This is a recipe I created for those times when we want to cut down on the carbs, but we're craving pizza. There are no breadcrumbs involved, but plenty of cheese. Delicious and very satisfying! Works well using Italian sausage also. Cook time includes bake time both before and after stuffing the vegetables.
prep time1 Hr 30 Min
cook time50 Min
Ingredients For italian style stuffed squash, peppers & mushrooms
VEGGIES FOR STUFFING (*SEE NOTE):
olive oil for brushing dish and vegetables
yellow squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped
zucchini squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped
bell peppers, any color, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped
pizza sauce (or 2 jars if extra sauce for serving is desired)
italian blend fine shredded cheese
smoked provolone cheese slices (*see note)
How To Make italian style stuffed squash, peppers & mushrooms
*Note: Filling recipe makes enough to generously stuff enough vegetables to serve 8 to 10 people; recipe may be halved if desired. Use any combination of vegetables or all of one type, your choice. If smoked provolone is unavailable, try plain provolone or mozzarella (whole milk type preferred.)
Gather and prep ingredients. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place a skillet over medium heat. Add about 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add sliced mushrooms; saute several minutes, until they just begin to brown. Add onions; saute another minute or two until barely translucent. Add minced/pressed garlic; saute for another minute or so, careful not to scorch the garlic.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly for a few minutes. Add parsley, bacon, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and parmesan, mixing well. Cover and set aside.
Oil baking dish; place vegetables, cut side down, in dish (no mushrooms yet;) brush vegetables with oil. (you'll brown the meat while vegetables are baking.) Bake uncovered in 425 degree F oven for 18-20 minutes, until almost fork tender. Add mushrooms to dish, if using; rotate dish and bake for 5 additional minutes. Remove from oven. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Use an egg turner to carefully turn the veggies cut side up in the baking dish.
While veggies are cooking, brown the ground beef; drain well. Return beef to skillet; stir in the Italian herb seasoning and garlic salt.
Add mushroom mixture and pizza sauce to the meat; mix well; stir in Italian cheese blend until evenly distributed.
Spoon generous amounts of the meat mixture into the hollows of the vegetables, packing it down as needed, and mounding it up a bit..
Place slices of provolone on top, tearing to fit (don't skimp!)
Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degree F oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and beginning to bubble and brown.
Serve hot (with optional extra pizza sauce, heated, if desired.) Refrigerate leftovers.
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