Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

 I am happy to share my Stuffed Zucchini Boats! Hurry! Before it gets cool outside and these two particular veggies disappear, MAKE THIS DISH!! I tell you, your mouth will water, and you can’t resist the “mmm” coming out of your mouth after each bite. Well, at least I couldn’t help it :).The secret ingredient (not so secret now huh?) is what makes this dish pop, makes it go up another level of flavor, makes the dish so good you gotta go back for seconds.

And thankfully, you can find it in any major grocery store in the spice isle: GrillMates Mesquite Seasoning. I like to use various grilling spices on many of my dishes now, just because it adds that smoky flavor, that extra depth to the dish. Don’t have it? Go get it. Trust me, it makes this dish.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 medium sized (or 8 small) zucchini
  • 2 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 2 cups shredded italian cheese
  • 1 lb. ground pork (or ground turkey, or chicken your choice!)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • One large onion, chopped finely
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 large red bell peppers, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp GrillMate Mesquite seasoning (optional, but recommended)

Here’s what to do:

  1. With each zucchini, rinse and chop off the ends of both sides. Slice in half and spoon out the center. Be careful to not scoop too close to the outer layer.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large skillet, heat a tbsp of oil on medium-high heat. Saute onion and red bell pepper for 5 minutes, or until soft. Place in bowl and set aside.
  4. Brown the ground beef and pork in the skillet, drain if necessary, then return to the skillet. Add the sauteed vegetables, mix to combine. Add the pasta sauce, and the grill seasoning. Stir and bring to a gentle boil, then simmer until sauce has absorbed (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat.
  5. Once the meat mixture has cooled slightly, add the Italian cheese and stir to combine.
  6. With a spoon, carefully scoop some of the meat mixture and put on each zucchini half.
  7. Once all the zucchini halves have been stuffed, place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with pam. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  8. Take the zucchini out of the oven and then sprinkle with a little of the remaining cheese, then place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. The zucchini should be tender to the fork. Enjoy!