This shop has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HeartHealthyMazola
I don’t know about you, but I personally can’t believe that this summer is quickly coming to an end. Despite having a much slower paced summer without any big plans or commitments, it still seems like time is flying by and fall will be officially here before we know it. While I love celebrating the changing of seasons, I definitely will miss the summer produce and I am squeezing in all the summer eats before I am forced to move on to fall flavors. Today’s recipe, Sausage and Pepper Stuffed Summer Squash, is packed with wholesome, heart-healthy ingredients like fresh summer produce, lean turkey sausage and Mazola® Corn Oil; since a clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com.
In fact, September is National Cholesterol Awareness month which is to raise awareness and educate us about cardiovascular disease and ways to prevent it. Because of this, the American Heart Association recently issued a new presidential advisory on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease (CVD) that strongly advised replacing saturated fat, like that found in coconut oil, with polyunsaturated fat, like corn oil, to reduce the risk of CVD by 30 percent.
Living a balanced and active lifestyle, has always been important to me and I really try to make sure that for the most part we are eating balanced, better-for-you meals and spend plenty of time every day moving and being active.
For us, eating wholesome meals means stocking our fridge with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables and making simple swaps to our everyday ingredients. Things like using whole wheat pasta, no salt added or low sodium broths and canned goods and choosing lean cuts of meat are all easy ways for me to ensure that my family is eating wholesome meals that fuel our bodies.I also keep my kitchen stocked with Mazola Corn Oil (that I always add to my Walmart Online Grocery Pickup order), since substituting butter with Mazola Corn Oil is another simple swap that can easily reduce saturated fats and cholesterol in our meals. In fact, Mazola Corn Oil is an all-purpose cooking oil that is a heart-healthy* choice for our family. Variety of uses include baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying or mixing up a marinade or dressing.
Today’s Sausage and Pepper Stuffed Summer Squash recipe is, by far, my favorite way to enjoy “zucchini boats” which has been all the rage for years. This dinner recipe is a great example of a “better-for-you dinner” that we enjoy often. I love it because it is a great way to use up that end of summer produce in a delicious and creative way!HELPFUL COOKING TIPS AND INFORMATION:
What to serve with Sausage and Pepper Stuffed Summer Squash?
Since this stuffed summer squash recipe is packed with vegetables, I like to keep the side dish simple and just serve it with brown rice or quinoa.
Make Ahead Tip:
The sausage filling used in this stuffed squash recipe can be made 2-3 days in advance. Simply prepare filling as directed and cool completely before transferring the filling to a food storage container and storing the refrigerator.
Stuffed Squash Cooking Tip:
When hollowing out the squash to stuff them, I find it helpful the use a knife to cut a rectangle shape the length of each halved squash and then use a grapefruit spoon (which has a grooved edge) to scoop out the flesh.
- For stuffed squash:
- ¼ cup Mazola Corn Oil, divided
- 4-6 small zucchini and/or yellow squash
- 1 teaspoon each Kosher salt and black pepper, divided
- ½ pound Italian turkey sausage (sausage removed from casings)
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, cored and diced
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (8-ounce) can no salt added tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- Bread Crumb Topping:
- 1 tablespoon Mazola Corn Oil
- 3/4 cup Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut zucchini and yellow squash in half lengthwise and use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out the center flesh of the squash, leaving the outer skin approximately 1/4-inch thick. Discard scooped out flesh.
3. Arrange zucchini and yellow squash halves in one 9x13-inch or two 8x8-inch baking dishes. Using a silicone baking brush, brush 2 tablespoons Mazola Corn Oil evenly over the top of the squash. Season squash with ½ teaspoon each Kosher salt and black pepper and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of Mazola Corn Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and diced bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, until meat is cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds.
5. Stir in tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and remaining salt and black pepper; cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed-out squash with approximately 1/4 cup sausage mixture, pressing mixture firmly into each squash.
6. Bake stuffed squash in preheated 425-degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until squash is tender.
7. While squash bakes, prepare bread crumb topping by heating 1 tablespoon Mazola Corn Oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Serve toasted bread crumbs over cooked stuffed squash.
*see Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health. And for more better for you recipe ideas, like my stuffed yellow squash recipe, click here or follow Mazola on Facebook!