Here we have man food meets lady food and comfort food meets healthy food. I always love all the veggie dinners and my husband always loves all the meaty dinners so I made these so we could meet in the middle. Plus, I like the idea of using zucchini instead of white bread to keep them lower carb. Even though these are healthier than the classic they still taste delicious! You still get all the best flavors of a classic Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich but without all the empty calories from the white sub. If you’d like you can definitely use this recipe to make the classic though and just use hoagie buns in place of the zucchini. I’ll be making them both ways because I can never let go of delicious bread carbs but for a weeknight meal when you want to keep things on the lighter side this is a great option! Even my 6 year old approved, finally putting her finger on it when she announced “I love these, they taste like…burritos!” And yes I guess they kind of do. They are perfectly flavorful and are a great use for that abundance of summer zucchini.
Philly Cheese Steak Zucchini Boats
- 4 medium/large wide zucchini (2 1/2 lbs)*
- 3 Tbsp olive oil , divided
- 1 large yellow onion , sliced into short pieces
- 8 small button mushrooms (6 oz), sliced
- 1 large red or green bell pepper , chopped into short slices (or 1/2 of a red 1/2 of a green)
- 3/4 lb sliced thin deli roast beef , chopped into small pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 Tbsp water or beef broth
- 1 1/4 cups shredded provolone cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley , for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini to create boats while leaving a 1/4-inch rim (reserve centers for another use). Brush both sides of zucchini with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and season lightly with salt. Place in two baking pans (I used a 13 by 9 and 8 by 8). Bake in preheated oven 20 - 25 minutes until nearly tender.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 5 minutes, then add another 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and mushrooms and saute 5 minutes longer. Push veggies to one side of pan then add remaining 1/2 Tbsp olive oil to opposite side, add bell pepper and garlic and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add in roast beef, season with salt and pepper to taste then stir in water and cook until warmed, about 30 seconds.
Fill roasted zucchini with roast beef mixture. Sprinkle top evenly with cheese. Return to oven and bake about 5 minutes longer, or until cheese has melted. Serve warm garnished with parsley (fyi these are easier to just pick up and eat by hand like a sandwich).
*You can also make these into the classic Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches by using 4 hoagie rolls in place of the zucchini and upping the roast beef to 1 lb.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy