Say, “Cheese!”

For National Cheese Lover’s Day, I’ll share my updated 1990s recipe for stuffed zucchini boats. They are Super Simple and fast to make. They’re moist and cheesy.

Cathy’s Stuffed Zucchini Boats
3 medium zucchini, not peeled, ends cut off, halved lengthwise
1 c Ritz (or other buttery) cracker, crumbled (24 crackers)
½ c finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 c each: sharp Cheddar & Mozzarella cheeses
½ c chopped sweet onion, microwaved 1 minute to soften
2 T each: minced fresh parsley and Italian herbs (freeze-dried are fine)
½ tsp each: salt & ground black pepper
1 lg egg, beaten
Topping: 2 T butter & 3 T shredded Parmesan cheese

Use a small spoon to remove the pulp, hollowing out each zucchini half to form “boats;’ place pulp in a bowl. Place zucchini shells in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Combine remaining ingredients (except topping) and press into each shell. Sprinkle the extra Parmesan on top and dot with butter. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

KISS Variations: Not only are these great stuffed with cheese as a side dish, but you can also kick it up to luncheon entrée status. For Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats, add some cooked & crumbled bacon or sausage plus 3-4 T of a favorite red Italian sauce.  Crabby Stuffed Zucchini Boats are splendid too. Simply switch muenster cheese for the Cheddar, add crabmeat and a squirt of fresh lemon juice. Or go for Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats by adding shredded chicken and a few drops of Mike’s Red Hot (or other favorite) sauce to the mixture and replace the chopped onion with chopped celery and replace the Parmesan cheese with Monterey Jack.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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