How is it, that of all the plants in my garden, Zucchini is the most fool proof one?! We tried to go conservative this year and only planted two plants but have still been taken over by wheelbarrows full of zucchini. It’s wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but those suckers grow BIG and FAST! Most days when I remember to pick the zucchini it’s already the size of my forearm arm or larger. That’s a heck of a lot of zucchini noodles!
Gary likes to cut zucchini and squash into rounds and sauté them until they are caramelized or even a bit crispy. But this year my stomach just couldn’t do it every day. He had been such a champ and has eaten zucchini almost every meal this summer but I hit a breaking point and needed. A different option.
One day my cute neighbor reminded me about Zucchini boats! How could I have forgotten?! I was so stuck on what I couldn’t stand eating any more that I had a mind block and lost all cooking creativity whatsoever.
Typically with zucchini boats you use nice, cute, appropriately sized zucchini to make sweet, little personal boats of deliciousness. But let’s face it, I had monster zucchini I had to get rid of. So now I’m sharing my ah-ha moment with you.
We decided to use our giant zucchini to make two huge boats that we then sliced up to serve. And even though the zucchini was extra large it still tasted delicious!
I am pretty Plain Jane when it comes to things I like so I often times just re-use the same list of ingredients I’m different dishes. For my zucchini boats I used the same meat/cheese combo I often times use for stuffed mushrooms and quinoa meatballs. I also try and use what I have on hand that day to avoid a trip to the store if possible. Change the recipe to suit your preferences but you can use my ingredients as a guide:)
Zucchini Boat Ingredients
(Serves 2 very hungry people or 4 -6 people who are less of gluttons than we are 😉)
- 1/2 lb of sausage
- 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
- 1 egg
- 1 8oz container of Parmesan cheese
- 1 8oz package of mushrooms
- 1-2 large zucchini or 4-6 normal size small zucchini
- Salt/pepper/seasoning to taste
1. Preheat overnight to 375 degrees. Slice the zucchini length wise (hot-dog style ;)) and remove all seeds, leaving a large space for meat/cheese mixture. 2. Slice mushrooms then combine them with sausage, ground beef, 1 egg, 3/4 of the Parmesan cheese, and seasoning until all ingredients are mixed together well (sometimes I just have to use my hands an mash it all together…I don’t have the patience to daintily mash it slowly with a fork)3. Fill the zucchini boats with the meat mixture until it is heaping. The meat will cook down …I personally like a healthy meat to veggie ratio. 4. Bake until the meat is cooked thoroughly and a fork can easily be inserted into the zucchini. (You May like your zucchini firmer/softer than me so cooking time may vary). My food is usually ready in about 20 minutes. 5. When food is about done, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top and let melt for about 5 minutes and then remove from oven.
(We decided to make stuffed mushrooms with the extra meat mix and used the stems of the mushrooms for the zucchini boats! I get a lot of enjoyment from not wasting food and finding ways to use it all up!)
This is definitely a basic recipe and I love that it is quick to prepare yet delicious. And it gets rid of those giant zucchinis taking up all your counter space. Many people like to put pasta sauce on top or use other meats or cheeses to give it a different flavor. You can even add cream cheese to make it even creamier. This is our favorite combo so far and I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think! Katie