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Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a delicious and wholesome dish that combines tender zucchini filled with a savory mixture of vegetables, grains, and cheese. This recipe is not only satisfying and flavorful but also a great way to enjoy fresh zucchini during its peak season. Here’s how to make Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats at home for a nutritious and comforting meal.


Ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or rice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional, for topping)

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Zucchini Boats:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the flesh from the center of each zucchini half, leaving about 1/2-inch thick shells. Reserve the zucchini flesh for later use.
  3. Place the hollowed-out zucchini halves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

2. Make the Filling:

  1. Chop the reserved zucchini flesh into small pieces.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened and fragrant.
  3. Add diced red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the peppers begin to soften.
  4. Stir in the chopped zucchini flesh and cherry tomatoes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in cooked quinoa or rice, grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

3. Assemble and Bake:

  1. Spoon the vegetable and quinoa mixture evenly into the hollowed-out zucchini halves, pressing gently to pack the filling.
  2. Sprinkle extra grated Parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese (if using) over the stuffed zucchini boats.
  3. Cover the baking sheet loosely with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

4. Serve:

  1. Remove the stuffed zucchini boats from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  2. Transfer the zucchini boats to serving plates or a platter.
  3. Garnish with additional chopped parsley, if desired.

5. Optional Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats with a side salad dressed in balsamic vinaigrette for a complete meal.
  • Drizzle with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream for extra creaminess.

6. Tips:

  • Choose medium-sized zucchini that are firm and evenly shaped for easier scooping and filling.
  • Feel free to customize the filling with your favorite vegetables or add protein such as chickpeas or tofu for a heartier version.
  • Leftover Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the oven or microwave before serving.

Conclusion:

Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a wholesome and flavorful dish that transforms fresh zucchini into a satisfying meal. This recipe allows you to experiment with different vegetables and grains while enjoying the natural sweetness of zucchini. Whether you serve it as a main dish or a side, Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats are sure to be a hit at your table for a delicious and nutritious dining experience.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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