My inspiration on these delicious Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats is my husbands grandmother, aka “Grandma Lou”. Theres nothing complicated here but these zucchini boats pack a ton of flavor! While I did use pork sausage, you could easily substitute chicken sausage or any variety of veggies to make it meatless. Besides that these taste great, I sneak in extra veggie goodness into the sauce with lots of carrots which makes the sauce a little sweeter too. I served these zucchini boats with wild rice.
6-8 zucchini (depending on size)
12 cloves garlic, sliced, divided
1- 28 oz can tomato puree
2 large carrots, peeled and very finely chopped in a food processor
1 lb bulk sausage (no casing)
1 large shallot, small dice
6 Italian cheese blend (I use Bordens brand)
Oven at 375 degrees.
Lets start by making the simple sauce. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add in enough olive oil to coat bottom, half the garlic and the finely chopped carrots. Cook until slightly softened.
Add in the can of tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer on low for 1 hour.
To prep the zucchini, lay it on its side so it doesn’t wobble. Cut off each end and cut horizontally to take off just enough to expose the inside on the zucchini. Using a spoon, remove some of the “meat” of the zucchini and set it aside. You want to make sure to leave enough so the zucchini still has structure to it.
Rough chop half the “meat” you removed and set aside.
Once the sauce is done you can start the filling for the boats. In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add a few drizzles of olive oil, the shallot and the remaining garlic. Cook until softened.
Add in the sausage and break the meat up using a potato masher. Once its cooked about half way through, add in the chopped zucchini “meat” and the sauce. Simmer for 12-15 minutes.
Spoon the filling into the zucchini boats and place in a baking dish. Top with some of the shredded cheese blend.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and the zucchini is cooked but not too soft that it falls apart.
*this is my original recipe*
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