Kids and vegetables, it’s not always a love affair. I find that when you come up with kid “buzz” words to add to the name of your dishes it makes the kiddos a little more excited about veggies. That’s why I call this dish Stuffed Zucchini Boats instead of just Stuffed Zucchinis. Before I tell you exactly how I can pull this dinner off with just 10 minutes of prep time, let’s take a few minutes to celebrate the star of this dish, the zucchini. Here are some seriously fantastic facts about this green gem compliments of Wikipedia.
- Zucchini is fat free, cholesterol free, low in sodium, rich in manganese, folate, and vitamins A and C and has more potassium than a banana.
- Nutrients and vitamins found in zucchinis can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
- Zucchinis contain 95 percent water.
- The longest zucchini measured 7 ft 10.3 and was harvested from a home garden in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
- The flower of the zucchini plant is also edible. Fried squash blossoms anyone?
OK, So how do I do this in just 10 minutes?? It’s all about the prep. You may remember this post about saving with coupons, well when I see ground meat (any variety) is on sale I buy a few packs and freeze them. In the beginning of each week I plan a meal that includes a ground meat. I cook up all the pack with a little onion, salt, and pepper – no specific spices. That way it’s a blank slate that I can add whatever flavors are needed for whatever dish I need it for throughout the week. The second thing I do is make a HUGE batch of my Crockpot Marinara (I typically double the recipe in the link), I always have one jar in the fridge and several in the freezer. I use the coupon method to buy the cans needed for this recipe too.
If I do the above prep work and my typical meal planning I can pull together a wholesome and delicious weeknight meal in minutes. Now that you know my secrets here’s the recipe for my Stuffed Zucchini Boats. I truly hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as my Rinos and I do.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 3 zucchinis
- 1 cup marinara sauce (Try my Crockpot Marinara recipe. It’s easy and delicious!)
- 1/2 an onion chopped
- 1/2 pound ground meat
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic peeled and grated
- 1TB olive oil
- 1 egg, beated
Preheat your oven to 375º. Cut your zucchinis in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, hollow out the each half and reserve the zucchini “meat”. Chop the reserved zucchini, add it to the bowl and set aside. Start a pan on the oven over medium heat, add the olive oil and the chopped onion. When the onions start to soften, add the grated garlic. After about 2 minutes (or when the garlic starts to smell fragrant) add your ground meat (I used turkey, but you can use any meat or even tofu) and cook until browned. Take off heat and allow to cool. Then add to the bowl with the zucchini. Add the sauce, the egg, and 1/4 cup of the cheese. (*Note: If you did the prep above, just add the cold cooked meat, raw onion and garlic to the bowl with the zucchini “meat”.) Spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats. Put the boats in a foil lined pan and cover. Put in the over for 30 minutes. Remove cover, top with remaining cheese and cook for another 10 minutes.
Let me know if you try my Stuffed Zucchini Boats. I would LOVE to hear what your family thinks!