Delicious Stuffed Zucchini

September 14, 2017

By Anna Varriano

With all the rain this summer, my veggie garden was hit and miss. I usually have zucchini coming out of my ears at this time of year. While this wasn’t the case this season, I did get enough to make stuffed zucchini a few times. You can use whatever veggies and other ingredients you like for the stuffing – no need to stick to what I’ve used. Just make sure you use something that will hold the filling together. I used an egg and cheese, You can freeze these once they’re stuffed/before you bake them; however, I enjoy them best when they are fresh. For this recipe, I used 2 ‘largish’ zucchini, and it served 4 of us as our main. You can use 4 smaller zucchini if you want to make this dish as a side.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 TBSP of butter
  • 2 TBSP of olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes (make sure they’re ripe!)
  • 2 larger zucchini
  • 1 portobello mushroom
  • a couple of handfuls of chopped up fresh kale or other leafy green
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp of dried Italian herbs (or whatever herbs you like)
  • 1 egg
  • 8 TBSP of grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley (enough to give you a 2 or 3 TBSP of finely chopped parsley)

Step 1: Make the Tomato Sauce

Here’s my go to recipe for a quick tomato sauce … but you can use any tomato sauce you like – homemade or store bought:

  • dice up 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 of the onion, and the tomatoes
  • heat 1 TBSP of butter and 1 TBSP of olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat
  • add the diced garlic, onion, and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes

  • add the diced tomatoes and dried herbs, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and proceed to next step. Check the tomato sauce from time to time though to make sure it is doing OK … you don’t want it to dry out or be too watery. It should have a nice thick ‘salsa-like’ consistency. Turn it off when it’s done.

Step 2: Prepare the Zucchini

  • cut the zucchini in half lengthwise then scoop out the seeds and flesh (an ice cream scoop works great!). Keep about 1/2 of what you’ve scooped out as you’ll add it to the filling. You can use the rest in baking or soup or whatever other dish you’d like to add it to.

  • place the scooped out zucchini in a Pyrex/glass baking dish. My dish was a 9 x 13 inch one … so you get an idea of the size of the zucchini I used. If they don’t lie flat in the dish, you can cut a tiny bit of the back off to give it a flat edge to sit on.  p.s. Check your tomato sauce!

Step 3: Prepare the Filling

  • take 1/2 of the scooped out zucchini filling, dice it up, put it in a bowl, sprinkle it with a little bit of salt, toss it up, and put it aside
  • dice up the mushroom, the remaining onion and garlic clove, red bell pepper, and kale
  • heat the remaining butter and olive oil in a pan/skillet over medium heat and add the diced up veggies and remaining 1/2 tsp of dried herbs. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the veggies JUST start to soften (you don’t want to fully cook them as they will finish cooking when you put the filled zucchini in the oven to bake), then squeeze the diced up zucchini you’ve set aside add it in. Cook for one more minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. p.s. Check your tomato sauce!

Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to let cool. It’s important that the filling is cooled before you add the ‘binding’ (see next step!)

Step 4: Prepare the Binding for the Filling … and Get the Oven On!

  • preheat the oven to 350F
  • in a small bowl, beat together the egg, 4 TBSP of the grated Parmesan, and 1 TBSP of the chopped up parsley
  • once the cooked veggie filling has cooled, add the egg mixture to it and mix it in well. It’s important that the veggie filling is cooled before you add the egg mixture, otherwise the egg will cook and instead of a liquid binding, you’ll have scrambled eggs … trust me … I know this can happen! :o)  p.s. Check your tomato sauce!

Step 5: Fill ‘Em Up!

  • Fill up the scooped out zucchini with the veggie/egg mixture. Sprinkle with half of the grated cheese and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the zucchini ‘boats’ are soft (or done to your liking – you can test by inserting a fork). Once zucchini are done to your liking, you can set the oven to broil for a few minutes to get a nice crisp on the cheesy topping.

Step 5: Serve

  • warm up your tomato sauce if you turned it off awhile ago and it’s cooled down. Then spoon/pour it onto a serving dish and arrange the stuffed zucchini on top of it. Sprinkle with more Paremsan and chopped parsley and enjoy!



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