It’s zucchini season! Whether you’re a DIY grower or you support your local farmers, zucchini is abundant everywhere! Sausage stuffed zucchini is a tasty way to use them. They are good hot, cold or room temperature. Serve them along with the tomatoes, basil and arugula and you have a nutrient PACKED meal. Take them to a picnic, meal prep for lunches or serve for your next dinner party.
Is Zucchini the Next Kale?
Zucchini doesn’t come to mind when you think of healthy veggies. Kale, spinach and broccoli are usually top of mind. Surprisingly, however, there are many health benefits to zucchini as well as other summer squash varieties. It’s an excellent source of copper and manganese. Copper is important for collagen and energy production. Manganese is important for bone health and blood sugar regulation. Since you eat the seeds typically, these squash are a good source of omega 3s and fiber. Finally, summer squash are either a good or very good source of Vitamins, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, pantothenic acid, choline, and folate.
Ingredients for Sausage Stuffed Zucchini
Make zucchini into a protein-packed meal by stuffing it with sausage. Starting with Italian sausage saves a step, but breakfast sausage will work just fine with the addition of a few spices. Yes, you can use turkey or chicken. I love the pork sausage I get from a local farm that raises their pigs sustainably. I add a little almond flour to bind the sausage to the zucchini. Then amp up the veggie factor by adding sauteed chopped onion, garlic, and the zucchini pulp after scooping out the middles of each zucchini half. Topping the baked zucchini with tomatoes, basil and arugula offsets the fattiness of the sausage.
Make Ahead Directions for Sausage Stuffed Zucchini
You can prepare the entire recipe up to the point of cooking ahead of time. Make sure the sauteed veggies are fully cool before adding to the sausage mixture since you won’t be cooking right away. Stuff the zucchini and place on a cookie sheet. Wrap with foil and store for up to 24 hours before cooking.
How to Reheat Fully Cooked Stuffed Zucchini
Heat in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. If the zucchini was pretty soft on the first run through the oven, they will probably break down quite a bit with reheating. If you know in advance you’re going to have leftovers, remove the stuffed zucchini a couple of minutes early to make sure the squash is still firm. Just make sure the filling registers 165 degrees.
What to Serve with the Stuffed Zucchini
If you aren’t doing Whole30 and eat dairy, feel free to sprinkle the tops with finely grated parmesan cheese or shave big pieces over the top. I also love summer tomatoes with lots of fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper scattered over the top. Arugula adds a leafy green to the mix. My goal is to always get at least two cups of veggies per meal. This meal definitely exceeds that with the arugula, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, onion, and garlic!
Other Zucchini Recipes
Grilled Zucchini Recipes – This is a two-fer with Proscuitto Wrapped Zucchini and Grilled Zucchini with Olive Caper Relish
Mediterranean Beef and Hummus Bowl – This recipe offers a hummus recipe that is bean-free (perfect for Whole30ers). Zucchini subs in for chickpeas and my pickiest friend ate it and never knew the difference.
Sausage and Summer Squash Hash – While it has somewhat common ingredients, this recipe actually uses pre-cooked sausage links and makes a
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini with Summer Tomatoes, Basil and Arugula
Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Topped with Summer Tomatoes, Basil and Arugula
- Stuffed Zucchini
6 small or 3 medium zucchini
1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb Italian Sausage (or any bulk sausage)
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp fennel seeds (if not using Italian Sausage)
1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup almond flour
- Tomatoes and Basil
1 lb fresh tomatoes, preferably locally grown
1 small bunch basil
Extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 bag arugula
2 oz parmesan cheese
- Sausage Stuffed Zucchini
- Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the seeds and a little of the pulp. Set aside and reserve
- Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add a little olive oil and saute the chopped onions until they soften.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the zucchini pulp and garlic. Saute until the zucchini is softened.
- Add to the sausage along with the seasonings and almond flour. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Stuff the middle of each zucchini half and place together on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan.
- Drizzle with a liberal amount of olive oil
- Bake at 400 until the sausage reaches 160 degrees (165 for chicken or turkey sausage.)
- Tomatoes and Basil
- While the zucchini is baking, cut the tomatoes into bite sized pieces and place in a medium bowl.
- Drizzle with enough extra virgin olive oil to cover about half way up the volume of tomatoes.
- Liberally season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Chop basil and add to the tomatoes.
- Arrange arugula on a serving platter or on individual plates. Add the sausage stuffed zucchini.
- Spoon the tomatoes and basil over the zucchini and drizzle with the accumulated juices.
- If using parmesan, use a vegetable peeler to shave big pieces or a grater to grate parmesan “snow” over the top.
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