Yield: 6 Boats | Preparation Time: 30 minutes | Start to finish: 1 hour
These ground meat and sausage stuffed boats will change your mind about eating zucchini and summer squash. These Zucchini/Squash Boats are bursting with italian flavors.
1 Pound Ground Meat, browned and drained. Set aside on paper towel covered plate
1/2 Pound Ground Sweet Sausage, or Spicy if Desired., browned into crumbles and drained. Set aside on paper towel covered plate.
1 Can Crushed Tomatoes (28 Oz.)
1 Can Tomato Sauce (15 Oz.)
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Green Bell Pepper, washed, dried and diced
1/4 Cup Onion, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Oregano
3 Each Zucchini or Summer Squash or Mix-it-up., washed and prepared
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper, to Taste.
Oil for Drizzling.
Oil Spray, or add a teaspoon and smear with a paper towel
*Optional Topping see under recipe instructions
**You can make this dish using just ground beef or try a combination of any ground turkey, ground pork or even try it with hot sausage. Just keep amounts equal to above.
1. First prepare your boats. Wash and dry your zucchini or squash. Then cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then trim off the stem at both ends. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out flesh reserve. I take a knife and score out the section I want to remove then score it diagonally first. Then I use a spoon to pop the flesh out. After flesh is removed I then take the tip of my spoon and scrap it down a bit (reserve). Take the reserved chunks and dice to bite size pieces. Set aside.
2. After the zucchini/squash is hollow. I place them in a oil sprayed 9 X 13 baking dish. This step is KEY TO FLAVOR…sprinkle them with garlic powder, garlic salt, italian seasoning, oregano, salt and pepper. Then drizzle a little oil over them. Let them rest until sauce is done covering them with a long sheet of dry paper towels.
3. In a large skillet on medium heat brown the ground beef while breaking it into small crumbles until it is no longer pink. Drain and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
4. In same skillet on medium heat brown sausage while breaking it into small crumbles until it is no longer pink. Drain and set aside on paper towel lined plate.
5. In large saucepan on medium heat add 1 tablespoon of oil. When hot add minced garlic stir one minute then add onions and peppers and continue cooking until onions are translucent.
6. Reduce heat to a low simmer.
7. Add canned tomatoes, reserved chunks of zucchini/squash mix thoroughly. Add in the italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, cooked beef and sausage. Stir to mix well.
8. Mixture should be thick so mix frequently and cook 15 – 20 minutes. While sauce is cooking pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
9. Turn sauce off and add parmesan cheese and stir to mix well.
10. Fill boats with meat mixture. I add additional sauce around boats to help prevent sticking and increase flavor. Sprinkle each top of zucchini/squash generously with shredded mozzarella cheese.
11. Optional: In small mixing bowl add 3 tablespoons bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon oil. Mix with fork until evenly wet. Sprinkle sparingly over mozzarella on each boat.
12. Bake 25 minutes until zucchini/squash is tender.