Beef-Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
Beef-Stuffed Zucchini Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Beef-Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

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For a change of pace, substitute your favorite barbecue sauce for the marinara in this stuffed zucchini recipe. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • Additional marinara or spaghetti sauce

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 394 calories, 21g fat (10g saturated fat), 134mg cholesterol, 602mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 4g fiber), 33g protein.


  1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut a thin slice from the bottom of each with a sharp knife to allow zucchini to sit flat. Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-in. shells.
  2. Place shells in an ungreased 3-qt. microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef, onion and zucchini pulp over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat; stir in the marinara sauce, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup cheese.
  4. Spoon about 1/4 cup into each shell. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Microwave 3-4 minutes longer or until a thermometer inserted into filling reads 160° and zucchini are tender. Serve with additional marinara sauce. Yield: 4 servings.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave.
Originally published as Beef-Stuffed Zucchini in Simple & Delicious July/August 2008, p6

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andreastacey User ID: 8442422 256342
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2016

"This recipe was great. I added a bit of minced garlic in while cooking the ground beef. Very tasty.

To ALL who said the recipe didn't say what to do with the pulp - review the directions. It clearly states what to do with it....... Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef, onion and zucchini pulp over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain."

rmbarr059 User ID: 4046105 254693
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2016

"Nice change. My husband said it's a keeper. I did go the conventional route rather than microwave and boiled the zucchini shells for a couple minutes. After filling them I put them under the broiler for 4-5 minutes as suggested by sstetzel. Turned out great!"

mar6534 User ID: 8911458 253950
Reviewed Sep. 11, 2016

"made this recipe today, I added the pulp zucchini, however the recipe does not tell you what to do with. am I missing something"

gdubmom User ID: 5898359 252493
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2016

"I've made this dinner a few times now, sometimes with bell peppers instead of zucchini, and it's always a hit. Pretty impressive, since two of my food critics are young kids. My husband and I are also pleased with the low calorie count."

oceanlover2810 User ID: 5798687 252425
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2016 Edited Aug. 11, 2016

"To make it low-carb for my husband, I left out the egg and breadcrumbs and used taco seasoning instead of spaghetti sauce. We called them Mexican zucchini cheese boats! :D"

JCV4 User ID: 628113 252349
Reviewed Aug. 8, 2016

"This is a tasty recipe to help use up an abundance of zucchini. I added some chopped garlic to the beef mixture and baked them in the oven to finish."

nicki1966 User ID: 8116565 244549
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2016

"Very tasty....simple to prepare, I will make them again!"

momio User ID: 2526647 234847
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2015

"They were good! I've made recipes very much like this so I decided to try salsa instead of marinara because it's not my husband's favorite. It was a good substitution!"

sstetzel User ID: 158954 233742
Reviewed Sep. 30, 2015

"Hi July_Rhonda,

If you wanted to do these conventionally you'd place zucchini shells in a saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.
Then fill shells with the beef mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned
Hope that helps!
Sue Stetzel
Online Community Manager
Taste of Home Magazine"

July_Rhonda User ID: 8552183 233687
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2015

"Can you update this for those (yes there are many) who choose not to use microwave ovens."

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