This Italian sausage-stuffed zucchini boats recipe is a hearty meal that’s not too heavy (perfect for summer). You can serve multiple zucchini boats as an entree, or serve a single one as a tasty side dish!
1largepoblano pepper,diced (bell pepper may be substituted)
1/3cupshredded mozzarella(see notes)
1/3cupItalian-style breadcrumbs(use gluten-free breadcrumbs for a GF recipe)
1/8teaspoonground black pepper
Place an oven rack on the center shelf, then preheat the oven to 400 degrees Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
Set a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausage and cook, using a spatula to break up the meat into small pieces, until fully cooked (Notes: you can turn the heat up to medium once there’s fat in the pan. Will take around 5-6 minutes, or 10-12 with a nonstick skillet). Drain any excess fat through a fine mesh strainer and discard, then set aside to cool.
Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller to scoop out the center of the zucchini. The more zucchini you remove, the more room there will be for filling. However, the zucchini tastes great with the filling, so there's no need to go overboard. Place the zucchini on the prepared sheet pan and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sausage, poblano pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, parsley, mozzarella, parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir to make sure all the breadcrumbs don’t fall to the bottom.
Stuff the filling into the zucchini, gently packing it in as much as possible. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the zucchini is fork-tender.
Serve 2-3 zucchini boats as an entree, or 1 as a side dish. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and enjoy within 3 days.
You can slice off the zucchini stem prior to baking, if you prefer. I leave it on for presentation.Zucchini can vary in size quite a bit, so you might find yourself with too much or not enough filling.Keep in mind that the filling will shrink down a bit in the oven, so don't be shy about packing it into the zucchini. Press it down gently (to avoid breaking the zucchini), and you can also pile the topping on like you would with loaded potatoes. If there's still too much filling, you can also stuff an additional zucchini, if you have one, and bake it along with the rest.If you find yourself short of stuffing, sprinkle on some additional cheese and breadcrumbs.