Our stuffed zucchini recipe is a delicious and easy way to enjoy this abundant summer vegetable and make a tasty and fulfilling meal everyone will love.
We make a delicious meat-free filling with ricotta, herbs, and sun-dried tomatoes, then bake the zucchini until tender-crisp and golden. Excellent as an everyday dinner or for special occasions.
On this page:
Check out our best easy dinner recipe collection!
Stuffed zucchini is an easy, delicious, and healthy meal you can enjoy as a side dish or main course for a weeknight dinner or special occasion with family and friends.
Everyone will love this recipe because it has a comforting flavor, is fulfilling, and makes you feel great.
Our stuffed zucchini boats are without meat, and you can decide if you want to make them vegetarian with ricotta and parmesan cheese or vegan with dairy-free cheese.
In both cases, the recipe is easy to put together, and you can use both green and yellow zucchini.
Leftovers keep well for a few days; we often make a whole tray of zucchini boats and keep them ready in the fridge as a tasty meal prep option.
Zucchini: you can use both green and yellow zucchini or summer squash. Try to pick medium zucchini that are similar in size and shape. Small zucchini might be hard to fill, while larger ones might have too many seeds.
We cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh to make room for the filling. Remember not to discard the zucchini flesh, as we use it as part of the filling.
Other veggies you can stuff with the same filling are red bell peppers and eggplants.
Zucchini flesh: scooped out from the zucchini.
Olive oil: you can use extra virgin or regular olive oil.
Scallions: also called green onions or spring onions. Substitute onion or shallots for scallions.
Garlic: fresh garlic cloves, pressed or grated.
Oregano: you can use fresh or dried oregano. Substitute thyme, rosemary, mint, and Italian seasoning, or use your favorite fresh herbs.
Ricotta cheese: Ricotta is an excellent cheese for filling, thanks to its mild flavor and creamy texture. You can use regular ricotta or non-dairy ricotta.
Parmesan cheese: grated parmesan is for flavor. You can use regular Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, or a non-dairy parmesan alternative.
Breadcrumbs: absorb excess moisture from the zucchini and keep the filling together. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make the recipe without gluten.
Sundried tomatoes: use sun-dried tomatoes in oil. We tried this recipe with and without sundried tomatoes; they are a game changer. First, they look meaty in the filling, which is excellent if you serve these vegetarian stuffed zucchini to meat-eaters. Also, they taste incredible and are packed with umami and flavor, so try not to skip them.
Salt & pepper: use sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add red pepper flakes if you like spicy stuffing.
Note: for an alternative filling made with a rich tomato sauce, lentils, and veggies, check out our zucchini boats recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C.
Wash and dry the zucchini, remove the tips, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop the flesh out with a spoon, teaspoon, or melon baller (I like to use a measuring teaspoon to do this).
Chop the flesh finely with a knife; we use it for the filling.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil, then add finely sliced scallions and fry them for 3 minutes on medium heat.
Add pressed or grated garlic and fry one more minute, then add the chopped zucchini flesh, season with oregano, salt, and black pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Tip: we want to make the water in the zucchini flesh evaporate so that it won't come out while the stuffing cooks in the oven.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl (you can also do this in the same skillet) and add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, ricotta (or non-dairy ricotta), grated parmesan (or non-dairy parmesan), and breadcrumbs.
Mix with a spoon until the mixture is well combined.
Fill the zucchini boats with a few spoonfuls of stuffing and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Optionally, sprinkle with grated parmesan, shredded mozzarella, or vegan cheese.
Bake in the oven at 400°F or 100°C for 20 minutes or until the stuffed zucchini are golden brown on top and tender-crisp at the bottom.
Arrange them on a serving platter and enjoy them as a main or side dish. Add a squeeze of lemon for a nice tang.
If you want to try a different filling without cheese, you'll love them with our hearty lentil tomato filling. It tastes so good you won't believe it has no meat.
This healthy comfort food is packed with flavor, umami, and nutrition.
Check out our zucchini boats with lentil stuffing.
Dip, top, or drizzle with one of our delicious sauces, such as:
- Marinara sauce or tomato sauce (tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic, etc.)
- Vegan sour cream (cashews, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, water, etc.)
- Tahini dressing (garlic, tahini, lemon, water, etc.)
- Vegan pesto (basil, garlic, walnuts, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, olive oil, etc.)
Serve them as a main dish next to one of our mouthwatering salads:
- Easy side salad (carrot, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, red onion, etc.)
- Arugula salad (arugula, red apple, walnuts, lemon juice, parmesan, etc.)
- Avocado salad (avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, etc.)
- Cucumber tomato salad (cucumber, lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, olive oil, etc.)
Make ahead & storage
Make ahead: this is a good recipe for meal prep, as the zucchinis keep well in the fridge for a few days. If you have guests over and want to get ahead in the kitchen, you can prep the stuffing ahead of time, get the hollowed zucchini ready on a baking tray, and keep everything in the fridge till ready to assemble and bake them.
Refrigerator: store leftover stuffed zucchini in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat them in the microwave, preheated oven, or air fryer.
Freezer: you can freeze stuffed zucchini before and after cooking. They freeze pretty well; however, the zucchini will lose some texture and become softer in both cases. Arrange the boats on a smaller baking sheet lined with parchment paper, put them in the freezer for 2 hours, then transfer them into a freezer-friendly bag to save space and put them back in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator over several hours.
More zucchini recipes
- Roasted zucchini (breadcrumbs, zucchini, parsley, lemon, olive oil, garlic, etc.)
- Zucchini salad (cherry tomatoes, zucchini, lemon, olive oil, salt, etc.)
- Zucchini fritters (red onion, zucchini, chickpea flour, flour, garlic, etc.)
- Air fryer zucchini (paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, olive oil, zucchini, etc.)
- Zucchini soup (onion, garlic, zucchini, potato, vegetable broth, olive oil, etc.)
More veggie-based dinners
- Stuffed eggplant (eggplant, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, mozzarella or vegan cheese, etc.)
- Microwave sweet potato (sweet potato, couscous salad, olive oil, parsley, lemon, etc.)
- Whole roasted cauliflower (harissa, cauliflower, tahini sauce, almonds, chimichurri, etc.)
- Vegetable soup (onion, celery, carrot, cauliflower, green beans, canned tomatoes, white beans, etc.)
- Lentil vegetable soup (lentils, carrots, spinach, canned tomatoes, cumin, garlic, etc.)
For many more dinner ideas, check out our mains category page.
- 5 zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 spring onions finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic pressed or grated
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup ricotta
- ½ cup parmesan
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes cut into small pieces
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C.Wash and dry 5 zucchini, remove the tips, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop the flesh out with a spoon.
- Chop the flesh finely with a knife.
- In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add 3 spring onions (finely chopped) and fry them for 3 minutes on medium heat.Add 3 cloves garlic (grated or pressed) and fry one more minute, then add the zucchini flesh, season with 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Turn the heat off then add 1 cup ricotta, ½ cup parmesan, ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (chopped), and ½ cup breadcrumbs.
- Mix with a spoon until well combined.
- Fill the zucchini boats then arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.Optionally, sprinkle with some grated parmesan.
- Bake in the oven at 400°F or 200°C for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and tender-crisp at the bottom.
- Arrange them on a serving platter and enjoy as an appetizer, main or side dish.
If you liked this stuffed zucchini recipe, you might also enjoy: