Thursday, October 7, 2010


I wanted to use zucchini while we still have some in the garden.  (I want it off-season, but have a really hard time paying for it after the late summer abundance.) I adapted this recipe from ideas I have seen other places.

I started by picking the zucchini that my husband and son-in-law worked on all summer.  You don't want them too small, and a little big is great for this. 
After washing and cutting off the ends, cut into 2 - 3 inch lengths.   I used 2 smaller and 1 larger zucchini, and ended up with about 12 lengths, which fit my dish perfectly.
Hollow out the centre.  You can use an apple corer.  I used my V-shaped cutting knife.   I bought this over 25 years ago, and have used it a lot.  (It works great for cutting oranges/other fruit apart and leaves the "pinked" edges.  Or remove the orange and fill the "orange bowl".)
Anyway, hollow out the centre of your zucchini lengths.  (This removes the larger seeds of the larger zucchini:)  Then I microwave them (standing upright) for 3-5 mins., depending on their size.  Set aside to cool.
The recipes I have seen have stuffed the zucchini lengths with a meatloaf, and baked them.  I wanted something easier, and with less fat.  Since I usually have a big bag of cooked/frozen meatballs in my freezer, I decided to use those.  (I keep the meatballs for Sunday dinner pasta bars, Italian meatball sandwiches and to give to Quinney's when they run out :)
As my zucchini is cooling I defrost/microwave about 15 meatballs on high for about 5 minutes.  I roll them around on a paper towel covered plate as they cool, to remove excess grease.  (I am sure you can see where I am going.)
Then I just stuff meatballs (cooled) into my zucchini lengths (cooled).  The most that any length took was 2 1/2 meatballs.  (The serving size for the meatballs is 5 for 220 cal.)  I cut an edge off some, and used the edges to fill the smaller ones.  I tried to have a rounded meatball on each end.

I sprayed my (about) 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 glass dish and put a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the dish, and put my zucchini lengths in, laying down.  I poured the rest of the sauce over the top, and then grated mozzarella cheese over the it.  Bake 20-30 mins. at 350* and serve with fresh Parmesan cheese.

I like this method because the fat from the meatloaf is not cooking into my zucchini.  It is also fast, and uses what I have on hand.  I served it with spaghetti squash :)


several zucchini- cut into 2-3 in. lengths and microwaved 3-5 mins.
about 15 frozen meatballs- defrosted and cooked
1 can prepared spaghetti sauce (or homemade)
grated cheese/cheeses of your choice

Fill cooled zucchini lengths with cooled (and cut to fit) meatballs.
Put in sprayed dish that you have poured a thin layer of spaghetti sauce into.  Pour rest of the sauce over the top, and top with cheese.
Bake 20-30 mins (depending on how you like your cheese and how cold it was when you put it in the oven) at   350*. 
Can be made ahead and cooked later.  Can also be cooked in a microwave.
Too easy of a recipe?

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The deal is $30.00 for $60.00 of Food & Fun.  To check out this deal go to

1 comment:

Leslie said...

It was so good. I totally recommend trying this one.

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