Been craving Italian food but not wanting to ruin your hard-earned bikini body (or just want a break from pasta)? These Italian Sausage Zucchini Boats with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes are your answer.
Another college-food staple, I hesitated even posting this recipe as it seemed Pinterest is already overflowing with zucchini boats. But then it hit me: who cares, these are delicious and deserve to be shared! (Plus I’m sure many of you have been busy doing other things and not stalking Pinterest for the past 7 years…).
If you are looking to cut back on your carbs, this recipe is a perfect sub in for traditionally carb-heavy baked pasta dishes. And even if you aren’t concerned about carbs and all you want is a delicious, easy dinner then this recipe is also for you. The longest part of these is roasting the tomatoes, so if you are short on time skip the tomatoes and reach for a jar of your favorite pasta sauce.
I’ve also made these with ground turkey in place of the chicken sausage – equally delicious just be sure to add some Italian seasonings!
Okay, so let’s get these boats moving! First, prepare your ingredients. Cook your sausage/turkey if it isn’t pre-cooked, then dice sausage. Next, cut the zucchini in half length-wise and scoop out the insides into a bowl. For scooping all you need is a small spoon and go gently so you don’t rip through the bottom of the zucchs. Now let’s move over to the stove. On one burner bring a large saucepan of water to boil and on another burner heat a medium skillet on medium. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the skillet. Once heated, place zucchini insides and sausage in the saucepan and sprinkle with black pepper and salt. Stir until mixture is warmed through and the zucchini insides have softened. While the filling mixture heats up, drop zucchini halves into the pot of boiling water for 1 min. Carefully remove using tongs and place zucchini halves in a large baking pan. Fill each zucchini with the zucchini inside and sausage mixture. Top with sauce and cheese. Place that baby in the oven and cook 15-20 minutes, or until the zucchini halves are soft and the cheese is bubbling. Dinner is served!
If you have been having the warm weather that Boston has recently, I apologize for heating up your kitchen with an oven meal, but I promise you that it’s worth it! Plus, since you aren’t loading up on carbs at dinner there’s plenty of room for a nice summer cocktail to celebrate the weekend 😉
So here’s a toast to bikini-friendly Italian food!
- 3 medium zucchini, washed
- 3 pre-cooked Italian-flavored chicken sausage links
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 6 tablespoons Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Roasted cherry tomatoes or ½ cup of your favorite pasta sauce
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 and heat a large pot of water on high, bring to a boil.
- 2. While you’re waiting for the water and oven to heat up, start preparing your ingredients. Dice cooked sausage and place in medium mixed bowl.
- 3. Slice zucchinis in half length-wise. Using small spoon, scoop insides of zucchini into mixing bowl with sausage.
- 4. Place 1 tsp olive oil in a medium skillet and heat over medium. Once heated, add sausage-zucchini mixture to skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir around and let cook until zucchini is soft and the sausage is warmed through.
- 5. Meanwhile, once pot of water is boiling, add each zucchini half to the boiling water. Let boil for 1 minute and then carefully remove using tongs. Place boiled zucchini halves in a 9 x 13 baking pan.
- 6. Fill each zucchini boat with the sausage-zucchini mixture (you want it overflowing) then top with sauce and cheese. You may have leftover filling which you can serve on the side.
- 7. Place baking pan in oven and cook 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the zucchini shells have softened.
- 8. Remove, serve, enjoy!
- Nutrition for 1/3 of recipe (without tomatoes/sauce): 230 calories, 12 g fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 22 g protein