Squash and zucchini are two of summer’s most delicious (and not to mention versatile) vegetables. From making zoodles with the 3-in-1 Electric Spiralizer to baking zucchini bread, the sky’s the limit when it comes to summer squash.
We like the idea of using zucchini not only as an ingredient but also as a serving vessel. Zucchini boats are a low-carb meal option that are easy to mix and match with ingredients depending on what you’re craving that night. We took the Italian route but you could easily change this recipe to incorporate Mexican, Thai or other flavors.
Halve 6 zucchini and scoop out the center using a spoon or melon baller. Set some of the scooped zucchini aside and start on your filling.
First, brown hot sausage in a large skillet. The Test Kitchen liked how the hot sausage added some spice but you could certainly substitute sweet or even turkey sausage in this recipe.
Once the sausage is browned and crumbled, set it aside. Add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onions are tender. Add the cooked sausage back to the pan along with parmesan cheese, the reserved zucchini, tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Spoon the mixture into your zucchini boats and bake for 20 minutes. Top the boats with shredded mozzarella cheese and pop them back into the oven, or toaster oven, until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Sprinkle with fresh basil and a little more parmesan and you’re ready to eat.
As one of our tasting panel members noted, these are a great substitute for a french bread pizza or other standard, carb-heavy Italian meals. Hold the pasta and bread tonight and serve these flavorful, low-carb Italian zucchini boats.
- 6 small zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 1 pound bulk hot sausage
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Sliced fresh basil
- Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Scoop out center of zucchini halves. Reserve 1 1/2 cups. Place zucchini boats in baking pan.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage, stirring to crumble, about 6 minutes or until browned. Remove sausage to a medium bowl.
- Add onion and garlic to skillet, cook until onion is translucent. Stir in reserved zucchini, sausage, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper.
- Spoon mixture into the zucchini boats.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake an additional 5 to 6 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle with sliced fresh basil before serving.