Here is a meal that I made for myself when MaryJo flew up to Minnesota for a few days. I had just made a spiralized zucchini dish, and had leftover zucchini to use. I also had a lot of other items on hand to use. (You can end up with a lot of leftovers when you cook for two). So I made Italian sausage stuffed zucchini boats.
Let’s see…frozen Italian sausage in the freezer, an opened bag of frozen corn, old grape tomatoes, and some leftover grated cheese. I feel like I’ve got the makings of a Chopped episode, except that the ingredients aren’t weird.
Making the sausage stuffed zucchini boats
I blanched the whole zucchini in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes, then put it into room temperature water for a few minutes so it would cool. (I had room temperature water around because they turned the water off at our place for about 8 hours that day, and I had lots of pots of water sitting around). Then sliced the zucchini in half and scooped out the inner flesh. An alternative method would be to slice uncooked zucchini in half, then scoop out the middle, then blanch it for 2 minutes. I just figured it would be easier to scoop out softened zucchini. Then I ate the scooped out flesh. I wasn’t going to use it in the stuffing, so I just had a little before meal snack!
I browned the sausage in a small skillet and then placed it in a small bowl. In the same skillet add the garlic and frozen corn. If it seems you need a little more oil, add a teaspoon or two of olive oil. I let that cook until heated through, then put the meat back in. I then added 2 ounces of cream cheese and melted that into the corn and meat. Taste the mixture and add a pinch of salt and some pepper if desired.
Fill the zucchini boats with the stuffing mixture using a spoon and your fingers to pile it on. I added halved grape tomatoes, then covered with grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Then it was under the broiler for about 3 minutes until the cheese melted and started to brown. I topped it with some shredded basil.
This was a pretty easy meal to make and it was delicious to eat. I used up a lot of food that needed to be used, so the evening’s meal was a win-win. Italian sausage stuffed zucchini boats was dang good.
Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 1 medium large zucchini
- 1 Johnsonville hot Italian sausage link , casing removed
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 cup frozen corn
- 2 oz . cream cheese
- 5 grape tomatoes , halved
- 1 oz . grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese (combination of the two)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- basil , shredded for garnish
- Blanch the zucchini in a large pot of boiling water, 5 minutes, then place in cold water 5 minutes
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then scoop out all but 1/4 inch of flesh
- Brown the sausage in a small skillet, breaking the pieces into small bits, 5 to 6 minutes, then remove the meat from the skillet
- In the same skillet, on medium heat, add the garlic and corn and heat through, 3 minutes, (add a little bit of olive oil if the pan is dry)
- Add the meat back to the skillet along with the cream cheese and stir until the cheese has melted, 1 or 2 minutes
- Taste and add salt and pepper or other seasonings as desired
- Place the zucchini boats on a small sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then fill with the meat mixture
- Top with tomato halves and grated cheese
- Place under broiler until the cheese melts and starts to brown, 3 minutes
- Garnish with basil