Sausage and corn stuffed zucchini is one of those recipes I make only once or twice a year when the zucchini are in season and I’m not tired of them yet. Because we all know how fast that can happen when the zukes are arriving daily.
But I love this recipe because it removes the part of the vegetable that is my least favorite- the smushy inside -and leaves only the firm outside. Well, and plus the fact that it’s got sausage, corn, and cheese. Oh yeah.
Start with four small-to-medium size zucchinis. I cannot emphasize this enough: don’t let the zucchini get to the baseball-sized stage and then think they are good for anything but grating (and even then don’t grate the center with all the huge seeds). If you regularly pick the fruit at this stage- roughly the length of your hand- then you should not be swimming in zucchini, and it will be firm for kabobs, and grilling, and sauteing.
That’s not to say that there will never be one that “gets away from you” but they will be a lot fewer and then those can be grated – and used for scrumptious White Zucchini Cake, for instance.
Prep zucchini by trimming the ends and cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Put face down in a shallow pan to steam-cook – do not overcook or they will not be firm for filling. Cool for a few minutes and then scoop out the center evenly. I use a melon baller for this- it works like a charm. Don’t ask me why I have a melon baller. I don’t even like melons and neither do most of my family. But it sure comes in handy sometimes.
What do I do with the insides? If you’ve read here for awhile, I know you will be shocked to learn I happily throw them in the compost. I think I mentioned this is not my favorite part of the vegetable?
While the zucchini steams, cook a pound of Italian sausage (I used hot which gives it a nice spiciness) until browned. Add onion and cook another few minutes before adding cream cheese and corn, mixing well. Remove the pan from heat and gently stir in a chopped tomato and some Parmesan cheese. Really any cheese can be used here, I just like the flavor of Parmesan in this. Place the zucchini in an oiled baking pan, fill each with the sausage mixture and grate a bit more cheese over the top. Bake in a for about 20 minutes and serve!
Sausage and Corn Stuffed Zucchini
- 4 small to medium zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
- 1/4 c. chopped onion
- 1/3 c. (3 oz.) cream cheese
- 1-1/2 c. corn kernels
- 1 lg. tomato, chopped
- 1 c. grated Parmesan, divided
- Fill a large, shallow pan 1/4 full with water and a bit of salt; bring to a boil. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and place face down in the water. Cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes only- until crisp-tender. Remove from pan and let cool.
- Meanwhile, cook sausage in a skillet until browned. Add onion, cook ’til opaque and then add cream cheese and corn, stirring until cheese is melted.
- Remove pan from heat and gently stir in tomato and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
- Scoop out the center of each zucchini half and fill with the sausage mixture. Place the filled zucchini in an oiled baking pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining grated Parmesan over the filled zucchini. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Makes 6 to 8 servings