During a recent visit to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market I picked up some heirloom orange zucchini. It was our first visit but I will tell you it definitely won’t be our last! I loved the place but left a bit sad since it’s so far away and we don’t have anything comparable near us. But we went home with a couple bags full of fresh produce and homemade tortillas, yum!
Maybe I’m just oblivious or not too bright but I totally didn’t know zucchini came in anything other than green. So when I saw the heirloom orange zucchini, I snatched it up with pure excitement. And it was only 25 cents per zucchini so it was a total steal. When I got home, I got to thinking of what to make and oh so conveniently, this recipe for Sausage Stuffed Zucchini popped up on my Facebook news feed. I have made several recipes from Skinny Taste with very pleasing results so I knew this would be a good one to try. And it turned out to be so easy.
I halved the recipe since I was making it for lunch and Joel isn’t a zucchini fan so I didn’t want lots of leftovers. I had some leftover cooked ground sausage that I threw in the freezer a few weeks ago after making Sicilian Spaghetti so I simply thawed it and sauted it with the vegetables. I even made it up the night before so I could just throw it in the oven the next day. This was a great, healthy lunch that I enjoyed a lot. Maybe I can talk Joel into trying it. We shall see.
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini
recipe from Skinny Taste
1 1/4 pizza sauce or jarred spaghetti sauce
4 medium zucchini
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (I left this out because I didn’t have it on hand)
14 oz. lean chicken sausage, removed from casing
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella, shredded
8 tsp. parmesan cheese, grated (I left this out)
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4″ thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.
3. Drop zucchini halves into boil water for 1 minute then remove.
4. Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12″ baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.
5. In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Add chicken sausage and cook until browned, breaking up in smaller pieces with a wooden spoon until cooked through.
6. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.