Zucchini Boat Stuffed With an Easy Bolognese Sauce
I recently made a zucchini boat stuffed with an easy bolognese sauce. It’s zucchini season and I have so much zucchini from my one zucchini plant.
I’m spiralizing it for zoodles that I can freeze for use later. I’m also creating new recipes
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Every day I have one to two new fresh zucchini that is ready (or beyond ready) to be used. I’m giving them away and trying out new things. Since I’m the only one who will eat zucchini, I’m making a fun dish that can go in the freezer and giving it to Emma and her roommate to pop in the oven after a busy work day for dinner.
If you don’t have zucchini from a garden, you can find them at the farmers market and your local grocery store.
Zucchini is a low-carb alternative to noodles. We use them instead of spaghetti with pasta sauce. They can also be thinly sliced and layered in a baking dish instead of lasagna noodles for a vegetarian version.
For this zucchini recipe, I’m making a bolognese sauce to stuff in the zucchini bowls for a yummy easy meal that the whole family will enjoy.
The difference between a bolognese sauce and a marinara sauce is that bolognese is a meat sauce. You can use ground beef, ground turkey, or even Italian sausage. If you want more flavor you actually could use a combination of ground meat with sausage.
My sauce is very simple. I brown the meat with chopped onions and minced garlic cloves. Then I add tomato sauce or tomato puree to the drained meat mixture along with Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper.
I use whatever type of canned tomatoes that I have in my pantry. If I only have whole tomatoes I would thicken it up with tomato paste.
Since I have some ground beef from ButcherBox in my freezer, that’s what I’m using today.
Preparing the Zucchini
I’m using 2 medium-sized zucchinis for this new recipe. I cut them in half lengthwise and then scooped the middle seed part out of the zucchini halves.
I found an ice cream scooper worked perfectly to hollow out the center of the zukes.
Because zucchinis have a lot of water in them, I sprinkled each half with a little bit of sea salt and then laid the zucchini shells cut side down on a paper towel to absorb some of the moister. While the zucchini is resting, I prepared the sauce.
Preparing the Bolognese Recipe
In a large skillet, I sauteed some onions for a few minutes and then added minced garlic and saute that for a minute. To the onion mixture, I add ground beef and Italian spices. Using a wooden spoon, I break up the ground beef into small pieces and continue stirring it while it’s browning through.
Being a fan of good for my family food, a great deal, and FREE delivery right to my door, I immediately asked where do I sign-up?
With ButcherBox I get 100% grass-fed and finished, pasture-raised beef, crate-free and humanely raised pork, free-range USDA-certified organic chicken, bacon that is sourced from heritage breed pigs and is uncured, nitrate-free and sugar-free as well as wild-caught seafood.
There is always a special going on at ButcherBox. This week they are offering FREE Salmon for 3 months.
Once the beef is thoroughly cooked, I drain off any excess grease and juices, using a baster.
Add (2) 28 oz., cans of tomato puree to the meat mixture. At this point, you can adjust the spices to your liking. Let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes to create a rich meat sauce.
You can add extra veggies like diced green pepper, carrots, and/or celery. I like to keep my sauces simple so that is something that I didn’t do with this recipe.
If you use fresh basil like I do, make sure you take the whole leaves out of the sauce before you assemble the boats.
What’s In My Kitchen
Assembling the Bolognese Zucchini Boats
On a baking sheet, I placed parchment paper and laid the prepared zucchini boat’s skin side down. Then I brushed it with a little bit of olive oil. I filled the boats with a generous amount of ground beef filling.
After topping it with a bit of grated parmesan cheese, it got popped into the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce in Italian cuisine, typical of the city of Bologna. It is customarily used to dress tagliatelle al ragù and to prepare lasagne alla bolognese.Conclusion
You can also make the sauce in bulk and freeze it in meal-sized portions to use over zoodles, pasta, or filling in lasagna.
Store leftovers in an air-tight container to enjoy the next day. These ground beef zucchini boats can also be prepared and frozen for an easy freezer meal.
This delicious recipe is a low-calorie, low-carb meal that is a great way to use your garden zucchini. This is a recipe that you can make the bolognese over the weekend and put the meal together during the week. This will cut down on your weeknight cooking time.
I hope that you enjoy!
Peace and Love,
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Zucchini Boat Stuffed With an Easy Bolognese Sauce
- 2 medium zucchini
- Redmond Real Sea Salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp basil or 4 whole fresh leaves of basil
- 1 tsp Redmond Real Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 28 oz. can of tomato puree
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Cut off flower end of the zucchini and then cut again lengthwise
- Scoop out the center, soft seeded middle to form a long narrow bowl
- Sprinkle with a bit of fine sea salt on the cut sides of the zucchini, then lay on paper towel, cut side down while you prepare the sauce
- To a large skillet add the olive oil and let heat then add the onions and over medium heat stir until translucent.
- Add the garlic to the onions and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute
- Add the beef. Break it up and stir it into the onion mixture with a wooden spoon.
- Add the seasonings to the meat mixture. Continue cooking until the meat is no longer pink.
- Drain any excess fat or liquids with a turkey baster
- Add the tomato puree to the skillet with the meat and if you're using fresh basil, throw the leave in the sauce. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 400°
Assembling the Zucchini Boats
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Lay the zucchini skin side down on the parchment paper.
- Fill the hollowed-out part of the zucchini with the meat mixture.
- Bake in oven for 40 minutes
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese for the last 10 minutes of cooking
- Add extra cheese to the baked bowls, if desired
- Serve immediately with garlic bread and a side salad.
- This recipe will freeze well. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze on a baking sheet for several hours and then you can transfer it to a freezer bag.