This is a vegetarian take on a zucchini boat, which is often made with sausage. I like using quinoa because it’s a protein-rich and filling substitute for meat, so this makes a great dinner with the veggies built right in!
If you’re cooking for both meat-eaters and vegetarians, as I often am, you can definitely make both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions. Just cook the sausage (ground beef or ground turkey would also work) until just past pink and drain, then proceed with the recipe as written. The meat should only be lightly cooked so it doesn’t dry out in the oven.
This one is also kid-friendly. It’s an easy way to sneak in vegetables (it also works on picky spouses!), and saying you’re having a “boat” for dinner is way more fun than regular old dinner!
- 2 extra large zucchini (or 4 small), halved
- 1 quinoa, cooked
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2/3 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup tomato, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
- 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 3 tsp olive oil
- cooking spray
- Cook the quinoa according to directions, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- After washing the zucchini, cut off the stems and cut the zucchini lengthwise. Scrape out the insides of the zucchini, leaving a small border around the edges and bottom, and set it aside.
- Using a clean towel, squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini filling. It should be light and fluffy when finished.
- Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a sauté pan. While waiting for the oil to heat, chop the onion and garlic. Combine the zucchini filling, garlic, and onion, and cook in the pan until lightly browned.
- Remove from heat and return to the bowl. Combine the zucchini mixture with the quinoa, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, olive oil, and the salt and pepper, and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats, and sprinkle each with the basil, chives, oregano and Italian seasoning.
- Cook for 25 minutes, or until everything is heated through and the zucchini is tender to the touch. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
This is a great way to use up all that summer produce in the garden! If you don’t have a garden, these in-season ingredients are often very affordable at the grocery store this time of year.
It also makes for great leftovers. Just cover tightly and keep in the fridge for up to three days. I like to take them to work for a quick and filling lunch.
Have a great week, RWC!