Low Carb, Healthy Italian Dinner
These easy, low carb, stuffed zucchini boats are brimming with Italian flavors and are a perfect healthy and quick dinner that satisfies my cravings for a hearty, meaty Italian meal.
The meat sauce in this recipe is light (using ground chicken instead of beef) and chunky so it can stay on the zucchini boats. It uses a delicious Sicilian cherry tomato sauce with a heavy hand of fresh basil. That combined with the melty mozzarella and herby parsley creates a nice spring and summer dish. You can even make this right on your outdoor grill if you prefer, first grill the zucchini on a medium high heat, remove, stuff, and return the baking sheet of stuffed zucchini to a low grill, with a closed lid for a few minutes to let the cheese melt.
BE BRAVE and use this ground chicken mixture to stuff calzones or top home-made pizza for when you get those carb cravings!
Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats
4 medium sized zucchinis
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb ground chicken or turkey
2 tablespoons O&V Garlic EVOO plus more for brushing zucchini *
2-3 tablespoons O&V Wild Garlic Mix or Bruschetta Mix *
2-3 tablespoons water
¼ – ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (more to taste)
1 jar O&V Salsa della Mamma *
½ cup Basil, chopped (plus more whole leaves to garnish)
¼ cup parsley, minced
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the broiler on HIGH. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large skillet, heat the Garlic EVOO over medium high heat. Add the minced garlic and ground chicken to the pan and sauté 5-7 minutes until fragrant and the chicken is no longer pink. Stir well to crumble.
Add in the red chili flakes, Wild Garlic mix or Bruschetta mix, water, and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add half the bottle of Salsa della Mamma, turn to low and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, add the chopped basil and let stand for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a grill pan on the stove and cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the center from the zucchini leaving a rim on all sides to create boats. Place cut side up on a plate (See Chef Note). Brush the cut sides with additional garlic oil and lay cut side down on the hot grill pan for 3-5 minutes till grill marks appear on the cut surface. Remove from the pan and place with cut side up on the prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Divide the ground chicken mixture between the zucchini boats, drizzle with remaining Salsa della Mamma sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted. Remove and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley and remaining basil.
Total Time: 35 minutes
Check that the boats sit upright and don’t fall over once filled, by placing cut side up on a plate to see if they stand upright. If not, slice a small part of the bottom of the boat to create a flat surface for the boat to stand upright.
* The Garlic EVOO adds an additional layer of garlicky flavor while the Wild Garlic Mix or Bruschetta mix create a slow-cooked taste to this quick meal. You can use a high quality unflavored EVOO and your favorite Italian seasoning mix, but it will certainly change out the flavors of this dish. I also love the flavor of the Salsa della Mamma, made with hand-picked and slow-cooked Sicilian cherry tomatoes but a high -quality pizza or marinara sauce can be substituted.
Categories: Entrée, Gluten Free, Italian Dinner, Easy Weeknight Meal, Quick Dinner, Low Carb, 30-Minute Meal, Zucchini Boat, Stuffed Zucchini Boat, Ground Chicken Stuffing, Salsa della Mamma Sauce, Garlic EVOO, Bruschetta Mix, Wild Garlic Mix, Basil & Chicken Stuffing, Calzone stuffing