Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Stuffed zucchini is a hearty, flavorful dish that perfectly combines the natural sweetness of zucchini with a savory filling. This recipe uses aromatic spices, lean turkey, and brown rice for a wholesome, satisfying meal.

Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
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The ingredients in this recipe are generally common household items. However, ground turkey might not always be readily available and could be replaced with any ground meat of your choice. Also, be sure to pick firm zucchinis which are easier to scoop out and stuff.

Ingredients for Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Zucchini: A squash variety with a mild flavor that takes on the taste of whatever it's cooked with.

Ground cinnamon: Adds a warm, sweet touch to the savory filling.

Garlic: Boosts the savory flavor of the filling.

Ground black pepper: Enhances the flavor of the filling.

Chicken broth: Adds moisture and flavor to the filling.

Ground turkey: A lean source of protein, but you can substitute with any ground meat.

Brown rice: A whole grain that adds a nutty flavor and chewy texture.

Garlic powder: Enhances the garlic flavor in the filling.

One reader, Eugenius Peck says:

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This stuffed zucchini recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so rich and the zucchini is perfectly tender. It's a great way to sneak in some extra veggies, and the combination of turkey and rice is so satisfying. I love how easy it is to make, and it's become a family favorite in our house. Highly recommend!

Eugenius Peck

Techniques for Making Stuffed Zucchini

How to prepare zucchini: Zucchini should be washed and dried before cutting. Cut off the stem end, then slice the zucchini in half lengthwise.

How to scoop zucchini pulp: Use a spoon to gently scoop out the pulp from each zucchini half, leaving about ¼ inch of flesh to create a boat-like shape for stuffing.

How to season chicken broth: Combine the ground cinnamon, minced garlic, and ground black pepper with the chicken broth to create a flavorful seasoned broth.

How to stuff zucchini: Fill each zucchini boat with the turkey and rice mixture, ensuring it is evenly distributed and packed in tightly.

How to bake stuffed zucchini: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil to trap the steam and moisture, then bake in a preheated oven at 450°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the zucchini is soft.

How To Make Stuffed Zucchini

This light and healthy stuffed zucchini is loaded with rice, turkey, and more for the best lunch meal! Whip this up in just under two hours.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 6zucchini,trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2tspground cinnamon
  • 1tspgarlic,minced
  • 1tspground black pepper
  • 14ozchicken broth,2 cans
  • 1lbground turkey
  • cupsbrown rice,uncooked
  • 1tbspgarlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  2. Scoop the pulp out of each zucchini half with a spoon and discard.

  3. Arrange the zucchini in a deep glass baking dish.

  4. Stir 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, and ½ teaspoon of pepper into each can of chicken broth.

  5. Combine the turkey, rice, and garlic powder in a large bowl, then mix thoroughly.

  6. Stir in 1 can of seasoned chicken broth.

  7. Stuff each zucchini half with the turkey mixture.

  8. Place the top halves over the bottom halves.

  9. Pour the second can of seasoned chicken broth over the zucchini and into the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.

  10. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes until the rice is tender and the zucchini is soft.

  11. Serve, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 350.12kcal
  • Fat: 8.52g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.17g
  • Trans Fat: 0.08g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.87g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.45g
  • Carbohydrates: 46.89g
  • Fiber: 4.29g
  • Sugar: 6.01g
  • Protein: 22.84g
  • Cholesterol: 54.15mg
  • Sodium: 157.23mg
  • Calcium: 75.89mg
  • Potassium: 917.47mg
  • Iron: 2.75mg
  • Vitamin A: 35.61µg
  • Vitamin C: 35.41mg

Helpful Technique for Preparing Stuffed Zucchini

When stuffing the zucchini, ensure to leave a small amount of space at the top. This allows for the stuffing to expand during cooking without overflowing. Also, using a melon baller can make the process of scooping out the zucchini pulp easier and more efficient.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the filling and stuffing mixture the night before and refrigerate it. This will save time on the day of cooking.

Uniform shape: Choose zucchinis that are similar in size to ensure even cooking and a uniform presentation.

Double batch: Make a double batch of the stuffed zucchinis and freeze the extras for a quick and convenient meal in the future.

Use a rice cooker: Cook the brown rice in a rice cooker while preparing other components of the dish to save time and effort.

