Confession: I am a lover of all food Italian. Give me anything paired with tomatoes and herbs and spices topped with cheese and I’m a fan. So, this summer I’ve been finding ways to take my favorite dishes, make some simple substitutions to help them fit in with my lower carb lifestyle and elevate them to new levels…all while retaining that Italian flavor that I adore. I’ve been pairing fresh bursts of veggies and herbs with traditional flavors and trusted cheeses. Through all this experimentation, I’ve come up with dishes that are beyond what I could have imagined. While I’ve created quite a few made-over recipes that have proven themselves even more delicious than the original, right now I can’t stop making my Zucchini Parmesan Boats. Whether you’re a veggie lover, living a low carb lifestyle or just want a new take on a classic dish, read on to find out how I make these can’t miss Zucchini Parmesan Boats and discover the simple ingredient that takes them from good to great.
I’ll admit that I love any meal that has an Italian twist. While you might think that it’s the pasta that calls my name. It’s not. Truly, it’s the cheese. As I’ve changed the way that I eat (for the most part), I’ve discovered that by getting creative and making simple substitutions, I can have meals that I adore, and the best part is they can still include cheese! Because, let’s face it, anything covered in Sargento® Reserve Series™ is pretty amazing. But let me back up just a second for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Sargento Reserve Series found in the dairy/cheese section at Harris Teeter. While all Sargento cheeses are amazing, the Sargento Reserve Series of cheese are taken to the next level through aging them to reach full flavor and texture potential. Not only does that deliver better taste but it makes my favorite brand of cheese wonderfully creamy which makes it even better for putting on top of my Zucchini Parmesan Boats. Even better, from 7/3/19 to 7/30/19, you can save $0.75 on any ONE (1) Sargento® product at your local Harris Teeter.
I am currently totally crushing on the Sargento Reserve Series Shaved 14-Month Aged Parmesan Cheese so it’s only fair that I show you how it inspired me to make this lower carb meal that’s packed with flavor.
- 1 bag of Sargento Reserve Series Shaved 14-Month Aged Parmesan Cheese
- 4 large zucchinis
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 2 14-ounce cans of Italian stewed tomatoes
- ⅓ cup of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of freshly cut basil (plus more for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon of crushed oregano
- 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the olive oil, diced sweet onion and garlic to a sauté pan and cook until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Add in the tomatoes and tomato paste and combine well.
- Season with basil and oregano.
- Stir the mixture and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the sauce simmers, wash the zucchini and cut them in half horizontally.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the inside of the zucchini halves to form a hollow "boat".
- Place the zucchini pieces in a glass dish and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Bake the zucchini boats for ten minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the zucchini from the oven and fill each one with the marinara sauce.
- Place back in the oven on 350 degrees F for ten more minutes.
- Remove the zucchini from the oven, cover with Sargento Reserve Series Shaved 14-Month Aged Parmesan Cheese.
- Cook for five more minutes on 350 degrees F or until cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle basil and parsley over the top.
- Serve immediately.
These Zucchini Parmesan Boats are loosely inspired by chicken parmesan but are a great low-carb way to add Italian flavor to any day. To start I wanted to make a simple marinara sauce to fill my zucchini boats with. To do this, I chopped up my sweet onion and added it to my sauté pan along with my garlic and a teaspoon of olive oil. I then cooked my onion mixture for about five minutes until the onions became translucent. As soon as my onions were cooked, I added in my stewed tomatoes and tomato paste and gave the mixture a good stir. Then I dropped in my basil and oregano, covered my marinara sauce with a lid and allowed it to simmer while I prepped my zucchini. Easy peasy, right?
While my simple marinara sauce was simmering, I washed my zucchini and cut them in half diagonally. Then I simply used the tip of a spoon to scoop out the middle of the zucchini pieces to create a “boat” to fill with my marinara sauce and of course my Sargento Reserve Series Shaved 14-Month Aged Parmesan Cheese.
Once I had hollowed out all of my zucchini, I added them to a glass baking dish, brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper and then popped them into my oven which was preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes.
After ten minutes of cooking, I removed my zucchini from the oven and filled each one with my freshly made marinara sauce. For me, the slightly chunky texture of this easy marinara sauce works so well for filling the zucchini boats.
Once I had filled each of the pieces of zucchini with marinara sauce, I returned them to the oven to cook for ten more minutes at 350 degrees F. After the ten minutes were done, I used a fork to test that my zucchini was almost cooked but still slightly firm. Then I removed it from the oven and got ready to add the ingredient that really makes this dish shine. While the seasoned zucchini is delicious and the marinara sauce is full of flavor, what really pulls this dish together is the Sargento Reserve Series Shaved 14-Month Aged Parmesan Cheese.
With its shaved cut that adds visual appeal to every dish paired with its rich, nutty flavor that is achieved by aging the cheese for 14 months, Sargento Reserve Series Shaved 14-Month Aged Parmesan Cheese is the ONLY way to finish these Zucchini Parmesan Boats! The taste of this cheese is just extraordinary and really adds a level of depth to this recipe that makes it truly outstanding. Knowing that my Sargento cheese was going to be the star of this dish (naturally), I layered it onto my prepared zucchini boats and then popped them back into the oven to cook for a final five minutes at 350 degrees F….just long enough for the Sargento cheese to melt over the top and take this dish from good to truly great.
With my Sargento Reserve Series Shaved 14-Month Aged Parmesan Cheese melted over the top, my Zucchini Parmesan Boats were almost complete. After a quick sprinkle of fresh basil and parsley they were ready to serve and let me tell you, they did not disappoint!
Every single bite of these Zucchini Parmesan Boats delivers big, bold flavors paired perfectly with creamy Sargento cheese.
And when you cut into this delicious dish? Well, you’re guaranteed layer after layer of cheesy Italian perfection in a form that’s perfect for light summer meals!
Now it’s your turn! Whether you decide to whip up these Zucchini Parmesan Boats for dinner tonight or simply want the tastiest, best cheese around to turn your favorite dishes into cheesy perfection, be sure to reach for Sargento Reserve Series Cheese from Harris Teeter. From omelets to salads to pasta to burgers, Sargento Reserve Series is a perfect way to deliciously creamy flavor and taste to a variety of dishes! To make it even easier to try this high-quality cheese that elevates any dish to delicious new levels, from 7/3/19 to 7/30/19, you can save $0.75 on any ONE (1) Sargento® product at your local Harris Teeter. So, grab your keys you cheese lover you and head to Harris Teeter today to pick up what is without a doubt my family’s favorite Sargento cheese that helps turn all my creations into culinary delights!
Now tell me, what will you make for dinner tonight using Sargento Reserve Series Cheese from Harris Teeter?