These boats are not only healthy, they're basically a one-dish meal that covers all the bases—just grab your favorite garden goodies and add any spices or mix-ins you like. —Janie Zirbser, Mullica Hill, New Jersey
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VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 3 medium zucchini
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-1/2 cups water, divided
- 3/4 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes (with seeds and juices)
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers, drained
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
- 1/4 cup ditalini or other small pasta
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
- Pasta sauce, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°. Halve zucchini lengthwise; place cut side down in an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, scoop out seeds, leaving a 1/4-in. shell.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in 1 cup water, tomatoes, red peppers, mushrooms, pasta, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until mixture is thickened and pasta is al dente, 12-15 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
- Spoon mixture into zucchini shells. Place in an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with 3/4 cup Italian cheese blend. Pour remaining water into bottom of dish. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer. Serve with pasta sauce if desired. Yield: 3 servings.
Originally published as Garden-Stuffed Zucchini Boats in Taste of Home Summer 2018