Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini (2 ways!)

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Hands down, the most viewed recipe on my blog (and my post pinned pin) is my Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats.  And now that it's officially July (i.e. I'm about to have more zucchini than I know what to do with... hopefully), I decided to get started on my zucchini season warm-up.  I have already picked my first garden zucchini of the season and there are lots more babies growing!

I made two different versions -- a cheese-less version for those of you who may be paleo or dairy free (or perhaps Whole30-ing), and a cheese-ful version featuring ricotta and mozzarella.  If you'd like to make half of each (like I did), cut each of the below recipes in half (tricky with the egg, but doable)! 


AND, be sure to check out some of my other zucchini recipes for your own zucchini season warm-up!


Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

[Cheese-less version is Whole30 - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free]

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Ingredients:

Cheese-less Version

4 small to medium zucchini
1 lb spicy italian sausage of your choice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup almond meal
1/2 cup tomato sauce of your choice
1 egg, beaten
1 handful fresh basil, chiffonade
salt & pepper

Cheese Version

4 small to medium zucchini
1 lb spicy italian sausage of your choice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 handful fresh basil, chiffonade
salt & pepper

Instructions:

  1. For whichever version you decide to make, start by pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees preparing the zucchini.  Cut each one in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the insides/seeds.  You should leave the walls intact so you have a sturdy yet hollowed out boat to fill with sausage goodness.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high and brown the sausage (breaking it up as you cook) along with the minced garlic and half of the zucchini insides (chopped).
    TIP:  If your sausage is in casings, just squeeze the meat out into the pan and discard the casings.
  3. Once the sausage is browned, add it to a large bowl along with all other ingredients and stir to combine:  [Cheese Version:  ricotta, mozzarella, egg, fresh basil, salt & pepper] [Cheese-less Version: almond meal, tomato sauce, egg, fresh basil, salt & pepper]
  4. Arrange the zucchini boats in a baking pan and divide the filling between all of the zucchini, heaping it up a bit if needed.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes or until the filling is set and the tops are browned.
  6. Serve with a side of spaghetti and sauce and/or a nice garden salad.  ENJOY!