each strip, stopping a half inch or so shy of the end.
  • Sprinkle each with about a tablespoon {or more, if you'd like} shredded cheese. Carefully roll the strips into a pinwheel until you get to the bare end -- leaving that spot without refried beans will make for "cleaner" rolls. Secure with a toothpick, if needed.
  • Place the rolls in the baking dish** as close to each other as possible to help make sure they stay rolled up, nestling them down into the salsa verde.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving {to avoid all the filling falling out}. If desired, dollop a little sour cream {I use nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead} on top. Serve with Mexican rice, or as seen here, with chipotle-infused rice.

Notes

* It really helps to get the zucchini pieces as thin as possible so they don't snap when you roll them. If you're not in a rush, baking the strips for a few minutes to soften them first will also help make them more pliable. Even if they break, they'll still be good... just uglier than they already are.
**I placed mine with the open side facing up, but placing them with the open sides lying horizontally may help them take a better shape.