Easiest Stuffed Zucchini & Peppers

I bought some beautiful red bell peppers and zucchini balls at the farmer’s market.  The zucchini ball seemed perfect for stuffing so I search for a stuffed pepper / zucchini recipe.  My challenge was to find a recipe that did not involve rice or a grain as Tim and I were cutting down on the carbs.  I found this Giada recipe, which uses ground turkey, that fit the bill!

The dish tasted like a delicious meatball inside the baked vegetable.  I loved it — so flavorful!  Plus, without the rice to cook and with the store-bought marinara (I used Rao’s), it was actually a very easy weeknight dinner.  Serve with a simple green salad to round out the meal.

Stuffed Zucchini & Bell Peppers
Giada de Laurentiis

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs
  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
  • 2 zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 1 short orange bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 short red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 short yellow bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly drizzle the olive oil into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Whisk the onion, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the turkey. Cover and refrigerate the turkey mixture.

Using a melon baller or spoon, carefully scrape out the seeds and inner flesh from the zucchini, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Be careful not to pierce through the skin. Fill the zucchini and pepper halves with the turkey mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the stuffed vegetables.

Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and a thermometer inserted into the filling registers 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Transfer the stuffed vegetables to a platter and serve.

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