I can has cheezburger? Without feeling guilty?! Yes, indeed! We all can.
These stuffed zucchini boats are a perfectly clever way to have a bun-less burger that I find to be a lot more filling and easy to eat than wrapping a patty in a mere lettuce leaf. You get all the satisfaction and flavors of a traditional cheeseburger packaged neatly into a zucchini squash.
Trust me when I say - you won't miss the bun at all!
To make these, I took the basic recipe for the meat mixture that I use in this Cheeseburger Salad, added in some chopped zucchini and stuffed it all into some hollowed out zucchini squash.
I even prepared mine a few hours a head of time, but instead of baking, I covered the dish and set them in the fridge until I was ready to cook them for dinner.
There were no complaints around the table. In fact, it was pretty silent as we all scarfed our guiltless dinner down! I baked up my own 'fries' to go along side these zucchini boats, but any traditional side that you would pair with a burger would be just as great.
Cheeseburger Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Servings: 4 • Size: 2 Boats • Calories: 316.3 • Fat: 15.5 g • Carb: 17.7 g • Fiber: 5.1 g • Protein: 29.3 g • Sugar: 9.6 g • Sodium: 957.2 mg
4 Medium-Large Zucchini
1 Lb. Extra Lean Ground Beef
1/2 Small Red Onion, Diced (About 1/2 C.)
1 Garlic Cloves, Minced
6 Oz. Tomato Paste (No salt Added.)
1/4 C. Water
1/4 C. Dill Pickles, Chopped
1 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard
1/2 C. Reduced Fat 2% Sharp Cheddar, Shredded
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and lightly coat the inside of a 13x9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Clean, cut the stems off of your zucchini and slice them in half. Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the pulp and flesh to leave about 1/4" thick 'shells'.
Reserve about 1/2 c. of the zucchini pulp. Chop and set aside.
Once your pot of water is boiling, place the zucchini into water and bring back to a boil.
Allow the zucchini to cook for 1 minute before removing to drain and cool.
Lightly coat a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and brown your meat with your onions and garlic.
Once the meat is done, drain and add in the chopped zucchini, tomato paste, water, pickles and mustard.
Stir to combine and continue to cook over a medium heat until warm and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
Place your zucchini into the prepared baking dish and feel each with the meat mixture.
Top each boat with about 1 tbsp. of cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes until the cheese is melted and the zucchini are cooked.
Once done, remove from the oven and discard the foil.
Serve warm, fresh out of the oven!
I served mine with a side of baked garlic and rosemary 'fries' and a drizzle of ketchup and mustard.