Pre-cut ingredients: Purchase pre-chopped garlic and pre-ground spices to cut down on prep time.

Substitute Ingredients For Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

  • zucchini - Substitute with eggplant: Eggplant can be used as a delicious substitute for zucchini in stuffed recipes. It has a similar texture and mild flavor that works well with the other ingredients.

  • ground turkey - Substitute with ground chicken: Ground chicken can be used as a lean alternative to ground turkey, providing a similar texture and flavor in the stuffed zucchini recipe.

  • brown rice - Substitute with quinoa: Quinoa is a nutritious and protein-rich substitute for brown rice, adding a nutty flavor and fluffy texture to the stuffed zucchini filling.

Presentation Ideas for Stuffed Zucchini

  1. Elevate the zucchini halves: Carefully arrange the stuffed zucchini halves on the plate, ensuring they are positioned elegantly and with precision.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a touch of freshly chopped parsley or chives over the zucchini for a pop of color and added freshness.

  3. Drizzle with a reduction: Create a beautiful and flavorful reduction using balsamic vinegar or pomegranate molasses to drizzle over the zucchini for a sophisticated touch.

  4. Add a touch of edible flowers: Place a few delicate and colorful edible flowers, such as nasturtiums or pansies, around the zucchini for an exquisite and artistic presentation.

  5. Serve on a bed of greens: Present the stuffed zucchini on a vibrant bed of fresh arugula or baby spinach to add a contrasting texture and visual appeal to the dish.

  6. Use a unique serving platter: Select a stunning and unique serving platter that complements the colors and textures of the dish, adding an extra element of sophistication to the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Stuffed Zucchini

  • Oven: Used for baking, roasting, and heating food.
  • Glass baking dish: Used for baking and roasting dishes in the oven.
  • Spoon: Used for scooping out the zucchini pulp and mixing ingredients.
  • Aluminum foil: Used to cover the baking dish during baking to retain moisture and heat.
  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining and mixing ingredients.
  • Food processor: Used for chopping, blending, and mixing ingredients.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Stuffed Zucchini

  • Allow the stuffed zucchini to cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent the zucchini from becoming soggy and help maintain its texture.

  • To store in the refrigerator, place the cooled stuffed zucchini in an airtight container or wrap tightly with plastic wrap. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

  • For longer storage, freezing is a great option:

    • Wrap each stuffed zucchini half individually in plastic wrap, making sure to remove as much air as possible.
    • Place the wrapped zucchini halves in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag.
    • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy reference.
    • Stuffed zucchini can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  • To reheat stuffed zucchini from the refrigerator:

    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Place the stuffed zucchini in a baking dish and cover with foil.
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
  • To reheat stuffed zucchini from frozen:

    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Remove the stuffed zucchini from the freezer and unwrap.
    • Place the zucchini halves in a baking dish and cover with foil.
    • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through and the filling is hot and bubbly.
  • Alternatively, you can thaw the frozen stuffed zucchini in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven as directed above.

How To Reheat Leftover Stuffed Zucchini

  • The best way to reheat leftover stuffed zucchini is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the zucchini in an oven-safe dish. Cover the dish with foil to prevent the zucchini from drying out. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the zucchini is heated through and the filling is hot.

  • Another option is to reheat the stuffed zucchini in the microwave. Place the zucchini on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. This will help keep the zucchini moist. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the zucchini is heated through. Be careful not to overcook the zucchini, as it can become mushy.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can also use it to reheat your stuffed zucchini. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the zucchini in the basket. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the zucchini is heated through and the filling is hot. This method will help crisp up the exterior of the zucchini while keeping the inside moist and flavorful.

  • For a quick and easy reheat, you can also use a skillet on the stovetop. Heat a small amount of olive oil or butter in the skillet over medium heat. Place the stuffed zucchini in the skillet and cover with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the zucchini is heated through and the filling is hot. This method will give the zucchini a slightly crispy exterior.

  • Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to reheat the stuffed zucchini until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure that it is safe to eat. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the filling before serving.

Interesting Trivia About Stuffed Zucchini

The stuffed zucchini recipe is a great source of protein and fiber, making it a nutritious and filling dish.

Budget-Friendly Stuffed Zucchini: Is It Economical?

