Stuffed summer squash boats are a family favorite dinner recipe! This recipe consists of yellow summer squash filled with a blend of chicken sausage, tomato and basil. This is a fresh, light and healthy dinner option. It's easy to make and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
I always end up with extra yellow squash in the spring and summer. And, I'm always looking for new and unique ways to use the summer squash. If you're like me and have extra yellow squash on hand, or just want to mix up the way the summer squash is served, check out this recipe.
The seeds and flesh are removed from the yellow squash, and then added to a mixture of chicken sausage, tomatoes, basil and spices. Bread crumbs are added to thicken the mixture, and then everything is added back into the squash boats. The yellow squash cooks in the oven, and when done, you have a light, fresh and delicious meal ready!
- Yellow Squash: use 4 medium sized yellow squash. See notes below if using a large sized squash.
- Chicken Sausage Links: used precooked chicken sausage links. I used the brand called “never any” chicken sausage links. It is sold at Aldi’s. Many local grocery stores including Target sell the pre-cooked chicken sausage. Use a total of 12 ounces of sausage.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes: be sure to drain the tomatoes before adding them to the mixture.
- Bread Crumbs: I recommend the pre-made breadcrumbs. Use a gluten free bread crumb if necessary for allergy or dietary needs.
- Parmesan Cheese: use fresh, shredded parmesan cheese.
- Chopped Fresh Basil: found in the produce aisle of the grocery store. Chop the basil into very small pieces before measuring it.
- Chopped Fresh Garlic: Fresh garlic provides the best flavor; however, garlic powder can also be used.
Let's Make Some Stuffed Yellow Summer Squash!
Cut the Squash
Slice the ends off of the squash. If your squash has a long, thin end, you may cut some of this off as well.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the flesh and seeds inside the squash. Scrape the interiors of the squash, so that about ¼ inch of wall remains.
Cook the squash
Place the squash on a prepared pan with the cut side up. Bake the squash in the oven for 20 minutes. This will help to soften the squash boats. While the squash is cooking, prepare the filling.
Make the Filling
Combine the chopped chicken sausage, diced tomatoes, garlic and 10 ounces of the yellow squash flesh into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and add the basil, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Mix until combined.
Stuffing the Boats
Once the squash is done cooking, fill the boats with the sausage mixture. Fill the boats to the top. Sprinkle a small amount of parmesan cheese over the top. Bake in the oven.
What Size of Squash To Use?
Yellow squash comes in all different sizes, especially depending on the time of month it is purchased. I have always used a medium sized squash when making this recipe. The medium sized squash is about 8-9 inches long.
Since the recipe calls for the seeds of the squash to be removed and added back in as a filling, I went ahead and measured it out for accuracy purposes. Use only 10 ounces of seeds in the filling.
The recipe can be made with a large sized squash, however you will only need 10 ounces of seeds added back into the filling and can discard the rest. You may not completely fill every squash with filling if using extra-large squash.
- Vegetarian: these summer squash boats can be made vegetarian by leaving out the chicken sausage. You can either replace it with chopped mushrooms or another type of meat alternative.
- Different type of Meat: the recipe calls for chicken sausage, however the summer squash boats can also be made with Italian sausage!
- Yellow Squash: This can be made with zucchini in place of yellow squash.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t forget to drain the liquid from your tomatoes!
- Cook the squash boats prior to adding the filling- this allows them enough time to cook and soften, without over cooking the filling.
- Serve immediately- these squash boats taste best when fresh out of the oven
What to Serve with Stuffed Squash Boats
These stuffed summer squash boats can be eaten as a main entrée at lunch or dinner or as a side dish. I usually pair them with 1-2 sides. I like to eat light and fresh sides with these boats. Here's a few of my favorite things to eat with the squash:
- Chopped blueberries and strawberries
- Sweet potato fries
- Side salad
These stuffed yellow squash boats are a great source of vegetables and protein! A serving size is 1 stuffed squash half. Here's the nutritional breakdown per serving:
- 185 calories
- 18.5 grams of carb
- 7 grams of fat
- 12.5 grams of protein
Yellow Squash Nutrition Information
Yellow squash is very low in calories. A medium yellow squash contains 32 calories. If you are watching your calorie intake, yellow squash is a great food to eat because it fills you up without adding extra calories. It's also a great addition to low calorie dinner recipes.
Yellow squash is low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. This makes it a great food option for someone trying to limit fat or cholesterol intake.
There are many vitamins and minerals in yellow squash, including vitamins A and C. 1 medium squash contains 7.6% DV of Vitamin A and 17 % DV of Vitamin C.
Check out this article for more information on yellow summer squash!
More Easy Dinner Recipes
Stuffed Summer Squash Boats
- 4 medium yellow summer squash
- 12 oz chicken sausage links cooked and chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes drained
- ½ cup bread crumbs gluten free if desired
- ½ cup fresh parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
- 2 tsp chopped fresh garlic
- ¼ cup fresh parmesan cheese (used last to garnish the boats)
Prepare the Squash
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse the squash under water to remove dirt. Cut the end off each side.
- Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and seeds, leaving about ¼ inch width around the edge. Save everything you've scooped out- this will go into the filling.
- Place the squash on the prepared pan with the cut side facing up.
- Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
Sausage and Tomato Filling
- While the squash boats are cooking, being to prepare the filling.
- Use a knife to cut the scooped flesh into small, ¼ inch pieces. Set aside. (you will need 10 ounces total of flesh- this is about 4 medium squash, however it doesn't hurt to measure with a food scale if you use larger or smaller squash).
- Dice the cooked chicken sausage links.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the chicken sausage, chopped garlic, drained tomatoes, chopped squash seeds. Cook over medium heat until the squash is soft, about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add the breadcrumbs, cheese and basil. Mix until combined.
Assemble the Squash Boats
- Remove the cooked squash boats from the oven when done cooking. Use a small spoon to fill each boat evenly with sausage and tomato mixture.
- Cook in the oven for 10 minutes at 350F.
- Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of parmesan cheese. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove and serve immediately.
- You may have some filling leftover. I usually just serve this on the side, it tastes great plain or over crackers!
- Chicken Sausage: I used the brand "Never Any" pre-cooked chicken sausage links from Aldi's. There were 4 links in the package and it was a total of 12 ounces. Target also sells pre-cooked chicken sausage. Any brand is fine! If you can't find pre-cooked sausage, you can always cook sausage and then add it to the recipe.