Cheesy Beef - Stuffed Zucchini
Why this recipe works: Roasting our zucchini on a preheated baking sheet and in browning, meaning we shave down the roasting time without sacrificing flavor. After stuffing the zucchini, we sprinkle them with panko and Parmesan before they go into the oven for baking.
4 medium zucchini (6 to 8 inches each), stem ends removed salt and pepper
4 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
¼ pound 85% lean ground beef
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup panko (Japanese – Style bread crumbs)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 (28 – ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Adjust oven rack to upper middle position, heat oven to 425 degrees, and place rimmed baking sheet on rack. Halve zucchini lengthwise. With small spoon, scoop out seeds and most of flesh so walls of zucchini are ¼ inch thick. Season cut side of zucchini with salt and pepper and brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Set zucchini halves cut side down on hot baking sheet and roast until slightly softened and edges are beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer zucchini, cut side up, to a 9 by 13 – inch baking dish.
- Heat additional tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium – high heat until just shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add beef and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add 3 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. off heat, stir in ½ cup bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons basil, and provolone. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stuff Zucchini halves with beef mixture. Toss remaining bread crumbs with parmesan cheese. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top. Bake zucchini until topping is golden, about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in empty skillet until shimmering. Add remaining garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in remaining basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve with zucchini.
Easy Stuffed Zucchini
Scoop out the seeds and most of the flesh so the walls of the zucchini are ¼ inch think. After roasting, transfer the zucchini, cut side up, to a 13 by 9 inch baking dish. Stuff the zucchini halves with the beef mixture. Toss the remaining bread crumbs with the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on each zucchini and bake.