Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep

The “Give-Me-More” Zucchini Boats

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These were absolutely delicious. I made these zucchini boats one summer at Holy Cross with my friend, Marjorie, and they had to be ressurected. In honor of summer and not knowing what to do with all those zucchini after the beginning of zucchini season, zucchini boats are a great and innovative recipe. They’re savory, fresh and a not-so-heavy of meal — a perfect summer dish even for those hot days. So serve them as an app, as a side or as a meal and have one (maybe two!) zucchini boats. No matter how they’re served, you’ll definitely want more!

Ingredients (makes 4 “boats”).

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium light green squash (like Lebanese Light Green Summer Squash)
  • Diced onion (enough to sauté for flavor)
  • 1/2 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, washed and chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1/2 sliced carrots
  • 2 links of tomato basil chicken sausage
  • 1/4 c Panko bread crumbs *
  • 1/3 c loosely packed fresh basil
  • Tomato sauce
  • 1/4 c shaved parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

* NOTE: You could easily make these gluten-free by omitting the bread crumbs and using meat that has been approved as GF. (I honestly do no know if there is a gluten-containing ingredient that goes into the sausage. Just check the ingredients or with the distributor!) Chicken sausage could also be substituted for chicken, beef, turkey or pork — really anything could work! Add extra vegetables if for a meatless meal.

Directions.

  1. Boil large pot of water and preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Wash and cut zucchini and green squash lengthwise. Scoop out the middle of the zucchini with a spoon or melon baller, leaving a 1/4 inch thick “boat” wall. Save the scooped out inside of the zucchini to add to the sautéed sausage and vegetables.
  3. Place the scooped-out zucchini in the boiling water for about 1 min.
  4. Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil. Add tomatoes, red bell pepper and carrots and cook until tender.
  5. In a medium pan, brown sausage. (I used pre-cooked sausage.)
  6. Combine cooked sausage with sautéed vegetables. Add “scooped out” portion of zucchini, along with 1/4 c Panko bread crumbs.
  7. Wash and chiffonade fresh basil leaves (see below). Add to sausage and vegetable mix and cook for 2-3 more min.
  8. In a oven-safe pan, spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place zucchini halves in the pan. Spoon in the sausage and vegetable mixture into the boats. Divide evenly among four boats. Top with tomato sauce and shaved parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25 min. or until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender.
  10. Spoon tomato sauce out from the bottom of the pan, top with baked zucchini boat, and top with red pepper and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Adapted from Skinny Taste’s Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats.

From The Forest Feast.
From The Forest Feast.

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 “Scooped out” zucchini — now zucchini boats. Zucchini (far left) with light green squash (far right).

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Mix of sautéed vegetables, sausage and fresh basil.
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Stuffed zucchini boats ready to be baked.

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