Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini
is an easy to make vegetarian meal.
It’s no secret quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients and with zucchini in abundance I’m making quinoa stuffed zucchini for a meatless Monday meal.
Using quinoa in place of the rice and meat adds the nutrition and protein you need. You will have enough quinoa leftover to make another dish.
This recipe is adapted from the many stuffed pepper recipes my mother-in-law used to make. I substituted quinoa for the rice and I added whatever vegetables I had in the fridge.
What I really like about these type of stuffing recipes is that you can use whatever you have in your pantry and fridge. Those ingredients are most often favorites in your household which almost guarantees everyone will like the dish.
Prepare this recipe in advance when you know your schedule will be hectic. To save time make this in the mornings and refrigerate it until you are ready to get dinner started. All you need to do is bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes – timing will depend on the size of the zucchini – my zucchini baked in 20 minutes.
Serve this stuffed zucchini with a tossed salad using farm fresh ingredients.
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.
- 2 zucchini cut in half length-wise
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 large shallot chopped
- 1 tbls. avocado oil (or any light vegetable oil)
- ¼ cup chopped bell pepper (I used red and yellow)
- ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
- 2 tbls.. chopped fresh parsley
- ½ 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.
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**Post and Photos updated in August, 2016.