Pizza-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
with sausage / garlic bread
Our community loved this dish when we last featured it in 2018, so we are bringing it back! Inspired by the flavors of pizza, zucchini makes a sturdy shell for a filling of Italian sausage, bell peppers, and mozzarella. If you like a little spice, use spicy sausage or top the baked zucchini with red pepper flakes. This video shows steps for the original version.
- Bell peppers, any color - 1 , diced
- Cheese, fresh mozzarella - 5 oz , thinly sliced
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Zucchini, medium - 4 , halved
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Italian sausage, loose and raw - 12 oz (sub any variety loose, raw sausage)
- Tomatoes, crushed (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Cheese, parmesan - 1 oz , grated
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Parsley - 2 Tbsp , chopped
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Baguette or ciabatta - 8 oz
Bell peppers / Cheese (for zucchini and bread) / Garlic (for zucchini and bread) - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Zucchini - Slice in half lengthwise and then use a spoon to scoop out the center of each zucchini half, leaving ~1/2” / 1.25 cm thick shell on all sides (discard the center you scoop out or save it for another purpose). Check out this video. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
Parsley - Chop parsley. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Prep garlic bread - Heat butter in microwave just until soft, 10 to 20 seconds. Combine butter with garlic (portion for bread), cheese (portion for bread), and parsley . Slice bread open lengthwise and spread with garlic butter.
Heat oven to 400F / 204C. Set out two sheet pans.
While oven heats, set garlic bread cut-side up on the first sheet pan. Set aside.
Brush the second sheet pan with some cooking oil. Place zucchini halves on pan, cut-side facing up.
Whisk together olive oil, garlic (portion for zucchini), Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Brush onto cut-side of zucchini halves.
Transfer pan to heated oven and bake until zucchini halves are starting to turn tender and golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
While zucchini cooks, heat a saucepan with first part of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers with a pinch of salt and saute until peppers are starting to turn tender, ~2 minutes.
Add second part of cooking oil and then sausage to heated oil. Saute sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain any excess liquid from pan.
Add tomatoes to sausage and simmer until sauce thickens, ~2 minutes more. Season with some salt and pepper.
Remove zucchini halves from oven.
Fill zucchini with sauce and top with mozzarella cheese.
Transfer both sheet pans (zucchini and garlic bread) to oven. Bake until cheese is melted and garlic bread is lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve immediately. Top zucchini with red pepper flakes if you’d like. Enjoy!