Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hearty Baked Stuffed Zucchini

I decided to try this recipe from Boston.com in search of a different variation on my usual baked stuffed zucchini. The verdict? It was savory, filling, and the kids (even the baby) cleaned their plates! You almost don't need a side dish with this, but it would be great with a light pasta salad!

Baked Stuffed Zucchini

1 extra large or 4 medium zucchini
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (from the can or fresh grated)
1 Tbsp fresh (or 1 tsp dry) thyme and oregano
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2-4 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
appx 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. For an extra large zucchini, cut into 4 pieces.

-With a spoon, remove the seeds. You can save them or discard, depending on your preference. Take a small knife and remove as much of the flesh as possible from the zucchini without puncturing the shells. Save the flesh (and seed cores if you choose) in a bowl.

-Place the shells face-down in a roasting pan with 1/4 inch of water. Bake for 15 minutes or until the shells are soft but not fully cooked. Leave the oven on. Pour the water out of the roasting pan and lightly grease with olive oil.

-While shells are baking, chop the zucchini flesh coarsely.

-In a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion until softened. Add the ground meat and cook until browned. Remove the skillet from the heat.

-Add the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano and lemon juice. Stir in the chopped zucchini flesh. Mix until it makes a nice sticky filling.

-Fill the shells with the stuffing, it should flatten them out quite a bit and make a good sized mound of stuffing in the shell. Place in the roasting pan. Lay the thin sliced tomates over the top of the stuffing. Sprinkle a little extra parmesan cheese over the tomatoes.

-Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and a little more parmesan cheese, bake an additional 20 minutes or until the cheese lightly browns.

Total Cost

Zucchini - $2.00
Onion - $0.30
Ground turkey - $1.79
Bread Crumbs - $0.10
Parmesan - $0.50
Tomatoes - $1.50
Mozzarella - $0.50
Seasonings - $0.15

Grand Total: $6.34 for 4 servings

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