Stuffed Zucchini is the epitome of late summer food! Made with garden-fresh zucchini and stuffed with a mixture of Italian sausage, the flesh of the zucchini, mozzarella, breadcrumbs and fresh basil. Get this on your summer menu plan!
BEST Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
It is officially zucchini season (you have to try this Fried Zucchini!) and this is a childhood favorite of mine that I am excited to share with you today! The flavors are amazing and it is sure to become a family favorite. It is kind of meal in and of itself, but if you want to serve it with some easy Boiled Corn and have some Blueberry Crisp for dessert I think you would have yourself an amazing meal! Can’t wait for you to try this one!
Stuffed Zucchini Ingredients
- large zucchini: for a lot of baking recipes that call for grated zucchini you tend to want smaller sized zucchini – not here. For this recipe look for the bigger ones!
- sweet Italian sausage: this is always what we have used, but feel free to switch it up and use ground turkey/turkey sausage, ground beef or even ground chicken if you want.
- yellow onion: love the flavor here!
- oregano leaves + basil leaves: these really add to that garden-fresh flavor!
- bread crumbs: feel free to use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you prefer.
- fresh mozzarella: you can use shredded mozzarella if you want.
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt + ground black pepper: because you always gotta season properly!
- marinara sauce: we have a quick + easy pasta sauce OR a homemade roasted marinara sauce – you can always use store-bought though!
- (optional) red pepper flakes: if you want to add some heat!
Other Zucchini Recipes You Might Like
Zucchini is one of my most favorite vegetables because it is so diverse. It is my go-to in stir-fry and is the main ingredient in one of my other favorite foods – Fried Zucchini. Here are some other recipes I love:
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Zucchini Spaghetti
- Zucchini Brownies
- Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins
- Sauteed Zucchini
- Grilled Zucchini
Stuffed Zucchini Side Dishes
How to Make Stuffed Zucchini (Stuffed Zucchini Boats)
First, you need to cut your zucchini in half (here, the bigger the better). Take a large spoon and start scooping out the insides, leaving about 1/4 inch around the sides – it has to be thick enough so it can handle the stuffing and not break.
Fill a large pot about 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil. Once all of your zucchini’s are cut in half and hollowed out, you can par-boil (aka put them in the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes). You want them to be soft, but not soggy or they will fall apart. You still want the zucchini to be firm when you bite into it (what is worse than mushy zucchini … not many things) and you will still be putting it in the oven to bake – so err on the side of being too firm as opposed to too mushy.
Once you have par-boiled your zucchini, and you may need to do it in batches, place them on a cookie sheet and they are ready to be stuffed. Now is about the time you preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Take the insides of your zucchini that you scooped out and roughly chop them so they are at least in bite-sized pieces.
Then, in a large skillet, add 1lb of sweet italian sausage on med-high heat and cook thoroughly. Add zucchini and onion and cook until zucchini becomes transparent. Then drain out the excess liquid (there will be a good amount).
Add some oregano, basil, mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper – mix well.
Then stuff those zucchini. Once you have evenly dispersed the stuffing, drizzle some marinara sauce on top and additional chunks of cheese if you want.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly, but otherwise serve immediately.
Other Recipes You Might Like
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- Cheesy Baked Rigatoni
- Easy Lasagna
- Whole30/Dairy-Free Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Stuffed Bell Peppers
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Stuffed Zucchini – a delicious, classic stuffed zucchini recipe that is perfect for all your garden-grown zucchini!
- 3–4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 1lb sweet italian sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- dash of ground black pepper
- 1/4 lb fresh mozzarella (plus more for topping)
- 1 small jar marinara sauce
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out insides of zucchini flesh, leaving 1/4 in the shell (about 1/2 inch around the sides) – reserve insides.
- Fill large pot about 2/3 full of water and bring to boil.
- Par-boil zucchini halves by placing as many as can fit in the water and letting boil for approx. 2-3 minutes until firm, but tender.
- Remove zucchini, drain well, and place on cookie sheet.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Roughly chop insides from zucchini and set aside, along with the minced onion.
- Bring large frying pan/skillet to medium-high heat, add sausage and cook on med-high heat until fully cooked.
- Add chopped zucchini flesh and onion.
- Cook until zucchini begins to become translucent.
- Drain excess liquid.
- Add oregano, breadcrumbs, basil, salt and pepper and stir.
- Take fresh mozzarella and add small chunks into the mixture.
- Mix until cheese has melted and started to spread evenly throughout.
- Use a spoon to stuff hollowed out zucchini shells with sausage mixture.
- Drizzle marinara sauce on top and cover with any additional mozzarella you. Place in the oven, middle rack and uncovered.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
- Italian Sausage: this is always what we have used, but feel free to switch it up and use ground turkey/turkey sausage, ground beef or even ground chicken if you want.
- Dairy-Free: to make this dairy-free use a dairy-free mozzarella cheese.
- Gluten-Free: to make this gluten-free use a gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Marinara Sauce: we have a quick + easy pasta sauce OR a homemade roasted marinara sauce – you can always use store-bought though!
- Mozzarella: I prefer fresh mozzarella, but shredded will work too.
- Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Keywords: stuffed zucchini
Originally published July 30, 2016. Photos and copy have been updated – recipe remains the same.