Unstuffed Zucchini: the perfect quick and easy, one pot weeknight meal. We made cooking time quicker using zucchini zoodles.
It’s almost time for Back To School. It brings mixed feelings for many of us. We say goodbye to the lazy days of summer, with its more laid back routine and less of a strict schedule.
Back To School = Back To Busy
Back to school often means a return to busy weeknights, and the beginning of teams and clubs again. Sometimes those busy weeknights mean it’s a little harder to get dinner on the table for our families.
We all want healthy options that don’t take too much time and effort to prepare. And we want delicious dinners that everyone in our family will eat. Fall’s cooler temperatures also mean a return to some of the classic comfort foods.
This recipe for Unstuffed Zucchini is ticking all the boxes. And on top of all that it’s a one dish meal -to help with clean up. The beautiful Riccardo Enamel Dutch Oven goes from stovetop, to oven, to table and does it all while looking great too.
My traditional stuffed zucchini recipe takes about 1 – 1 1/2 hours to prep and cook, but this unstuffed zucchini version should be ready to serve in less than 30 min. Perfect for a busy weeknight. We saved time by using zucchini noodles -zoodles instead of traditional large pieces of zucchini and were able to cut the cook time way back, without sacrificing taste.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tsp oil -divided
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice or about 1 cup cooked leftover rice
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1/2 yellow pepper
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- I cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Begin by browning the ground beef in 1 tsp of oil in the Dutch oven on medium heat on your stovetop. Once browned remove the meat and set aside.
- If you are not using leftover rice, make your instant rice according to the package instructions and set aside.
- While the beef is browning, dice the onion, and peppers. Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic cloves. Using the spiral vegetable slicer, turn your zucchini into zoodles using the thick julienne setting.
- Using the Dutch oven on medium heat, add the remaining 1 tsp of oil and sauté the onion, garlic, mushrooms and peppers for about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and the Italian seasoning. Add in the zucchini zoodles and cook until they are slightly soft, but not mushy for about 5 minutes. When the zucchini zoodles begin to lay flat they are about ready. Don't over cook -remember they will cook a little longer under the broiler.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add back in the browned beef, the cooked rice, and the tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
- Add grated cheese to the top of the dish, and place in the oven on the top rack on the broil setting to melt the cheese. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn, depending on the oven might take up to 5 minutes. Remove when the cheese is melted and bubbling. Enjoy!
This recipe is so versatile too. Make it even faster by using leftover rice. If you are eating low carb, leave out the rice and increase the zucchini. And you could always switch the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey if you need to.
Serve this one pot dish with a salad (for salad bowl source click here) and some bread for the perfect quick weeknight meal. With Unstuffed Zucchini for a busy weeknight dinner, life really is a party!
Disclamer: I partnered with Kitchen Stuff Plus for this post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Life is a Party possible.