Thursday, August 9, 2012

Skinny Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

I know what you are thinking - how can something be called skinny if it's 1. stuffed and 2. stuffed with sausage. You are right. Most things you think of that are stuffed with sausage are usually loaded with calories and fat, but this recipe will knock that theory out of the park. Let me tell you why. Are you ready? Let's go!

With all the summer produce available this time of the year, it's hard to not want to make something fresh, with veggies and make it taste totally delicious. I ran across this recipe a couple of weeks ago and knew it was something I just had to make - sausage stuffed zucchini coated in fresh tomato sauce and ooey gooey cheese. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. As good as they sound, want to guess how many calories are in one fully loaded zucchini boat? Just guess. Bet you will be way wrong. Waaaaay wrong. Did you guess yet? 175! Can you believe it? I sure couldn't, especially after I tasted them. They are so ooberly delicious. I don't use ooberly that often, so you know it must be good.

The two things that make this skinny dish "skinny" and out of this world delicious is Italian chicken sausage and not using rice as filler and using the scooped out zucchini as part of the filling instead! How did I never think of finding a way to use the scooped out zucchini? Seems like such a waste to throw it away, doesn't it? Plus, you get all the added vegetable goodness right in the middle (and no one will ever know!). Fresh zucchini + lean Italian chicken sausage + covered in marinara sauce & cheese. How can you go wrong?

ps. you can even make this a day or two ahead of time. Just prep everything and then cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to bake. It couldn't get easier to have an amazingly delicious and healthy meal on your table!

delicious ingredients

my mom's tip - scoring zucchini like in the picture makes it much easier to scoop (you don't scoop too much!)

scooped zuchs

browning the sausage and waiting for the water to boil


don't forget to add in the zucchini innards!

stuffed zucchini

cover with sauce and cheese!

ooey gooey

dinner is served

Skinny Sausage Stuffed Zucchini (slightly adapted

2 cups marinara sauce (I used the kind from Trader Joes in a big can -see ingredient picture above)
4 medium zucchini
1 tsp oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
14 oz lean Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing (I used the chicken sausage from Trader Joes)
1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella
8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.

Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water. Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12" baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.

In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and cook about 2-3 minutes. Combine with sausage and cook a few more minutes. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Cover all of the zucchini with the remaining sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. 

Serving suggestion - one stuffed zucchini (175 calories) , 1/2 cup brown rice (100 calories)  and a small side salad!


1 comment:

  1. This sounds lovely. Possibly heathy and tasty! Can't wait to try it.