is an easy to make vegetarian meal you can make anytime oven baked or in the Air Fryer.
Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini
It’s no secret quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients. These days you can find fresh zucchini in most of our produce markets all year. Making quinoa stuffed zucchini for any weeknight meal is easy.
Using quinoa to replace the rice and meat adds the nutrition and protein you need.You will have enough quinoa leftover to make a Quinoa Salad Lettuce Cups for an easy lunch.
This recipe is adapted from the many stuffed pepper recipes my mother-in-law used to make. I substituted quinoa for the rice, and zucchini for the peppers. Then I added whatever vegetables I had in the fridge.
Just in case you need a little help scooping out the zucchini, here is a little ‘how to’ make a zucchini boat. Just use a serrated edged spoon or small grapefruit knife which is curved, then it’s easy to scoop out the zucchini meat. Now just chop the zucchini that you scooped out and add it to the filling with the quinoa and other vegetables you will be using.
Here is another option for cooking this quinoa stuffed zucchini is to use the air fryer if you have one. This will save approximately 10 minutes from the cooking time (time depends on each individual air fryer).
Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini #MeatlessMonday
Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini is a healthy vegetarian option to make anytime and can also be cooked in the Air Fryer.
- 2 zucchini cut in half length-wise
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 large shallot chopped
- 1 tbls. avocado oil (or any light vegetable oil)
- 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (I used red and yellow)
- 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
- 2 tbls.. chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1-2 tbls. butter
- 2 tbls. chopped walnuts (optional)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions which you will then use only 1 cup of the cooked quinoa. (you can save the remainder of the quinoa for another dish.)
- Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Hollow out the center just enough to make a cavity for the filling.
- Using the zucchini meat you just removed from the center, chop it and set aside to add to the filling.
- In a medium saute pan, heat the oil and add the chopped bell peppers. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then add the chopped shallots. Cook another 2 minutes and then stir in the chopped mushrooms and the chopped zucchini meat.
- Next add in the breadcrumbs a little at a time to bind the mixture and then add in the butter. Stir in the walnuts, if using, and season to taste.
- Fill each zucchini with the stuffing. Drizzle the top with a little olive oil.
- In a foil lined baking pan add ¼ water and a drop of oil and then place the zucchini halves in the pan and bake at 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes. The timing will depend on the thickness of the zucchini. The zucchini will be done when a fork is easily pierced into the the side of the zucchini.
AIR FRYER COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Depending on the size of your air fryer, you might have to cut the stuffed zucchini in half. Cook the stuffed zucchini according to the manufacturer's instructions. I have a large air fryer so I was able to place the 2 stuffed zucchini in the basket. Cook time was approximately 15 minutes at 330 degrees. Each air fryer will be different.
What I really like about making this type of recipe is that you can use whatever you have in your pantry and fridge. Those ingredients are most often favorites in your household which will pretty much guarantee everyone will like the dish.
Serve this Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini with a tossed salad full of farm fresh ingredients for a hearty meal anytime.
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