Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

David is still talking about these sweet Italian sausage stuffed zucchini boats. They are made with garden-fresh zucchini stuffed with mozzarella cheese and sweet Italian sausage mixed with diced tomatoes and herbs, piled high with even more cheese! 

When I came up with this Italian sausage stuffed zucchini boat recipe, I had just purchased a bunch of zucchini thinking I would make some more of those zucchini muffins. However, I did not get the chance to make them, so I needed a way to use up the zucchini. I also had a ball of mozzarella cheese in the fridge that had met its shelf life, and I needed to use it up too. Mexican Zucchini Boats, a recipe we both adore, crossed my mind, but we had had those on more than one occasion (even Meatless). I wanted to make something different. 

I also had a ball of mozzarella cheese in the fridge that had met its shelf life, and I needed to use it up too. Mexican Zucchini Boats, a recipe we both adore, crossed my mind, but we had had those on more than one occasion (even Meatless). I wanted to make something different. 

stuffed zucchini ready for oven

Using the Mexican zucchini boats as my inspiration, I decided to create an Italian version that is just as delicious, but in its own unique way.

I wanted to stuff the zucchini boats with a meat sauce, but I didn’t want to use beef. Beef is always expected and I wanted different. I decided to use a sweet Italian sausage I have discovered from a grocery store near work. I had used the sausage in the Italian Sausage Soup I made last spring. It has the perfect balance of seasoning with very little fat in the meat.

Sometimes Italian sausage has so much fennel in it, you can hardly taste anything else. YUCK!

David and I do not like it when all you do is bite into fennel. We are kind of picky about where we get our Italian sausage from, but we have fallen in love with this sweet Italian sausage. The sausage comes in huge links fresh straight out of the meat case and it practically makes my mouth water talking about it. The day I made this recipe, I stopped at the store and got some of that delicious sweet Italian sausage to use in this recipe. 

ingredients to make sausage stuffed zucchini boats

How To Make Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Pour the olive oil into a large pan over medium-high heat; add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds (do not brown). Add the chopped onion oregano and basil; Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until translucent and tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Prepare the Italian Sausage:

If you cannot find bulk Italian sausage you can buy links and remove the casing. To do this, slice down the whole length of the link with the tip of a sharp knife. Peel the casing back in one piece; discard. Place sausage in skillet with the onion and garlic. Cook until evenly brown, crumbling it as it cooks.

sausage and onions cooking in a pan

Prepare the zucchini:

Meanwhile, cut the zucchini lengthwise and use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out seeds in the middle. Try to leave about ¼-inch of flesh around the outside of the zucchini so they have some structure to them. Discard the scooped zucchini. You will have 8 boats. Brush the zucchini and sheet pan with olive oil. Place the zucchini on the sheet pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. 

zucchini boats ready to stuff

TIP: If the zucchini wobbles back and forth, you can cut a thin slice off of the bottom skin. This creates a flatter surface and the zucchini will more stable, making it easier to transfer the pan in and out of the oven without dumping out the stuffing.

cutting flat spot on bottom of zucchini

Divide the mozzarella in half. Add half of it to the bottoms of each zucchini boat; reserving the other half for topping.

Prepare the Meat Sauce:

When the sausage is done, dump it into a sieve over a bowl to drain. Add the tomato paste to the same hot pan to brown.

[Click HERE to learn more about browning tomato paste.]

browning the tomato paste

When the tomato paste has that nice rust color to it, add in the diced tomatoes, stirring to loosen up the paste and brown bits of the sausage from the bottom of the pan. Add the drained sausage back into the pan with the tomatoes.

Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then lower the heat; continue to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. (The longer you simmer; the better, but don’t allow it to become too runny.)

Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats:

After simmering, remove the sausage filling from the heat. Carefully spoon the filling into the cheese filled zucchini boats, dividing the filling between each. Top each sausage filled zucchini with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese; sprinkle with a little oregano.

These Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats are made with garden-fresh zucchini stuffed with mozzarella cheese and sweet Italian sausage mixed with diced tomatoes and herbs, piled high with even more cheese! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Bake the Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats:

Place the zucchini boats in the oven to bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until the zucchini are cooked fork tender, and still, have some structure to them. Do not overcook, or they will come out mushy.

zucchini boats baking in oven

Serve the zucchini boats:

Garnish the Italian sausage stuffed zucchini boats with fresh basil and chili flakes, if desired. Serve warm.

Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats ready to eat

These  Italian sausage stuffed zucchini boats are a great way to use up zucchini growing in your garden. If you are feeding your family, make extra, everyone will ask for seconds. I promise!

With all that cheese, you’d have to be lactose intolerant not to like these Italian sausage stuffed zucchini boats. Am I right?!?!

My Signature
Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Print Pin Rate this Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Sweet Italian sausage stuffed zucchini boats, stuffed with cheese and Italian sausage filling with diced tomatoes and herbs, piled high with more cheese!
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Italian Sausage, Stuffed, Zucchini Boats
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 589kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage ground or links (about 2 large links)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano dried
  • 1 teaspoon basil dried
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese divided, shredded or torn
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
  • fresh basil and chili flakes for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Pour the olive oil into a large pan over medium-high heat; add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds (do not brown). Add the chopped onion oregano and basil; Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until translucent and tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the sausage from the casing: Slice down the whole length of the link with the tip of a sharp knife. Peel the casing back in one piece; discard. Place sausage in skillet with the onion and garlic. Cook until evenly brown, crumbling it as it cooks.
  • Meanwhile, cut the zucchini lengthwise and use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out seeds in the middle. Try to leave about ¼-inch of flesh around the outside of the zucchini so they have some structure to them. Discard the scooped zucchini. You will have 8 boats. Place the zucchini on the lined sheet pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Divide the mozzarella in half. Add half of it to the bottoms of each zucchini boat; reserving the other half for topping.
  • When the sausage is done, dump it into a sieve over a bowl to drain. Add the tomato paste to the same hot pan to brown. When the tomato paste has that nice rust color to it, add in the diced tomatoes, stirring to loosen up the paste and brown bits of the sausage from the bottom of the pan. Add the drained sausage back into the pan with the tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then lower the heat; continue to simmer for about 10 to15 minutes. (The longer you simmer; the better, but don’t allow it to become too runny.)
  • After simmering, remove the sausage filling from the heat. Carefully spoon the filling into the cheese filled zucchini boats, dividing the filling between each. Top each sausage filled zucchini with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese; sprinkle with a little oregano.
  • Place the zucchini boats in the oven to bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until the zucchini are cooked fork tender, and still, have some structure to them. Do not overcook, or they will come out mushy.
  • Garnish with fresh basil and chili flakes, if desired. Serve warm.

Notes

If the zucchini wobble back and forth, you can cut a thin slice off of the bottom skin. This creates a flatter surface and the zucchini will more stable, making it easier to transfer the pan in and out of the oven without dumping out the stuffing.

Nutrition

Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1312mg | Potassium: 1141mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 885IU | Vitamin C: 50.7mg | Calcium: 285mg | Iron: 3.7mg
Did you try this recipe? Tell us what you think!Give this recipe a star rating, leave a comment below and share pictures of your food with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter! We can’t wait to see them! Don’t forget to mention @TheMountainKitchen or tag #TheMountainKitchen!
The Mountain Kitchen
Follow me
Latest posts by The Mountain Kitchen (see all)


6 thoughts on “Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Want FREE Recipes?

Join our mailing list to receive the latest recipes!

Subscription Options

You have Successfully Subscribed!