One-Pot Turkey-Stuffed Zucchini Marinara

She’s a registered dietitian and author of “Clean Eating for Busy Families.” Michelle Dudash takes over our kitchen with her recipe for One-Pot Turkey-Stuffed Zucchini Marinara. This recipe is in the summer menu of her Clean Eating Cooking School, Michelle’s online meal-planning program.

One-Pot Turkey-Stuffed Zucchini Marinara

By Michelle Dudash, RD. Recipe from


2 pounds zucchini (about 4 medium)

1 pound lean ground turkey (~93% lean)

1/4 cup rolled old-fashioned oats

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast seasoning or parmesan cheese

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon onion powder + 1/4 teaspoon for the sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil + 1/4 teaspoon for the sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt + additional, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, juice drained off 


Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut the zucchini crosswise into thirds. Hollow out the zucchini using a skinny steak knife. Sprinkle the insides with a bit of salt.

In a medium bowl, using a fork, gently combine the turkey, oats, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, onion powder, dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Do not over mix. Push the turkey mixture into the zucchini using a butter knife, small spoon or your fingers. It’s okay to leave some hanging out the sides—added protein!

Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, place the stuffed zucchini into the pan, searing on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium-low and squeeze in the tomatoes with one hand, using the other hand to shield the tomato, minimizing splattering. Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon each onion powder and basil. Cover loosely and simmer until the zucchini is tender and the turkey is cooked through, turning halfway through cooking, about 30 minutes in total.

Note: The key to keeping ground turkey moist and flavorful is adding plenty and moisture and spices. And go with lean, not extra lean ground turkey.

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