Baked Stuffed Zucchini

A powerful boost of protein served in a tasty veggie vehicle.

Baked Stuffed Zucchini
Courtesy Image

What makes this recipe so nutritionally efficient is that it provides your protein fix—thanks to the pound of lean chopped beef—and is served in zucchini so you can mix some green vegetables into your meal, too.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Dana Angelo White M.S., R.D., A.T.C. at Dana White Nutrition.

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Prep time

15 min.

Cook time

45 min.

  • 1 large zucchini (or 3 medium)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon (you can also use a melon baller or julienne peeler); reserve what you’ve scooped. Place zucchini on a sheet pan (cut-side up) drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. If zucchini is tipping over, gently cut away a thin slice off the bottom to help it lay flat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet, add ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned. Add reserved zucchini along with garlic, onion, and bell pepper; sauté for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add kale and marinara sauce, and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes more or until veggies are tender.

Fill zucchini with meat mixture and top with shredded cheese, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and zucchini is tender. If it looks like the cheese is browning before the zucchini is cooked, cover top loosely with aluminum foil and continue to bake.