There are times when I experience extreme cravings for fresh, vegetable based foods. I literally crave greens, drool over mushrooms and pop cherry tomatoes in my mouth like candy. It’s funny because even though this change in eating habits makes me feel great, healthier and usually lighter, things only last so long in my world. Before you know it, I am craving bacon and devouring bread like it’s going out of style. But it’s always nice while it lasts.
One vegetable we always crave is zucchini. It’s amazing grilled, even tastier when roasted and delicious when simply dressed in olive oil, salt and pepper.
One method I have yet to try is stuffing them.
A zucchini half is really perfect receptacle! The best thing is, you can eat both halves and feel completely nourished without feeling a bit guilty.
When removing the innards, outline the part you are going to scoop out using a knife. Just make sure not penetrate through the zucchini’s skin or they may fall apart during roasting.
Then just get in there and scoop it all out! Reserve the insides to sauté with the other vegetables.
Now, you have a zucchini boat!
Next, prepare your stuffing by combining sautéed vegetables, parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, sliced basil and a whisked egg.
Once it’s mixed well, you can stuff away! Once filled, add a few extra breadcrumbs and freshly grated parmesan for fun texture and extra flavor!
This dish is definitely a new go to. The zucchini is tender and created a perfect vehicle for the cheesy delicious stuffing! Plus, you could switch this up in a number of different ways.
- Use other veggies to stuff:
Hollow out an eggplant, summer squash, or even bell peppers.
- Make the meal hardier by adding:
Crumbled bacon, grilled chicken or italian sausage.
Pair with dressed pasta, grilled bread or roasted potatoes for a hardier vegetable meal. Perfect for light and heavy eaters combined. Enjoy!
Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini
serves 2, can easily be multiplied
2 medium or large zucchinis
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 orange pepper, diced*
3-4 crimini mushrooms, stems removed and diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/3 cup bread crumbs, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 egg, whisked
4-5 small basil leaves, cut into ribbons
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Prepare zucchinis by slicing into halves. Scoop out the innards out of each zucchini half, quickly dice and reserve for later. Season each zucchini boat wit olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place a cast iron or other large skillet over medium heat and add about a 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add diced red onion, orange peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini innards. Saute until the veggies have softened, about 10 minutes minutes. Next, add garlic and saute for one minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, add sauteed vegetables, bread crumbs, grated parmesan, whisked egg and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until combined. Divide filling between the four zucchini halves and top with extra breadcrumbs and parmesan.
- Place stuffed zucchinis back into the same skillet and place in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until zucchini can be pierced easily with a fork and the toping has browned.
- Serve immediately.