italian stuffed zucchini

★★★★★ 2
a recipe by
Carol Kroesche
Salt Lake City, UT

I ALWAYS have way too much zucchini from my garden. It is the one thing I can count on to grow well in our high altitude. One morning, I asked my husband if he would mind stuffed zucchini for dinner AGAIN. He replied that he would rather have spaghetti and meatballs. So, I combined his request with my need to use my bountiful harvest and he loved it. I hope all your zucchini lovers and haters do too!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

When zucchini is abundant, this is a unique recipe to use it. We loved the flavor of the meatballs and the hearty homemade tomato sauce. If you have an indecisive family, some can have traditional spaghetti and meatballs while others can try this zucchini twist. We can't wait to make this again... and again.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 2
serves 6
prep time 30 Min
cook time 40 Min

Ingredients For italian stuffed zucchini

  • 1-2 lg
  • 1 lb
    spaghetti noodles
  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 2 lg
    yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 clove
    garlic, crushed
  • 1 can
    crushed Roma tomatoes or whole plum tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 tsp
    salt or to taste
  • 3
    slices of day old Italian bread
  • 2
  • 1/4 c
    Parmesan cheese, fat-free if desired, plus more for serving
  • 2 tsp
    Italian seasoning
  • 3 clove
    garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp
  • 3 Tbsp
    chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 lb
    ground beef (or bison)

How To Make italian stuffed zucchini

  • Cooking onions and garlic in a skillet.
    SAUCE: Heat olive oil in a very large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until they are soft and translucent (not browned). Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  • Tomatoes added to the onions.
    Carefully add tomatoes and salt (they will splatter!). If using canned whole tomatoes, crush them with your hands as they go in. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  • Eggs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, parsley, and bread pieces in a bowl.
    MEATBALLS: Wet slices of bread and quickly squeeze out the moisture. Shred the bread into a large bowl. Add eggs, Parmesan (use low fat if desired), Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and chopped parsley and mix.
  • Mixing in the ground beef.
    Add meat (use the bison for a lower fat content - no one will know!) and gently combine everything.
  • Removing the middle of the zucchini.
    COMPOSE: Slice the large zucchini into 2-inch drums. Using an apple corer, core out the center of the flesh containing seeds of each drum.
  • Stuffing the zucchini with the meat mixture.
    Gently stuff the meat mixture into each zucchini drum.
  • Stuffed zucchini and meatballs simmering in the tomato sauce.
    Place them in the simmering sauce. Make meatballs with leftover meat mixture and place them in the simmering sauce. Cover and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes, turning the zucchini and meatballs one time, or until the meat is cooked through.
  • Italian Stuffed Zucchini on a plate with spaghetti.
    Serve over spaghetti noodles with additional Parmesan cheese.