Another summer vegetable perfect for stuffing?! Yes, zucchini, like yellow squash and bell peppers, can easily be hollowed out and filled with your favorite toppings. While many other recipes use Mexican, Greek, or Indian flavor themes, I chose to go for a simple Italian taste by including tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, spinach, garlic, Italian seasoning, and cheese in my filling. It is up to you whether to make the recipe vegetarian or vegan; those not opposed to cow’s milk can top the stuffed zucchini with shredded mozzarella whereas vegans should use non-dairy nutritional yeast to get the desired cheesy flavor.
Italian Stuffed Zucchini
Yield: 4 zucchini halves
◦2 large fresh zucchini
◦½ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
◦½ cup diced onion
◦½ cup diced tomatoes
◦½ cup fresh spinach
◦1 tablespoon fresh or jarred minced garlic
◦2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
◦2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or 3 tablespoons mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Hollow out centers using a spoon, and set aside on greased baking sheet with the cut side facing up.
- Using a medium skillet on medium-low heat, sauté diced onions and minced garlic in oil until soft and aromatic.
- Add chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and spinach to the skillet, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Once spinach has wilted, add Italian seasoning blend to skillet, and toss with the vegetable mixture. Remove from heat, and set near zucchini halves.
- Fill the hollowed-out center of each zucchini half with the sautéed vegetable mixture.
- Bake zucchini boats in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from oven, and top with either nutritional yeast or cheese. Place back in oven for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven, and enjoy! If desired, serve with fresh whole grain bread or rice on the side.