Summer zucchinis are the stuff of summer legends. They’re so big and ripe right now and locally grown variteties are constantly stocked on the grocery market shelves that it seems all too obvious it’s the perfect time to make stuffed zucchini. Seriously, this may be the only time of year that they grown big enough to really be worthy of this recipe (although I’d eat it any time of year if I could!). So I went ahead and crafted up some delish summer stuffed zucchinis for ya and a recipe to go along with it- just in time for those last few sweet weeks of summer ahead.
Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s also super light and nutritious for you! If you have a picky eater you can always throw these over an enticing bed of pasta for them since there is already plenty of the veggie being used in the sausage stuffing as well. I know, genius right? Pair it with a nice full bodied red wine and even some garlic bread. Yum.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yields: 4 servings (2 zucchinis a person)
-4 large zucchinis (I’ve found the locally grown ones to be the biggest and sweetest at our market)
-1.25 lb. Italian chicken sausage (we use a brand called Lou’s and it’s a little spicy, a little sweet and so good)
-1 or 2 minced garlic cloves
-favorite marinara sauce or recipe
-a few basil leaves chopped
-1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 375. Begin by washing all of your zucchinis and cutting each in half length wise. Using a melon baller or spoon scoop out the inside of each one leaving it about 1/4 inch thick all the way around, throw all of the inside pieces into a big bowl and set aside. Prepare a baking sheet by covering with parchment paper and non-stick cooking spray. Arrange your prepared zucchinis in a single layer across greased baking sheet. Take about half the inside layers you have scooped out of your zucchini boats and put them between some paper towels or cheese cloth and squeeze out any excess water then chop them into small pieces and set aside (you can discard the second half of zucchini you didn’t use). Cut up your basil leaves and set aside.
Now add some olive oil to a Dutch/French oven and allow to heat over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Once oil is hot add your chicken sausage to it without the casing (using your clean hands you can sort of push it out of the casing slowly and into your pan). Use a spoon to separate any big chunks as it cooks it on medium heat, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the sausage and stir in the chopped up zucchini and basil. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add in about 1/3 jar of your favorite pasta sauce and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Bring your baking sheet of zucchini boats close to your sausage mixture and using a spoon begin filling the zucchinis. Roughly 3 heaping spoonfuls per boat (dependent on how large zucchinis are) until the sausage is gone. Top wit shredded cheese and bake in the oven for 20 minutes of until zucchinis are soft all the way through. Let cool and enjoy.