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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

By Tia Ohm

We are overflowing with zucchini in our garden, and this recipe is a definite keeper for the late summer seasons in the future. You can replace the sausage with lentils for those veggie lovers, creating a versatile delight for anyone’s appetite, or just enjoy as is.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 medium zucchini (or eggplant), stems trimmed off and halved lengthwise
  • 3 links sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 teaspoons grated Pecorino Romano

What to Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Hallow out the zucchini with a knife and ice cream scooper, leaving 1/2 inch of skin for the shell, and coarsely chop the innards.
  3. Place zucchini boats in boiling water for 3 minutes, keeping them submerged. Remove and let dry on towel.
  4. Brown sausage in skillet on medium-high heat while breaking up into pieces. Add kale, pepper, onions, and garlic until onions are almost caramelized (about 2-3 minutes). Add 1 cup of the innards of zucchini and cook for about 3 more minutes. Add 1 cup tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and cook a few more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in fresh basil and Romano cheese.
  5. Pour 1/3 cup tomatoes at the bottom of 9 x 12 baking dish and place zucchini boats on top. Season with salt and pepper and stuff with sausage mixture; evenly distributed between boats.
  6. Top with mozzarella cheese, evenly divided onto each. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender.
  7. Garnish with basil and serve.