These vegan sausage and ranch stuffed zucchini boats are my new favorite food. The filling is indulgent and savory and balanced out with the freshness of the zucchini.
It’s that time of year again, when family comes to town, and the house needs to be made presentable. I decided to use this holiday cleaning as an opportunity to clear out my refrigerator, and make something tasty out of whatever I found. The recipe I ended up creating was insanely delicious, and it just might make its way onto our holiday table.
I’ve taken fresh zucchini and filled them with a savory sausage seasoned mixture that’s been bound together with a ton of cashew ranch. These stuffed zucchini boats are then topped with freshly made breadcrumbs and baked until golden brown. This dish could be served as an appetizer along with your holiday meal, or served as a main course for those looking for a vegan option at the table.
These sausage and ranch stuffed zucchini were inspired by a popular appetizer recipe called "Sausage Stars". Crisp zucchini is filled with a savory sausage seasoned vegan base that is slathered in ranch, and topped with crispy bread crumbs. This recipe is great for a side dish, or even a main.
- 2 zucchini squash, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 to 3 cups filling - instructions below
- 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 4 ounces tempeh, simmered or steamed for 20 minutes*
- 4 ounces firm tofu, drained*
- 4 ounces seitan*
- 1/2 cup diced apple (I used Pink Lady)
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dry sage
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dry
- red pepper flake to taste
- 3/4 cup vegan ranch**
Crumble your tempeh and your tofu into a large nonstick skillet. Dice your seitan and apples, and add them to the pan along with the vegan butter and your seasonings. Saute until the ingredients start to brown. Add the Bragg’s, and continue to cook until the mixture is dry, and golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
Stir in enough ranch to fully coat so that the "sausage" is fulled coated, and sticks together.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit for convection, or 375 standard.
Cut your zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds from each half, leaving about 1/4 inch around the sides and bottom.
- Fill the zucchini with the filling, and then top with the bread crumbs.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown, and the zucchini is slightly softened.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
*If you don't just happen to have seitan, tofu, AND tempeh hanging out in your fridge, just use one 8oz block of tempeh. Tempeh has the best sausagy texture of the three, and if I had to pick just one, that would be it.
**Use my cashew ranch recipe below, or your favorite store-bought vegan ranch.
This is a cashew version of the ranch dressing I have posted elsewhere on my site. If you're avoiding oil, this is the perfect ranch dressing for you.
- ½ cup of raw cashews soaked overnight
- 1 cup soy milk or your favorite unsweetened plant milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder.
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
To a high speed blender, add the cashews, soy milk, and vinegar. Blend until very creamy with no grit. Pour the mixture into a sealable container, add the seasonings, and shake or stir. Allow the ranch to chill for at least an hour before using.