Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats – Italian Style
I’m slowly eliminating some foods from my diet, I have some theories that my body doesn’t like certain foods and I’m taking control and trying a few things. One of the things I’m slowly taking away is wheat products, which sadly means that (for now) pasta is out of the question.
I’m a little sad to take away this comfort food, so maybe that means that it’s a good thing it’s gone, especially since one serving is never enough (who actually only just eats 3/4 cup – 1 cup of pasta?).
I’m usually okay, when I make my kick ass spaghetti sauce I make it with spaghetti squash and I seriously can not tell the difference.
Something that I have been wanting to try for a while are the cute zucchini boats I’ve been seeing around Pinterest, the only problem is I don’t like zucchini. I like it shredded in baking and that’s about it. I still add it to vegetable scrambles from time to time, but that requires me to choke it down fast. So when my in-laws handed me a bunch of zucchini I thought it would be the perfect time to give these boats a try.
At first I was planning on making some sort of southwestern inspired dish from the zucchini boats, like my Texas Turkey Spaghetti Squash Bake, but I was planning on having some wine and wine makes me crave my spaghetti sauce. Which is why I called this “Italian style” or “Italian Inspired”, I was told before that this sauce is more of a “gravy” but I call it spaghetti sauce.
Hollowing out the zucchini was really easy, I just used the “1 perfect cup of tea” spoon I have (from back in my days of selling Steeped Tea). However, any spoon will work (preferably a metal teaspoon). You don’t want to take all the flesh, just enough to fill, you want it to still have strong support.
Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 3 Zucchini split length wise
- 2 cups Spaghetti sauce made ahead of time: recipe below
- Parmesan and part skim mozzarella optional
- For The Sauce:
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup white wine beef broth works too
- 1 can 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 can tomato paste 4 oz can
- 1 jar marinara sauce I like Safeway O Organics
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp crushed red pepper start small and increase the heat by taste
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 375F.
- Scoop out the middle of the zucchini.
- Ladle the spaghetti sauce in the zucchini boats.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Add cheese (optional) and bake for another ten minutes, or until bubbly and delicious. (For this recipe I used 2 tbsp of Parmesan Cheese for me (hubby added part skim mozza after).
- Directions for the sauce:
- In a large pot, over medium heat, cook up the ground turkey. Drain the meat and set aside.
- Heat up the olive oil , add the onion, green pepper. Saute until the onion is soft (about 4-5 minutes) and then add the garlic. Give it a good stir for another minute or two (until fragrant).
- Add the wine (this time I used Pinot Grigio, but I have used almost every other white and have had great results each time) and reduce for about four minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, paste, jar of marinara, oregano, thyme, sugar, bay leaves, crushed pepper flakes, and salt. I usually stir this together and let simmer a few minutes.
- Add the meat. Stir and put a lid on.
- Let this simmer on low - medium/low for at least an hour. The longer, the better.
- After your hour is up, add the parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir and simmer for another thirty minutes.
Note: don’t eat the bay leaves from the spaghetti sauce – toss them.
Have you ever made zucchini boats before?