Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boat is a delicious way to cook an overlarge zucchini. If you don’t like zucchini, make the stuffing and use it in my Sausage Bread.
Mid-summer is the time of abundance in the garden. Sometimes though, the garden gets ahead of my ability to harvest its produce. When that happens, I suddenly find a giant zucchini lurking in the garden. I am amazed at how quickly a zucchini can grow. I swear that giant squash was just a baby yesterday. The zucchini I used in this recipe was 14 inches long.
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I admit I’m not upset when this happens as I have several recipes I can pull out and use up the large zucchini. One of my favorites is this Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boat. I used to stuff the zucchini boats with kidney beans instead of sausage. However, farmer Fred is convinced beans are not a food he can enjoy. So I started using spicy Italian sausage instead. I have to admit it is delicious. I do still like it with beans as well. Suppose you are a vegetarian, use a can of kidney or black beans instead of the sausage. Also, some of the plant-based Italian Sausage from Beyond Meat is delicious.
Fry up the sausage until it is nice and brown. Then remove it from the frypan, leaving about a Tbsp. of oil, and add the onions. The onions will deglaze the pan. Fry the onions until they are translucent and a golden brown color. Remove the onions and fry the peppers.
Add the sausage and onions back into the pan. Add Italian-style stewed tomatoes and some marinara sauce. Mix it all and stuff the zucchini. Don’t forget to scoop the seeds out before stuffing.
I layer the sausage and cheese in the boat ending with a generous portion of cheese on top. Mozzarella and parmesan cheese are delicious. Cover with aluminum foil, bake and enjoy your Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boat.
Bonus: My SIS (simple is smart) method for preventing melted cheese from sticking to the foil. Spray the foil with some cooking spray before covering the zucchini boats. This also works for lasagna or any casserole that has cheese on the top. Uncover 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time to allow the cheese to brown up a bit.
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- 1 large zucchini or two smaller zucchini I used a 14 inch long zucchini
- 1 lb. Italian sausage broken into chunks
- 1 onion sweet, cut into thin slices
- 1 bell pepper sweet red cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 can stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz) Italian style, drained
- 1 cup marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese grated
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- Wash the zucchini, cut off the ends, cut in half, and scoop out the seeds. Once the seeds are scooped out, place the 2 halves in a large baking dish. (11X14)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the casing from the sausage and cut the sausage into chunks.
- Fry the sausage until brown and crispy on the outside. Then remove from pan to a bowl. Remove all but 1 Tbsp of the sausage fat.
- Add the sweet onion slices and fry in the sausage fat until browned and translucent. Remove the onion to the sausage bowl.
- Add the red bell pepper. Fry until slightly charred on the outsides of the pepper.
- Add sausage and onions back into the pan and remove from heat.
- Add the can of Italian-style stewed tomatoes to the sausage mixture.
- Add 1-2 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce. Mix all together. Save the rest of the jar for leftovers. (see notes)
- Stuff each zucchini boat with about 1/4 of the sausage mixture and top with 1/2 - 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese. Layer with more sausage stuffing and finish with the rest of the cheese. Top with grated parmesan cheese.
- If you are using two smaller zucchinis no need to layer with the cheese. Fill the zucchini with the stuffing and top with the cheese.
- Spray a piece of aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray and place over the zucchini boats, sprayed side down.
- Bake 30 minutes or until zucchini is just fork tender. Uncover the boats during the last 10 minutes of baking. Don't overbake.
- Serve and enjoy with a piece of garlic bread and a garden salad.