Today’s zucchini boats parmigiana recipe comes, indirectly, from our cousin-in-law, Lisa. Because we went over to her house a few weeks ago and she gifted me with a zucchini from Texas, on steroids, suffering from gigantism. I mean, this was a MASSIVE zucchini from her garden. Not knowing what to do with so much zucchini, I made this recipe. And it was so yummy! Except for the skin. When a zucchini gets that big, the skin becomes a bit tough, and is therefore, not very edible.
Steve and I loved the flavors of this dish so much, I had to make it again with normally-sized zucchinis. So, about a week and a half later, I did just that. Since that left us with 10 zucchini boats, Steve and I enjoyed some and took the rest to my father-in-law, Pops.
I must admit that I had my doubts about how much Pops would enjoy these. After all, the man is mostly meat and potatoes. He’s been known to either avoid vegetables altogether, or to add just enough to his plate so as not to offend the cook. But he LOVES Italian sausage, so I was hoping he would not be totally turned off by having zucchini as the vehicle for the meat stuffing. I need not have worried. Steve went to see him bowl the next day and Pops volunteered right away that he’d had those “Italian sausage things” for dinner the previous night and that they were “damn good!”
Well, that was all the motivation I needed to share this delicious, low-carb dinner option. It carries a tremendous flavor punch, is super easy to prepare, and is Pops taste tested and approved. How could it not be a great recipe?
let’s make zucchini boats parmigiana
You can use your favorite store bought marinara sauce, or make your own with this easy recipe.
Start by whisking the egg into the milk.
Mix the onion and garlic with the sausage, then stir in the egg and milk mixture until everything is evenly distributed.
Next, stir in the bread crumbs and all but 2 tablespoons of the parmesan.
Remove the stems and the bottom tips from the zucchinis. Then cut them in half the long way.
Using a teaspoon or a melon baller, scoop out the center flesh with seeds from each half to create your boats. I found the scooping to be super easy with just the teaspoon.
Place the scooped-out zucchini halves in a large baking sheet with raised sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Stuff approximately 2 tablespoons of the prepared sausage into each boat.
Top with 2-3 tablespoons of marinara over each.
Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.
Then add the shredded mozzarella.
Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes. The zucchini should be tender but al dente, and the mozzarella should be melted, bubbly, and starting to caramelize.
Meaning, it should look like this. And your house should smell like that too…like a cross between parmesan chicken, lasagna, and pizza.
Goodness let me tell you how good my house smells right now!
Garnish with some fresh chopped parsley and serve those yummy zucchini boats nice and hot. Because that is how they are best.
If you can’t eat them all in one sitting, no worries. They make WONDERFUL leftovers, to which Pops can fully attest.
Speaking of which, Steve is on the road this week, and I DO NOT need all this food, even though it is deliciously low carb. So, I split this batch in half and paid a visit to Pops and Uncle Bill (Lisa’s father-in-law). Let’s just say, already familiar with what he was getting, Pops was VERY happy to see me. Told me he knew what he was having for dinner tonight!
I’ll have to find out from Bill what he thought of them when I see him at bowling next Wednesday. Did I mention that Pops has me bowling on his senior league once a week? Yeah, that happened. I’m no good, but none of them seemed to mind. And I am improving, slowly but surely!
But I stray from the subject at hand, which are these yummy zucchini boats parmigiana. Try them. I know you won’t be able to help but love them!
- 5 zucchinis
- 1 pound Italian sausage, mild or hot, depending on preference
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated parmesan, divided
- ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1½ cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- In a large bowl, mix the Italian sausage, onion, and garlic.
- Whisk the egg in the milk and add to the Italian sausage, mixing until well incorporated.
- Then add the ¼ cup parmesan and bread crumbs. Mix until the mix is well blended.
- Cut off the stems and bottoms tips of the zucchini, then cut lengthwise down the middle to create two long halves.
- Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out the middle flesh with seeds, leaving a sunken middle.
- Place skin side down on a large baking sheet with raised sides, then sprinkle the hollowed parts with salt and pepper.
- Stuff the hollows with about 2 tablespoons of sausage mix each.
- Top down the center with 2-3 tablespoons of marinara each.
- Sprinkle with reserved 2 tablespoons of parmesan, then top with the shredded mozzarella.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the zucchini is al dente and the mozzarella is melted, bubbly, and starting to caramelize.
- Remove from heat. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve hot.