Meatballs and Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed peppers have had their moment in the sun. Put your zucchini bumper crop to good use in this new stuffed vegetable recipe. For a showy presentation, slice the baked-whole zucchini into coins before serving to reveal the spicy meatball filling.

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  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Hands On: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins

Meatballs and Stuffed Zucchini

Directions

  1. For tomato sauce: In a medium bowl combine chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, marjoram, olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. of the salt; set aside.
  2. Using a corer, hollow out each whole zucchini, being careful not to pierce its walls. Discard center flesh; set zucchini aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl combine beef, bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, parsley, half-and-half, garlic, remaining 1 tsp. salt, and black pepper. Divide mixture in half. Using a spoon, fill zucchini with half the mixture, packing lightly. (Filling will expand while baking.) Shape remaining mixture into twelve 11/2-inch meatballs.
  4. Spoon 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce into bottom of a 3-qt. rectangular baking dish. Arrange zucchini in dish; spoon half of remaining sauce on top; cover with foil. Arrange meatballs in a 2-qt. baking dish; spoon remaining sauce over meatballs.
  5. Bake zucchini 50 minutes or until thermometer inserted in meat mixture registers 160 degrees F and zucchini is tender, turning zucchini once. Bake meatballs, uncovered, the last 30 minutes or until done (160 degrees F). Cool zucchini slightly; slice into 1-inch coins.
  6. TIP: To make fresh bread crumbs, trim crust off day-old bread. Tear or cut into pieces. In a food processor, pulse until crumbs form.

From the Test Kitchen

*

Use kitchen scissors to coarsely chop the tomatoes right in the can.

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Nutrition Facts (Meatballs and Stuffed Zucchini)

  • Per serving:
  • 354 kcal ,
  • 16 g fat
  • (6 g sat. fat ,
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 7 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 120 mg chol. ,
  • 1142 mg sodium ,
  • 26 g carb. ,
  • 6 g fiber ,
  • 11 g sugar ,
  • 27 g pro.
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