Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

This Italian recipe is perfect for the fall: 
organic zucchini halves, carved out and stuffed with a delicious mixture of ground beef, Parmesan cheese, parsley and garlic - of course! 
All the organic zucchini I found at the farmers' market this morning inspired me to prepare this dish: baked, carved-out zucchini halves filled with a savory ground beef stuffing. Very tasty and definitely one of my favorite. Great for the kids too! If you have a picky veggie eater, this is a perfect way to "hide" the zucchini.
I like to prepare this as a main dish for my family. I served it with some homemade, super soft and savory rosemary focaccia bread. Yummy!! Or it could also be an impressive side dish for your next fancy dinner party!
Note, you can be prepared it head of time, and warm it in the oven at the last minute. Left overs are always welcomed! Here is the recipe.
Ingredients: serving 4
  • 4 large organic zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • half pound (225 gr) of lean ground beef
  • 4 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup, plus one tablespoon of plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh Italian Parsley chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Preparation time: about 60 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 350 º F (175º C). Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the inside flesh of the zucchini, trying not to break the "shell". I used a small pointy knife. And if you like, you can help yourself with a spoon.
2. In a large bowl combine half of the zucchini flesh cut in small cubes, the ground beef, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs, parsley and salt. Mix until all combined.
3. Place the zucchini halves in a baking pan, sprinkle with salt, fill with the stuffing.

4. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of breadcrumbs, one of Parmesan cheese and drizzle with the olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Uncover and finish baking for 15 more minutes or so.

 Buon Appetito!


  1. Manuela, you are great. But you have forgotten to share the best secret regarding zucchine ripiene. Before baking everything, the shells need to be fried. This seems an optional thing, but actually it makes the whole difference, trust me! The shells must be as thin as possible, then fry them like normal chips. Also, zucchine shaped like drums (rather than halves) are the best ones to fry and bake. Thanks for your blog, it's wonderful :)

    1. Wow!! I've never fried them before... I definitely will give it a try :)