Delicious, cheesy and hearty these zucchini boats are a main meal that’s sure to please the whole family.
- 4 medium zucchini (2 1/2 lbs), sliced into halves through the length*
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
- 8 oz lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 4 tsp olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 cup marinara sauce (I used Muir Glen)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch of flesh creating a boat for stuffing. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl stir together ricotta cheese, egg and 1 1/2 Tbsp of the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef to pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook beef in pan, stirring occasionally and breaking up into smaller pieces until browned. Add marinara sauce to beef mixture along with 1 Tbsp of the basil, and then remove from heat.
- To assemble zucchini boats, brush both sides of zucchini lightly with remaining 2 tsp olive oil and place in two baking pans.
- Spoon roughly 2 1/2 Tbsp of cheese mixture into an even layer in each boat, and then add a few heaping spoonfuls of sauce mixture on top.
- Cover baking dishes with foil and bake side by side for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle top of boats with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella.
- Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender (~ 5 minutes).
- Sprinkle tops with fresh basil and parsley and serve warm.