Two Cheese Italian Stuffed Zucchini
Look! It's pizza - legitimized and made gluten-free - as zucchini.
That's one of the ways I think of this tasty, uber easy recipe that I invented while searching for low-carb, make-in-one-hour-or-so weeknight dinners. And in honor of Valentine's day, it's the perfect beloved recipe to share with you.
Here's how you do it and here's a hint - it becomes super simple if you have a Trader Joe's nearby.
Ingredients (serves 2 if it's all you serve):
- 6 whole zucchini, each sliced in half length-wise
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tea of garlic
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 1 container of Trader Joe's Bruschetta Sauce (14.5 oz) // or substitute chopped tomatoes with basil or a favorite canned bruschetta or spaghetti sauce
- 8 oz cubed uncooked pancetta
- Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 oz goat cheese (optional or sub with cream cheese, parmesan, etc. get crafty)
- 4 slices of mozzarella cheese (also optional if you don't want the cheesy goodness due to a dairy allergy)
- In a medium saute pan, begin to cook your pancetta on low. This will take the longest time of anything you're making so let it sit and move it around every couple of minutes. It should take about 20 minutes all in all, so busy yourself with the rest of the recipe while this greatness happens.
- Next, turn to your zucchini and slice it in half length-wise if you haven't already. Then, take a spoon and scoop out most of the insides of each slice, leaving a boat-esque shape. You can save some of the zucchini you've scooped and add it to your stuffing mixture if you'd like to. For the pictured recipe, we didn't use what we scooped out. Set your zucchini out on a baking pan (we used nonstick).
- Now you'll prepare a quick olive oil mix to brush on your zucchini. Mix your olive oil, salt, and pepper and lightly brush the zucchini boats with it. These babies are then ready for the broiler.
- Turn your broiler to high and remember to keep checking your pancetta. When it's mostly browning/cooked, drain as much of the fat in the pan as you can.
- Before putting your zucchini in the oven, do one more thing. Take your bruschetta sauce and drain it in a strainer, removing most of the excess olive oil. Then add the tomato mix to your pancetta in the same saute pan. Combine and stir, still over low heat. Add your garlic and crushed red pepper here as well.
- Now it's time to get those zucchini's a'broilin. You just want them to cook for a few minutes because we're going to take them out and cook them again with the cheese on top and stuffing inside. Leave these guys in the broiler for approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Back to your stuffing mixture. The last step in making this epically great is to add 1 oz of goat cheese. We get ours in convenient little medallion packs from Trader Joe's so take a look if you have one. Mix the goat cheese in until everything is well combined. It will turn your mixture pink, almost like a vodka sauce.
- Once you've pulled your zucchini boat shells out of the oven, it's time for the fun part - stuffing! Grab a spoon and carefully fill each boat to the top with your mix. You should have just enough for all 12 but if you have extra- it makes a great dipping sauce.
- Before throwing these back in the oven, do the finishing touch by cutting mozzarella cheese slices into thirds and topping each boat. This helps keep the stuffing in as well.
- Allow to cook beneath the broiler on hi again for another 2-3 minutes or until the mozzarella is brown and bubbly. When you rescue your transformed zucchini from the depths of the oven, I think you'll be delighted by it's newfound pizza-ness.