Sausage Stuffed Zucchini
This Sausage Stuffed Zucchini is great to serve as a vegetable side, or even as the main dish for a light summer lunch. Fresh zucchini is stuffed with Italian sausage, fresh tomatoes, Parmesan, garlic, and more!
This is one of those recipes where you can get away with having it as a meal, because it has a bit of protein, satiating fat, and plenty of vegetable freshness and nutrition.
There are so many ways to make zucchini boats and stuffed zucchini, but this is my favorite version.
The flavors feel very classic and go well with the zucchini. There’s meatiness, there’s crunch, there’s the aromatic nature of the herbs…
It’s a similar experience to Stuffed Mushroom Caps, except it’s less work to stuff zucchini since they’re a lot bigger!
While I do recommend you follow the recipe to a T the first time around, you can use the recipe as a template in the future and start playing with different kinds of ingredients in the filling.
In other words, they’re as versatile as can be, and that’s part of what makes them such a great staple for a meal rotation.
How to Make Sausage Stuffed Zucchini:
First prep the zucchini by slicing through the middle, down the length of the zucchini:
I like to keep the stem on because it looks nice, but feel free to trim it off if you prefer.
Next, use a melon baller to scoop out the seedy part of the zucchini:
This makes room for the filling. I discard the seedy part that’s scooped out instead of incorporating it in the mix like you would with stuffed mushrooms, since it’s very watery.
For the filling, combine browned Italian sausage, freshly chopped tomatoes, red onion, parsley, egg, garlic, parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs:
Use your hands to stuff this mixture into the zucchini boats:
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are slightly browned and the zucchini has become fork tender, but not mushy.
You want some “al dente” and texture to it.
For a main dish, this Zucchini Noodle Lasagna is comforting and cheesy, with zucchini ribbons in place of pasta to make it a little lighter.
Also check out my Ultimate Guide to Zucchini, which covers how to store zucchini, how to pick a good one at the grocery, and 60+ recipe ideas using zucchini. Enjoy!
Can stuffed zucchini be frozen? I don’t recommend it. Freezing makes the texture of the zucchini boats very mushy.
Can you reheat zucchini boats? Yes, and they reheat nicely. Microwave is the fastest but can make them a bit moist/soggy, so if I can I prefer to warm it in the oven.
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini
For the Stuffed Zucchini:
- 2 small zucchinis (1 pound)
- 1/3 lb fresh italian sausage removed from casing
- 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
- 2 oz freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 12 oz vine-ripened tomatoes chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp minced parsley or basil
- 1/3 cup minced red onion
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the zucchinis in half down the length, then scoop out the middle seedy part of the zucchini using a melon baller, discarding the scooped middle part.
- Place the prepped zucchinis on a sheet pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat for a few minutes, then add the sausage to the pan. If the pan is properly hot, it should hiss and sizzle when you add the sausage.
- Cook the sausage for about 5 minutes, breaking up any large clumps with your cooking utensil, until the sausage has browned and cooked through.
- Remove the sausage to a large bowl, then add the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, chopped tomatoes, egg, parsley, and red onion.
- Add 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper, then mix it all together.
- Scoop the filling into the prepped zucchinis, then roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the zucchini is tender but not mushy. Enjoy!
Post updated with photos, writing, and more tips in August 2018. Originally published September 2012.