Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These Stuffed Zucchini Boats have changed my feelings when it comes to zucchinis. I love my spiralized zucchinis but I needed to change it up!

When I crave Italian food I immediately think of pasta in a light tomato sauce sprinkled with plenty of fresh basil and shaved Parmesan. I mean, come on, IT’S SO GOOD!

I never thought I could get the same level of satisfaction with a dish that doesn’t involve pasta.

Here it is:

Ingredients

  • 3 zucchinis, green or yellow (both are good)
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey 
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • a handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • some crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Italian style Panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Measure out 1 cup of the marinara sauce and set aside.
  2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the middle with a spoon. Place the scooped out zucchini boats into a baking dish and add some water at the bottom. Set the zucchini flesh aside. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until just slightly fork-tender. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a 12″ skillet and place over MEDIUM heat. Add turkey (or beef), onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring to break up the ground meat as it cooks. Continue to cook and stir until meat is thoroughly cooked and veggies have softened and turn brown. Add the chopped zucchini flesh at the end then set aside.
  4. In another skillet, cook your tomatoes with onion and garlic. Wait until the tomatoes soften to crush them. I use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes. Add the parsley, salt, fresh ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and allow to simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove partially cooked zucchini from baking dish and pour off water. Pour the 1 cup of reserved tomato sauce into the empty baking dish and place zucchini boats on top of the sauce.
  6. Divide the filling between the zucchini boats. If you have extra filling, spoon it into the dish around the zucchini boats. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 20 minutes, or until zucchini is fork tender. Remove dish from oven and set oven to BROIL.
  7. Remove foil and sprinkle zucchini boats with mozzarella, Parmesan and the Panko bread crumbs. Place dish in oven, watching closely, and cook for just a couple of minutes until cheese has melted and bread crumbs are golden brown.
 

There you have it, zucchini boats loaded with nutrition and all in all, pretty darn DELICIOUS!


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