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Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, Exclusive: Zucchini Boats with Tomato, Rice, and Olives

By Paula Deen

These zucchini boats look so pretty sitting next to your main meal. They have a way of dressing up the plate that makes you think it’s a special occasion. But here’s the secret: They are so easy to prepare. Whenever I’ve got some leftover rice in the fridge, I make these little beauties. And when I set them out on the table, I just wait for the applause.


  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown or white rice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped black olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paula Deen’s House Seasoning (see page 6)
  • 2 dashes hot sauce, or to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  2.  Brush the cut sides of the zucchini with the oil and place, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, until tender. Using a teaspoon, gently scoop the flesh from the zucchini into a medium bowl, being real careful to leave the shells intact. Lower the oven temperature to 350 °F.
  3. To the zucchini flesh, add . cup of the mozzarella, the rice, tomato sauce, olives, basil, House Seasoning, and hot sauce and mix well. Fill the zucchini shells with the mixture and top with the remaining . cup mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is melted and the stuffing is heated through, 10 to 12 minutes

Serves 4 to 6


More about Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Recipes All Lightened Up

Paula Deen has lost over 40 pounds and has maintained her weight loss for over two years by swapping out ingredients to reduce fat and calories. Paula’s key to weight loss is moderation and accountability, and one day a week she still enjoys good old southern cooking with biscuits and all. One does not have to give up taste when reducing calories, and these recipes are a testament to that. Paula shares 250 of her favorite recipes lightened up. This brand-new, New York Times best selling cookbook presents lightened up versions of fifty of her classic southern recipes and presents new recipes that cut the calories but not the delicious taste.

The New-York Times Best-Selling cookbook, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, is now available now at Amazon, Costco, Barnes & Noble, Target, and your local bookstores!

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.