4large zucchini (about 6 oz. each), cut in half vertically, from top to bottom
½poundlean ground beef or turkey
½cupdiced onion(about 1 medium yellow onion)
⅛teaspooncoarse ground black pepper
1cupmarinara or spaghetti sauce
1large egg, beaten
½cupgrated Parmesan cheese
⅛teaspooncoarsely ground black pepper
2tablespoonsfinely minced fresh parsleymore for garnishing
1tablespoonfinely minced fresh basilmore for garnishing
1cupshredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Scoop out insides of each zucchini, leaving about 1/4-inch rim. Set aside, cut side down, on a paper towel to drain.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil, onion and ground beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat, until beef is no longer pink and onions are translucent. Drain grease if needed. Add garlic and continue to cook for one minute, stirring, or until fragrant. Add marinara sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper. Spread evenly into the bottom of each of the zucchini “boats” and place in prepared 9x13 pan.
Spoon meat sauce on top of ricotta mixture.
Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Continue to bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender, about 5-10 minutes.
If you prefer, replace ground beef with Italian sausage or ground chicken, or omit the meat for a vegetarian entree.
Cottage cheese can be used as a substitute for ricotta cheese.
Make Ahead: Prepare the boats but don't bake them. Refrigerate for up to a day, tightly covered. Bake as directed, adding five minutes to baking time.