If you or a close family member, friend, or desperate neighbor have grown squash as part of your summer garden, there is a good chance you find yourself buried under a pile of zucchini and a severe lack of ideas for what to do with it.
Well, a week ago, I found myself the victim… I mean “appreciative recipient” of the mother load of baby size zucchini squash. I don’t mean petite small squash. The squash that if you lived on a farm would most likely upon discovery immediately get thrown to the pigs. But, we live in relatively rural city land with .2 acres and a dream. And yet, we still can fit in plenty of squash plants.
In a favor to remove the evidence of delinquent squash harvesting from his wife, I set out on a mission to turn this….
Unlike other blogs, we keep our recipes concise and simple. Feel free to add spices to taste, but for reference, I will list my base spices that I add to my meat (or vegan mix). Also, yes you can use normal size zucchini for this recipe and will give slight modifications to do so, just know that you will have a lot less room for stuffing when assembling the dish.
Chili powder (or cayenne if you’re brave)
Salt to taste ( I used no extra salt for this recipe, so up to personal preference)
Fresh or dried Basil
Fresh or dried Oregano
1 yellow onion (or 2 smaller onions) diced
1-2 tsp of garlic / ~3 cloves finely chopped
1 lb ground meat of choice (sausage, ground beef or turkey, tofu, etc)
½ to 1 can of drained and rinsed black beans
1 cup tomato based sauce (your preference)
1 bell pepper (I added a few spicy peppers to our mix in addition as well) chopped
1 massive baby sized zucchini or 3-4 medium zucchini halved (hot dog style) and seeds removed
* This should be enough to lay flat across the bottom of whatever glass baking dish you choose
1 cup cheese (but really… to taste)
* I used cheddar which got nice and crispy -- some prefer a more gooey melt such as mozzarella. Feel free to use more or less or omit all together for the vegan version
Set oven to 400 Degrees F
Start meat in a preheated skillet over medium heat for 4 minutes *(this is where I add in my spices)*
Add in chopped onion and garlic - simmer 5 min
Add chopped peppers and black beans - 5 min
Add tomato sauce and let simmer on low to combine while prepping baking dish
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and take a spoon to scoop out the seeds to leave a hollow center.
Lay face up across the bottom of the glass baking dish
Lightly drizzle olive oil and sprinkle basil and oregano across surface
Turn off the filling mixture and spoon into the boats - carefully mound to get as much in as possible
Optional: Sprinkle cheese to cover the surface of the filling
Place in over to bake
Medium Size Zucchini: ~25min
Baby Size Zucchini: ~35min
* To check, ensure the cheese has melted and the squash flesh can be easily sliced (without being too mushy)
Let cool for 10 min and slice into sections
As always, our recipes are all gluten and coconut free. This recipe is also keto approved: Omit Beans
Vegan: Swap ground meat for tofu, more beans, and quinoa. Check out the filling for our vegan stuffed bell peppers for more details on a vegan filling option.
Scooped out Zucchini Shell
Pre-cheese filled boats