Zucchini is probably my most favorite vegetable. Not that it only tastes great, it has many health benefits, but it is also so versatile. There is so much you can do with zucchini, and since I am on low carb, it became my biggest helper in the kitchen. You can make zoodles out of it. You can prepare perfect veggie balls out of it. Or you can stuff them with anything you love, and I love bolognese sauce. So that why stuffed zucchini boats bolognese style beheld the daylight. Funny is, that before I was low carb, I ate zucchini very sporadically. Not because it wouldn’t taste me. But I didn’t know how to use it at all. I say it all the time. Low carb makes people not only healthy but also very creative.
Zucchini boats are very playful for an eye also. So if your kids belong to the most of those, who utterly refuses veggies, stuffed zucchini with bolognese could make them change their minds. You can even create a sail using a toothpick and some piece of paper or fabric. I am sure your kids will be very pleased, mine were. And I know there are also many not so big vegetable fans between the adults. So this is an excellent tactic how to hide the veggie and its taste and still eat it.
While purchasing zucchini for this recipe, concentrate on selecting the smaller to medium size ones that are firm and feel heavy for their size. Their skins should be shiny and smooth with a bright, even green color and no blemishes. If you’re not using your zucchini immediately, you can store it unwashed in a plastic bag for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Baking time stated in the recipe depends on what consistency of zucchini you prefer. I baked my zucchini stuffed with bolognese sauce only 12 minutes because I like it al dente, so if you prefer it more well done, leave it in the oven for a little bit longer. You can check it using a fork. Just keep on your mind when you decide to bake your zucchinis longer, that you also put the cheese on the top later. The cheese needs only last five minutes to get gratinated.
With the amount of bolognese sauce, you can fill up to five medium-sized zucchinis. I made only three and the rest served with spaghetti for my husband, who isn’t strictly low carb. So it saved me double cooking and everyone had a delicious dinner. So for those, who are scared to change their eating habits because they would be eating differently than the rest of the family, you can see it isn’t so complicated. See? No more excuses for not starting low carb right now.
- For bolognese sauce
- 200 g / 7 oz ground meat (I use a mixture of pork and beef)
- 2 small onions (1 big) finely chopped
- 80 g / 3 oz carrots finely chopped
- 400 g / 14 oz tomatoes finely chopped (I use the one from the can)
- 3 dl / 10 fl oz homemade broth (I always have some in my freezer divided into bags)
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
- For the zucchini boats
- 5 medium-sized zucchini
- 100 g / 3,5 oz grated mozzarella
- Fresh parsley, salt, pepper
- In a skillet preheat olive oil.
- Add minced onion and carrots and while constantly stirring, cook around 3 minutes.
- Add the ground meat, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and cook until it’s no longer pink.
- Add chopped tomatoes and 1/4 cup broth and cook under a lid until the broth is absorbed.
- Continue adding broth until the liquid is absorbed and the bolognese is al dente, that will take about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, your bolognese is cooking, you wash and cut the zucchini lengthwise and by using a spoon, scoop out the flesh. (I put the zucchini meat in the bolognese mixture).
- Fill each zucchini half with some of the bolognese mix and bake it for 12 minutes (or more if you want the zucchini more well done) and for the last five minutes top it with shredded mozzarella.
- You may decorate your zucchini boats with fresh parsley and serve.