Stuffed Zucchini is a great entrée for your next gathering and a fun way to use your garden-grown zucchini!
I am completely in love with these stuffed zucchini’s! Staying true to my garden-harvest focus as of late, here is my latest use for your home-grown veggies (or farmers-market bought … or store-bought). Let’s just be honest, it is veggie heaven right now as far as what is in season. Zucchini is one of my most favorite vegetables because it is so diverse. It is my go-to in stir-fry and is the main ingredient in one of my other favorite foods – Fried Zucchini. Like, Fried Zucchini, this is a meal I grew up eating and is something I still make every summer for my own family. Yes, it is kid-friendly (if you can get them to admit they like pizza – you should be able to negotiate several bites, if not an entire plate) and, overall, pretty healthy (you can use as little or as much cheese as you like – that is really the only big calorie punch). It is beautiful, fresh and oh-so-tasty! This a must-try guys…..
I am not going to make empty promises or tell you to try to work this into your work-week meal plan – it is an amazing dish, but does take a little time…. don’t worry, it is totally worth it. First, you need to cut your zucchini in half (here, the bigger the better). Take a large spoon and start scooping out the insides, leaving about 1/4 inch around the sides – it has to be thick enough so it can handle the stuffing and not break.
Fill a large pot about 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil. Once all of your zucchini’s are cut in half and hollowed out, you can par-boil (aka put them in the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes). You want them to be soft, but not soggy or they will fall apart. You still want the zucchini to be firm when you bit into it (what is worse than mushy zucchini … not many things) and you will still be putting it in the oven to bake – soooo err on the side of being too firm as opposed to too mushy.
Once you have par-boiled your zucchini, and you may need to do it in batches, place them on a cookie sheet and they are ready to be stuffed.
Now is about the time you preheat your oven to 375.
Take the insides of your zucchini that you scooped out and roughly chop them so they are at least in bite-sized pieces. Then, in a large skillet, add 1lb of sweet italian sausage on med-high heat and cook thoroughly. Add zucchini and onion and cook until zucchini becomes transparent. Then drain out the excess liquid (there will be a good amount).
Add some oregano, basil, mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper – mix well.
Then stuff those zucchini. Once you have evenly dispersed the stuffing, drizzle some marinara sauce on top (and feel free to add additional chunks of cheese if you want).
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly, but otherwise serve immediately.
- 4-6 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 1lb sweet italian sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- ½ Teaspoon oregano
- ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- ½ Teaspoon basil
- ¼ lb fresh mozzarella
- ¼ Teaspoon kosher salt
- dash of pepper
- 1 small jar of marinara sauce
- Scoop out insides of zucchini, leaving ¼ in the shell (about ½ inch around the sides).
- Fill large pot about ⅔ full of water and bring to boil.
- Par-boil zucchini halves by placing as many as can fit in the water and letting boil for approx. 3 minutes.
- Remove zucchini, drain well, and place on cookie sheet.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Roughly chop insides from zucchini and set aside, along with the minced onion.
- In large frying pan/skillet, add sausage and cook on med-high heat until fully cooked.
- Add zucchini and onion.
- Cook until zucchini begins to become translucent.
- Drain excess liquid.
- Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper and stir.
- Take fresh mozzarella and add small chunks into the mixture.
- Mix until cheese has melted and started to spread evenly throughout.
- Stuff shells with mixture.
- Drizzle marinara sauce on top and place in the oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.