New Year’s resolution number 1 is to lose weight meaning that delicious carbs are typically cut out of everyone’s diet. Poor carbohydrates always get the short end of the stick. While cutting them out completely is hard, it’s easy to reinvent recipes to make them low carb – like these sausage stuffed zucchini.
In this recipe, zucchini are hollowed out and filled with Italian sausage, tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese. Serve this with a salad and I promise that you won’t miss any pasta. Zucchini are the perfect blank (read: bland) canvas for creating these “boats”. Try ground beef or turkey with taco seasoning, enchilada sauce and jack cheese – out of this world!
Italian sausage stuffed zucchini – recipe makes 6 “boats”
- 3 zucchini
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup red wine (chicken stock can be substituted)
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- Salt and Pepper
- Shredded mozzarella
Begin by preheating an oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the zucchini in half and, using a spoon, scoop out the flesh so the sausage can fit inside. Reserve ½ cup of zucchini flesh.
In a sauté pan over medium high heat, cook the sausage until brown and full cooked; about 8 minutes. Add the reserved zucchini flesh and cook until soft; about 3 minutes. Next, add the tomato paste and stir to coat the sausage. Remove sausage mixture from the pan and reserve.
To the same pan, add onions and garlic and cook until soft; about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with red wine scraping up any brown bits. Add crushed tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened; about 5 minutes.
Pour 1 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8x8” baking dish (you may need a 9x13” depending on the size of the zucchini). Arrange the cut zucchini around the dish and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Next, scoop the sausage into the zucchini boats until they’re overflowing with deliciousness. Spread the remaining tomato sauce on top of the sausage mixture and top with a mozzarella cheese.
Bake until the zucchini are soft and the sauce is bubbling – about 20-25 minutes. Serve with parmesan cheese and a nice salad. And as with most Italian foods, this is even better the next day.