Oh my gaaassshhhhh these are so amazing. I’m going to be straight up with you guys, because honesty is good right? This recipe has been in my “to make” note for several months now. I thought it had potential to be tasty, but I mainly thought it would just be a nice, healthy meal. I never expected it to be anywhere near as delicious as it was. This ranks on my list of meals that I could literally eat every single week. It is THAT good. You have to taste it to believe it – I really, really think you will be as surprised as I was!
You know what these zucchini taste like? They taste like a casserole that you have been slaving over in your hot kitchen for hours…except it’s not casserole and you won’t slave for hours. BUT – that’s what they taste like ?.
So, sooo GOOD. And they are cute…little stuffed zucchinis. You know how some dishes are just satisfying to pull out of your oven? You take it out and you’re like, “Dang. I rock.” Really involved casseroles make me feel this way – lasagna, baked ziti, chicken and rice, things like that. Aaaaand these stuffed zucchini!
They look so pretty and fun. And the filling is the BOMBBBBB.com. So much flava. My computer keeps auto correcting flava to lava. Dear computer, please learn my strange blog language. You two should be well acquainted at this point – adaptability, laptop. Adaptability.
So, the filling:
- A delicious mixture of turkey sausage and ground turkey. Seasoned and browned to beautiful golden perfection.
- Veggies – onion, green pepper, the filling of the zucchini that we scoop out, and garlic (least surprising thing I’ve ever done).
- Extras – tomato paste (flava), spices (flavaaaa), and cheeessssseeeee. Cheddar, to be exact.
It’s just…it’s just………so tasty. So, like I said earlier, the filling really tastes like something that has been baking and simmering for hours – that is the depth of flavor that we achieve in this recipe. How? I shall tell you. There are a few techniques.
Number one: BROWN, brown, brown the meat. BROWN IT. Browning meat is such a huge and important step in basically every recipe ever, and it is so often skipped or rushed. Just brown it. Do it.
Number two: Remove the meat from the pan once it has finished its delicious browning process and cook the veggies in the same pan. Why? Layers and layers of flavor. The veggies pick up the little pieces of browned meat that have stuck to the bottom of the pan, and that is just pure deliciousness right there. It is a sin to throw that away. If you throw that away, YOU ARE SINNING. So don’t.
Number three: Our extras. The tomato paste – this is very important. That little tablespoon of tomato paste adds so much depth and complexity to this filling. The spices – oregano and Italian seasoning…again, depth and complexity. And then salty, salty, salt. Don’t under season your food, people. If it tastes bland, it’s proooobably because it doesn’t have enough salt. So sprinkle dat angel dust on there.
Number four: Cheese! Do I even need to explain? No. I don’t. It’s cheese.
Now, as for the boats themselves – super simple. You just scoop out most of the zucchini meat, leaving a light later for structure, and set that goodness aside in a bowl (we will use it later [because waste = no bueno]). Then you just sprinkle the boats with a little salt and pepper and bake them for about ten minutes while you make your filling!
Then you stuff them ?. Which is fun. And satisfying. Because they look so pretty when you put them in the oven.
Sprinkle your little remaining cheese on top of each one, pop them in the oven for another ten minutes, remove, eat all of them immediately. Fall in love with zucchini boats. Swear off all other food.
Sooo, Kansas this week….we have had like fifty tornado warnings. By fifty I mean two, but still. Two is a lot in the matter of a week. Boone and I have had to hide in the basement a few different times…it has been an experience. Especially because Boone is TERRIFIED of our basement stairs. He will go nowhere near them.
So I had to forcibly carry him down. He was quite afraid. Had his legs and arms totally stiff and stuck out in front of him. He’s eighty pounds B-T-dubs. So that was fun.
The plus side = storms make him cuddly. Exhibit A:
Totes worth it. Bring on that bad weather, and let’s cuddle all night.
Just an observation…I think I talk about my dog on this blog as much as I talk about food. Is that normal? Is that okay? Maybe I should rename the blog. “The Garlic Diaries and Boone.” “The Boone Diaries that Sometimes Include Food.” “Crazy Dog Lady Cooks Stuff and Rambles About It.”
Three possible new titles to consider. Just a thought.
THESE ZUCCHINI BOATS.
For you 21 Day Fix people, here are your container amounts:
- 1 1/4 green (zucchini, onion, green pepper)
- 1/2 red (turkey)
- 1 blue (cheese)
- 1 teaspoon (olive oil)
*The spices, basil, and garlic are “free”*
Click here to see more 21 Day Fix recipes!
- 2 zucchini (4 green)
- ¼ pound turkey sausage (casing removed) (1 red)
- ¼ pound ground turkey (1 red)
- ½ green pepper (1/2 green)
- ½ onion (1/2 green)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 blue)
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- Optional toppings: basil and paprika
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Slice zucchini evenly in half. Scoop out the insides with a spoon, leaving a thin layer of the "meat" for structure. Add the scooped out "meat" into a bowl and set aside for later
- Place the zucchini boats on a foil lined baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 10 minutes
- Meanwhile, prepare your filling
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil, your ground turkey, and your turkey sausage (casing removed)
- Season with salt and pepper
- Break apart with your spoon and brown (about 5 minutes)
- When the meat is brown, remove to a plate and set aside
- In the same pan, add 2 more teaspoons of olive oil and your onion, green pepper, and garlic
- Season with salt and pepper
- Cook until veggies have softened (about 3 minutes)
- Add the turkey back in with the veggies along with the zucchini meat you set aside earlier, tomato paste, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined - season to taste with salt and pepper
- Turn off the heat and add most of your cheese - set some aside to sprinkle on top of the stuffed zucchini boats - stir until totally combined
- Divide the filling into four sections (it is easiest to just section it up in your pan)
- Stuff each zucchini boat with the filling - pressing it down if it is too heaping
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over each stuffed zucchini, and bake for 10 minutes
- Remove from the oven and serve! Optional toppings include sliced basil and paprika
This recipe is gluten free
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more zucchini recipes? Check these out: