DIY Recipes: Stuffed Zucchini Cups

Original pin: Kalyn’s Kitchen

Ingredients needed: 
2 large zucchini or yellow squash, about 12 inches long
2 tsp. olive oil (I didn’t have olive oil at the time, so I used a little butter.)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 T finely minced fresh garlic (I used garlic powder)
1 lb. ground turkey (You can use beef if you’d like, just make sure it’s lean.)
1-2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cups flavorful pasta sauce (I used Hunts. I’m cheap.)
1 cup low-fat mozzarella or other mild white cheese

Total cost: 
This was my first recipe test and I wasn’t organized enough to keep track of my costs. My bad. It couldn’t have been more than $12 for everything…  not including the olive oil.

Difficulty:
Easy

Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Chop onion and green pepper, then saute onion and pepper in olive oil for 3-4 minutes, until just starting to soften.
Add minced garlic and saute about 1 minute more, being careful not to brown the garlic.
Remove the onion, pepper, and garlic mixture to a bowl.
Add 2 tsp. more olive oil to the pan. Crumble in the ground beef and/or ground turkey.
Season with Italian seasoning and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned.
Drain, then stir cooked vegetables and garlic back into the meat.

Add tomato sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off (about 10 minutes) then turn off heat.

While meat cools, cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. (I used a spoon to hollow out the zucchini cup. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak liquid when they cook.)

Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray (I coated mine with butter) and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 3/4 cups grated cheese into the meat mixture, then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the zucchini.

Bake zucchini cups for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, until zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Summary:
Pretty easy and expensive to make. Plus, prep time isn’t as long as it sounds when you scan through the recipe. (It took me roughly 20 minutes to prep.) I did accidentally poke through the bottom of two slices, but filled them in with left over zucchini pieces and didn’t have too big of a problem with leaking. I also saved the middle of the cups to put in a stew or something later; Throwing them away seemed wasteful. Just remember, the more meat you can get in them, the better they are. (That’s what she… nevermind.)

Taste rating:  8/10

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