The idea of stuffed zucchini was brought to my attention by my friend Erika. It was a 3 hour car ride from New York to Boston and we were having a serious discussion about that night’s dinner. I think the main topic was shredded beef (??) until Erika said something like, “have you guys had stuffed zucchini?” I hadn’t and I wanted it. Just like that my food-obsessed mind switched gears from shredded beef to overflowing zucchini boats. Stuffed zucchini was happening, before days end.
After a little research, it became clear there were two ways I could go with this: Southwestern / Mexican style or Italian style. Spicy / cheddar ish or tomato / breadcrumb ish. Since I went on Italian food overload earlier that week, I had to go with a Mexican style ground-beef filling with cheddar on top.
Recipe slightly adapted from Delicious Melicious…
- 4 zucchini
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of chopped pickled jalapeños – less if you don’t like too much spice
- sour cream
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Cut zucchini lengthwise
- Place zucchini in a baking dish with some 1/2 cup water, cut side up. Cover dish with tin foil and bake for about 10 minutes or until they being to soften.
- Using a spoon, scoop the soft center out of the zucchini – set aside.
- In the meantime, heat up the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Once oil is hot, add onions to pan and sauté until onions become transparent.
- Add the ground beef and cumin. Sauté until the beef is mostly brown.
- Add the tomatoes and jalapeños to the mixture, then season with salt and pepper.
- Uncover the baking dish and sprinkle salt on the zucchinis .
- Stuff the zucchini with the beef mixture.
- Sprinkle cheddar on top.
- Bake, uncovered for another 10 or until cheese is melted.
- Add some sour cream to the top of the zucchini boats for garnish and serve.
This turned out to be SO GOOD, the mild flavor of the zucchini mixed well with. Pickled jalapeños gave it just the right amount of spice. It is a Mexican dish you can feel okay about eating. It’s filling, but not on a food coma level. It’s a quick and easy weekday meal that you can save and bring to lunch the next day (which I meant to do before eating it all ). Think of the zucchini as healthier taco shells.