My mother-in-law and I are doing a Whole 30 right now. Every so often we come up with something SO DELICIOUS it has to be shared. Last night’s dinner was one of those meals.
This was inspired by our finding Kite Hill’s Cashew Ricotta and then discovering it was Whole 30 complaint! 🙌🏻 ::cue praise band::
So, we went home and started brainstorming how we could stuff it in our faces and this… is what we came up with:
I started by preheating my oven to 400 °F. You don’t want to forget that preheat. Nothing slows down dinner like realizing the oven’s not on. Then I mixed the ricotta with an egg and some dried parsley and set it aside.
I then browned some Hot Italian sausage from a local butcher shop that is just down the street from our house. We love buying meat there! They make their own sausages in house and most of them do not have any sugar added (which is very important to us Whole 3o peeps) like most you find in the grocery store. I salted the meat a bit as I mashed it. I love using my Farberware meat masher. I was skeptical of another kitchen tool. I mean come on. We can’t have a specialized tool for everything. However, I am able to break up ground meat (especially pork which I feel like clumps up so fast) with this guy. He’s here to stay.
We added a compliant brand of store bought marinara and called the sauce done. The spiciness of the hot Italian sausage put it on another level. So good!! The trick to serving a sauce with spicy sausage to our kids is that we didn’t! 😁 W30 meals are like gold around here. We want the leftovers for lunches and I am not giving it to my kids if I’m sure they’ll waste it. They eat a lot of the W30 dinners I make but for this one, the cashew ricotta is pricey and I just can’t watch 4 kids waste it. So, we got them a good old frozen lasagna. 🤷🏻♀️ Sue me.
Anywhooooo… The next step is slicing the zucchinis in half and scoop the seeds and some of the flesh to make a little “boat”. You want to make enough room for your filling but not take it all the way down to the skin. Think 1/4 – 1/3 of an inch.
Then assembly begins. Split the ricotta mixture between the zucchini boats. Place them in an oiled pan with a lip. I used a large sheet pan but I think a nice 9×13 dish would be perfect.
Next spoon the tomato sauce on top of each boat. You could probably just dump it and spread it around. This only effects presentation I would assume.
The final step is the cashew cream drizzle. Y’all this meal is probably high calorie. I’m not going to officially calculate the nutritional info, but let’s consider… Cashew ricotta ✔️. Pork sausage ✔️. Cashew cream ✔️. It probably shouldn’t be on the weekly rotation. The cashew cream I adapted from a recipe I found online over at Food52. They give a basic recipe that you can make sweet (with honey or maple syrup) or savory (with lemon juice and salt). Obviously we went savory and then added some nutritional yeast for a “cheesy” effect. It makes a pretty big batch of cream so I wouldn’t add the nutritional yeast as your making it. You’ll only need about 1/2 cup for this dish. The cashew cream consistency can be adjusted by how much water you add. I was going for not watery but fluid enough to drizzle off a spoon.
Lastly I dusted the whole pan with some Italian seasoning and a little pink Himalayan sea salt. It goes In the oven for 30 minutes. That’s it y’all. It was very satisfying. We will definitely make it again.
Whole 30 Zucchini Boats
- 1 8oz tub Kite Hill Cashew Ricotta
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp dried Parsley (or 1 tbsp fresh)
- 1 lb Hot Italian Sausage (must be sugar free to be W30)
- 1 jar of W30 compliant marinara
- 4-6 zucchinis depending on size
- 1/2 cup savory cashew cream
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- olive oil for pans
- salt and pepper to taste as you go
- Preheat your oven to 400 °F.
- In a bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, and parsley until fulled blended and set aside.
- Brown sausage most of the way (it’s going in the oven too) in a pan over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Salt the pork and break up as you go using meat masher. Add marinara and allow to sit over low/medium heat.
- Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh down to 1/4″ – 1/3″.
- Lightly oil a 9×13 pan. Fill boats with ricotta mixture (just split evenly between zucchini) and place in pan.
- Spoon marinara sauce over the boats.
- Mix nutritional yeast with prepared cashew cream. Once thoroughly mixed, drizzle over boats. Dust top of whole dish with salt and Italian seasoning
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
We found this to be best right out of the oven. You know how zucchini can mush up after a while. But, you better believe we ate every single bit of those leftovers. This of course works with regular ricotta. And if you’re eating dairy, I highly recommend topping the whole thing with mozzarella and parmesan instead of the cashew cream. If you do that be sure to cover it with foil for the first 25 minutes in the oven so the cheese doesn’t burn. I hope if you try this, you will enjoy it as much as we did.