A few weeks ago I had a ton of zucchini that I needed to use up. I have a few go-to zucchini recipes, but after I exhausted all the usual dinners and desserts, I came up with this idea. Why not make stuffed zucchini? Think stuffed peppers, but swapping the peppers for hollowed out zucchini.
Time: 45 minutes total
5 medium-sized zucchinis
1 bell pepper (I usually use red or orange)
1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, grated
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or Asiago)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
a handful of chopped fresh basil
1 to 2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1. Chop the ends off each zucchini, then cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Hollow out each half by scooping out the seeds and pulp using a melon baller or a teaspoon. Salt and pepper the inside of each boat and place into a lightly greased baking dish.
2. Dice up the zucchini pulp/seeds and place in a mixing bowl. Dice the bell pepper into tiny pieces and add to the mixing bowl with the chopped zucchini. Add the quinoa, breadcrumbs, all of the grated pepperjack cheese and half of the grated Parm to the bowl as well. (Reserve the remaining Parm to top the boats with in the last 5 minutes of cooking.) Add all the herbs and spices to the mixing bowl as well as 2 tbsp. of olive oil.
3. Saute together the onion and garlic with 2 tbsp olive oil. Cook over medium heat until tender. Add to the mixing bowl, and mix well to combine all ingredients. (If adding chicken or vegan sausage or Veggie Ground Round, add that to the bowl at this time, too.)
4. Fill each zucchini boat with filling, and bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parm cheese, and broil for 2-3 minutes.
(Note: This recipe works great as a side dish as written. If you want to make it a little more filling for a stand-alone dinner, feel free to add more cooked grains into the mixture, such as additional quinoa, or long grain and wild rice, barley, farro,…)