That’s right, two zucchini boats in a row. Why? Because they are amazing! Sounds crazy but I’m totally hooked. I loved the last one (these Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats) so much I decided to go for round two and try out an Italian variation on stuffed zucchini. I’m so glad I did because these Lasagna Zucchini Boats are simply amazing! You may be thinking how could they be? You took out all those good, comforting lasagna noodle carbs. Apparently lasagna doesn’t need them to be good. Yes, you still need that delicious melty, cheesy goodness and a good sauce but these are lasagna made healthier and they will be one of my go to lasagna recipes! I have the filling I’ll actually be making them a lot more than the traditional layered lasagna now.
Like I mentioned with the other zucchini boats, be sure to look for zucchini that is wider and more uniform in width. You don’t want the small, skinny zucchini for this recipe because you won’t be able to fit much filling and you are going to want to load these up.
The other thing I loved about these is that like a classic lasagna, they were still incredibly delicious reheated and I don’t say that about food very often. These are going to be a go to summer meal for me! Even my 6 year old loved them! Try them and you’ll know why. Perfect saucy, cheesy deliciousness!
- 4 medium zucchini (2 1/2 lbs), sliced into halves through the length*
- 1 cup (8.6 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 1/4 cups (5 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 oz) finely shredded parmesan cheese
- 8 oz 93% lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
- 4 tsp olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 cup roasted garlic marinara sauce (I used Classico)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl stir together ricotta cheese, egg and 1 1/2 Tbsp of the parsley. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble beef into pan, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up beef when stirring, until browned (there shouldn't be any excess fat but if you happened to use a fattier beef then just drain excess rendered fat). Stir in marinara sauce and 1 Tbsp of the basil, remove from heat.
- To assemble boats, brush both sides of of zucchini lightly with remaining 2 tsp olive oil and place in two baking pans (I used a 13 by 9 and a 9 by 9). Divide cheese mixture among zucchini spooning about 2 1/2 Tbsp into each, then spread cheese mixture into and even layer. Divide sauce among zucchini adding a few heaping spoonfuls to each. Cover baking dishes with foil and place in oven side by side and bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle tops with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella, return to oven and bake until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle tops with with fresh basil and parsley and serve warm.
- *Look for zucchini that is wider and more uniform in width. The skinnier zucchini won't fit much filling.
- Recipe source: Cooking Classy