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Beef-Stuffed Zucchini

This ground beef and zucchini recipe is a delightful summer meal. For a change of pace, substitute your favorite barbecue sauce for the marinara in this baked stuffed zucchini. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • 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 pasta sauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. If desired, broil zucchini 3 in. from the heat for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Serve with additional marinara sauce.
Editor's Note
This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave.
Nutrition Facts
2 stuffed zucchini halves: 420 calories, 25g fat (11g saturated fat), 143mg cholesterol, 735mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 3g fiber), 33g protein.

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  • Hilary
    Jun 19, 2020

    I had a big round zuchinni from myy garden. I Scooped then out, put them in the over for 12 minutes while I put the mix mixture together. Omitted the bread crumbs, ( wheat makes ne feel heavy) added to the meat, in addition to the recipe meat w some wochester sauce, tarragon and red pepper flakes, brolied for about 20 min, put more cheese on the top and broiled 5 min more. Still needs a little tweaking- will add garlic next time, but pretty good low carb evening meal.

  • lpugh9
    Sep 24, 2019

    This was the best recipe for stuffed zucchini that I have tried.

  • Terri
    Aug 21, 2019

    Made this for the first time tonight and we both enjoyed it. I added a tsp. of chopped garlic (we put garlic in just about everything..:) It added to the good flavor of this recipe. May add a little more the next time we have this.

  • oreo95
    Jun 22, 2019

    Made recipe exact with exception of baking it instead of cooking in microwave. Meat mixture definitely needs some additional seasoning.

  • gunslinger
    Jun 27, 2018

    I made these for dinner tonight and they were delicious! Very easy and quick to prepare!

  • carolirene
    Sep 19, 2017

    I made these for dinner tonight and they were a hit! I used Taco sauce instead of the marinara sauce and for the last step I sprinkled them with the cheese and some broken corn chips before popping them back in the oven. I'll make these again!

  • kamrygirl2000
    Sep 13, 2017

    Made tonight for dinner..added green pepper an use dices tomatoes an Rotella some mozzarella cheese. Was good an will do again.. put extra burger around zucchini shells

  • andreastacey
    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
    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
    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