Stuffed zucchini squash is a light, healthy Mediterranean dish that can be made with any type of ground meat. I prefer ground chicken because it does have some fat but if you want to go real lean, use ground turkey. It’s easy to prepare and can even be made ahead of time and just popped in the oven when you get home.
I made this dish last week and brought it over to my neighbor’s house and we ate every bite of it. Even the kids loved it. As always, don’t be afraid to get creative with this dish. You can add some basil, parsley, and hot red pepper. You can even make this a vegetarian dish by just replacing the ground meat with one chopped squash. Just buy and extra squash and chop it up for the filling.
- 3-4 zucchini squash
- 1 pound ground meat, turkey, chicken, pork, beef or lamb
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 1 can (1 pound) of diced tomatoes
- 1 boullion cube or 1 teaspoon granulated bouillon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
- 6-8 slices of Muenster cheese (you can also use feta or mozzarella)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Trim ends off of the zucchini. Cut the zucchini in half long ways and slice a small sliver on the back of the zucchini creating a flat base so they won’t roll around. See my photos below for example.
Scoop out center with a tablespoon, leaving 1/4-inch shell. Place in a greased baking dish with open centers facing up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place uncovered in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes while you make the stuffing.
Chop the zucchini that you removed from the center and set aside. In a large frying pan over medium high heat add oil and Sauté ½ of the onion and garlic (save the other half for the sauce.) Add the chopped zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes. Add ground beef, bouillon, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes until meat is mixed with veggies and cooked. Add the white wine and cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat and place meat mixture in a large bowl and set aside.
Remove the zucchini from the oven. In the same frying pan you cooked the meat add the remainder of the onions and the garlic with a little olive oil. Sauté for a few minutes over medium high heat being sure not to burn. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano and sugar. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside. Add the egg and the breadcrumbs to the meat mixture. You are now ready to assemble.
To assemble zucchini, add a little tomato sauce to the bottom of the pan that the zucchini are in. You may have to move them out of the way to do that. Then using a tablespoon fill the zucchini with the meat mixture, being sure to divide it evenly over the dish. Top with some of the remaining sauce, making sure it isn’t swimming in sauce. If you have extra sauce save it to serve on the side. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove the squash, top with the cheese and place back in the oven uncovered until cheese is melted. You can even broil for a minute but don’t burn the cheese or it will get chewy and hard.
Once the cheese is melted, remove from the oven and allow the dish to cool a few minutes before serving.
Most adults will eat a half of the squash, as a serving so one squash should be two servings. This recipe makes about 6-8 servings.Print