This stuffed zucchini recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as zucchini, ground turkey, and brown rice, are affordable and readily available. The use of simple spices like cinnamon and garlic enhances the flavor without adding significant cost. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-20, making it a budget-friendly option. Overall, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its affordability and delicious outcome.

Is This Stuffed Zucchini Dish Healthy or Not?

This stuffed zucchini recipe has some healthy elements, but there's room for improvement. Let's break it down:

Healthy aspects:

  • Zucchini is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense vegetable rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Ground turkey is a lean protein source, lower in saturated fat compared to ground beef
  • Brown rice provides complex carbohydrates and fiber

Less healthy aspects:

  • The recipe lacks additional vegetables, which could boost the overall nutrient content
  • Using chicken broth adds sodium to the dish, which may be a concern for some individuals
  • The recipe doesn't specify the use of lean ground turkey, which could affect the fat content

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Opt for low-sodium chicken broth or replace it with a mixture of water and herbs for flavor without added salt
  • Include additional vegetables in the turkey and rice mixture, such as diced onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms, to increase the fiber and nutrient content
  • Choose lean ground turkey (90% lean or higher) to reduce the saturated fat content
  • Experiment with alternative grains, such as quinoa or bulgur, for added variety and nutrition
  • Reduce the amount of rice and increase the proportion of vegetables to create a more balanced meal
  • Add fresh herbs like parsley or basil to enhance the flavor without relying on salt

Editor's Take on This Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

This stuffed zucchini recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of ground turkey, brown rice, and aromatic spices creates a savory and satisfying filling. The use of cinnamon adds a unique and unexpected twist, enhancing the overall taste profile. The zucchini becomes tender and succulent as it bakes in the seasoned chicken broth, infusing the dish with rich, savory flavors. This recipe offers a wholesome and delicious way to enjoy zucchini, making it a delightful addition to any meal.

Enhance Your Stuffed Zucchini Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, topped with melted butter.
Grilled Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and drizzled with a balsamic glaze.
Fruit Salad: A refreshing mix of seasonal fruits tossed in a light honey-lime dressing, sprinkled with fresh mint leaves.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Like Stuffed Zucchini

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad: This hearty salad is packed with roasted vegetables and protein-rich quinoa, making it a satisfying and nutritious meal.
Braised Beef Short Ribs: Tender, fall-off-the-bone beef short ribs braised in a rich and flavorful sauce, perfect for a special dinner at home.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: A refreshing and tropical dessert that's easy to make and perfect for a healthy sweet treat.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Stuffed Zucchini

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory stuffed mushrooms are filled with a rich and creamy mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs, creating a perfect bite-sized appetizer for any occasion.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Indulge in this creamy and flavorful spinach and artichoke dip, served with crispy tortilla chips for a satisfying and delicious appetizer that will leave your guests wanting more.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of apple crisp, with tender baked apples, a crispy oat topping, and a hint of cinnamon. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and warmth.

Why trust this Stuffed Zucchini Recipe:

This stuffed zucchini recipe is a delicious and wholesome dish that combines ground turkey, brown rice, and zucchini for a nutritious and satisfying meal. The use of cinnamon and garlic adds a delightful depth of flavor, while the addition of chicken broth keeps the dish moist and savory. With a cooking time of 1 hour and 15 minutes, this recipe ensures that the rice is tender and the zucchini is perfectly cooked. Trust this recipe to deliver a delightful and comforting dining experience.

Share your thoughts and experiences with this Stuffed Zucchini Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
FAQ:
What can I use as a substitute for ground turkey in this recipe?
You can substitute ground turkey with ground chicken, ground beef, or even plant-based ground meat for a different flavor profile.
Can I use white rice instead of brown rice?
Yes, you can use white rice instead of brown rice in this recipe. Just keep in mind that white rice cooks faster than brown rice, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Can I prepare this dish ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prepare the stuffed zucchini ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. When you're ready to enjoy it, simply bake it according to the recipe instructions.
How can I make this recipe vegetarian?
To make this recipe vegetarian, you can substitute the ground turkey with cooked quinoa, lentils, or a mix of sautéed vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for added flavor.
Can I freeze the stuffed zucchini for later?
Yes, you can freeze the stuffed zucchini for later. Once it's assembled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer. When you're ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake according to the recipe instructions.

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