Italian Stuffed Zucchini

By Christina Collins

Zucchini is an extremely versatile vegetable that grows easily and abundantly in the summer months. One of the many dishes you can make with this Italian squash is to stuff it. It makes for individual portions and you can get extremely creative with your stuffings.

This particular version of stuffed zucchini is inspired by classic baked stuffed shells. Rather than stuff the pasta shells with a ricotta mixture and topped with tomato sauce, I stuff zucchinis. The zucchini adds texture and introduces a vegetable element, both which  are typically absent from the original dish.  The flavors are reminiscent of a vegetable lasagna, but better.In addition to this dish tasting really good, there are actually quite a few other reasons I love this recipe.

  • It’s carb and gluten free
  • It’s super easy to make
  • It can be made in advance (always a fan)
  • It’s great to make for a party
  • It travels well
  • It’s inexpensive
  • Served as individual portions

Serve the Italian style stuffed zucchini along side a simple salad of mixed greens. Mmm, Mmm Good!

  • This is a great starter recipe for those just learning their way around the kitchen.
  • Pierce a few spots in the bottom of the zucchini to let excess liquid drain out so the inside isn’t soggy.

Italian Style stuffed zucchini

Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed zucchinis are an excellent party dish because they can be prepared in advance and baked right before serving. They stay hot for a long time and are easy to serve as individual portions.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Zucchini
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Frozen Spinach (drained & dried of all excess water)
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • Your favorite marinara sauce
  • shredded parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Slice the zucchini in half longways. 
    Slicing a Zucchini lengthwise
  • Hollow them out into ‘zucchini boats.’ You want to leave about a 1/2 inch of flesh.
    Making Zucchini shells
  • Pierce the zucchini using a thin pairing knife to allow excess moisture to drain.
    Piercing a zucchini
  • Season with Salt & Pepper
    Seasoning zucchini with salt & pepper
  • Combine ricotta, egg, grated parmesan, spinach, pinch of salt & pepper and mix well. 
    cheese stuffing for zucchini
  • Stuff cheese mixture generously into the zucchini halves. 
    ricotta cheese in zucchini shells
  • Spoon marinara sauce over zucchini and bake for about 30 minutes or until you can piece the zucchini easily with a knife, but are firm enough to still hold their shape. Add cheese for the last few minutes of cooking. 
    stuffed zucchini in oven
  • Let zucchini rest for about 10 minutes and garnish with shredded parmesan, if using. 
    Zucchini stuffed with ricotta cheese

Notes

These can be prepared up to 24 in advance. To do so, stuff zucchini and store in refrigerator until ready to bake and serve. 

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