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Nourishing Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Recipe- 5 Minutes Guide!

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Vegan stuffed zucchini Recipe boats sail onto your plate, filled with a vibrant mix of quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, and spices. Each bite offers a crunch of fresh zucchini, complemented by the hearty, flavorful filling. Topped with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, this dish is a testament to how delicious and satisfying plant-based eating can be. Perfect for a wholesome meal.

Why Does It Work?

  • Utilizes common pantry items such as canned beans and spices, making it easy to prepare on a whim.
  • The combination of quinoa and vegetables ensures a nutritious, balanced meal.
  • Baking the stuffed zucchini creates a tender yet firm texture, perfect for a satisfying bite.
  • This recipe is great for meal prep, as the flavors meld beautifully when stored.
  • A versatile dish that allows easy customization with your favorite veggies or spices.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Finding the perfect meal that’s both nutritious and delicious can often feel like a culinary challenge, especially when dietary preferences such as veganism come into play.

Enter the vegan stuffed zucchini recipe, transforming my weeknight dinners from mundane to extraordinary. Initially, my search for a dish that catered to my plant-based diet while still appealing to my non-vegan family seemed endless.

vegan stuffed zucchini recipe

However, when I stumbled upon this recipe, everything changed. It’s not just another meal; it’s a celebration of flavors, textures, and nutrients packed into one.

The blend of hearty quinoa, robust black beans, and fresh vegetables, all nestled in a tender zucchini boat, made dinner times something we all started to look forward to.

This recipe became a testament to the fact that with the right ingredients and creativity, you can turn any dietary restriction into an opportunity for culinary exploration.

What Is Vegan Stuffed Zucchini?

Vegan stuffed zucchini is a plant-based dish that transforms simple zucchini into a nutritious meal. The zucchinis are hollowed out to form “boats,” filled with savory ingredients such as quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, and spices.

This combination offers a rich tapestry of flavors and textures, making it a satisfying option for vegans and non-vegans. Often topped with nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor without dairy, vegan stuffed zucchini is a versatile recipe highlighting vegetables’ potential as the meal’s centerpiece. 

Fact– Zucchini is low in calories, fiber, and water, making it a great choice for maintaining a healthy digestion and hydration level.

vegan stuffed zucchini

Recipe Directions 

  • Prepare the Zucchinis: Cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise and scoop about 2/3 of the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick border around the skin. Chop the scooped-out zucchini flesh and set aside.
  • Cook the Filling: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, chopped zucchini flesh, all spices, soy sauce, rice vinegar, tomato paste, hot sauce, and plant-based milk. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Preheat the Oven: While the filling is cooking, preheat the oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210 degrees Celsius) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add Chickpeas: Add chickpeas to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or spices according to taste.
  • Stuff the Zucchinis: Fill each zucchini half with the chickpea mixture. Top with vegan cheese.
  • Bake: Place the stuffed zucchinis on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the zucchinis are tender and the cheese is bubbly.
  • Garnish and Serve: After baking, let the zucchini rest for about 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.

Recipe Directions 

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Variations

  • Protein Swap: Instead of chickpeas, try lentils, black beans, or tempeh for a different texture and flavor profile.
  • Grain Change: Quinoa, bulgur, or couscous can replace traditional fillings for a unique twist and an extra protein boost.
  • Mediterranean Style: To bring Mediterranean flavors to your zucchini boats, incorporate chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and a sprinkle of za’atar.
  • Mexican Inspired: Mix in corn, black beans, cilantro, and chili powder. Top with avocado and lime juice for a zesty flavor.

Add-Ons

  • Nuts and Seeds: Pine nuts, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds add crunch and nutritional value.
  • Veggies Galore: Spinach, mushrooms, or artichokes can be sautéed and added to the filling for extra vegetables.
  • Spice It Up: Incorporate chipotle peppers, smoked paprika, or curry powder to spice up the filling.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Toppings

  • Vegan Cheese: Experiment with different types of vegan cheese for topping, such as mozzarella, cheddar, or feta alternatives.
  • Herb Freshness: Fresh basil, parsley, or cilantro can add freshness right before serving.
  • Creamy Sauces: Drizzle with vegan sour cream, tahini, or a cashew sauce for added creaminess and flavor.
  • Crunchy Breadcrumbs: Sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs mixed with olive oil and bake until crispy for a crunchy topping.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Cauliflower for Chicken: Mimics the texture well in stir-fries or baking.
  • Mushrooms for Beef: Portobellos, especially, offer a meaty texture and rich flavor.
  • Jackfruit for Pulled Pork: Shreds easily and absorbs sauces for tantalizing tacos or sandwiches.
  • Eggplant for Fish: When sliced and seasoned, it can replicate the texture of seafood.
  • Zucchini for Pasta: Spiralized zucchini makes a great low-carb noodle alternative.
  • Butternut Squash for Cheese: Pureed creates a creamy, sweet base for vegan cheese sauces.
  • Chickpeas for Tuna: Mashed chickpeas work well in ‘tuna’ salads or sandwiches.
  • Lentils for Ground Meat: Perfect for bolognese, tacos, or vegan meatloaves.

Quick Tip– Roast vegetables before adding them to recipes for a richer flavor in vegan dishes. This enhances their natural sweetness and adds depth to the meal.

Vegetable Substitutions

Best Side Dishes

  1. Quinoa Salad A light, protein-packed side that complements the richness of the stuffed zucchini.
  2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes Their natural sweetness balances the savory flavors of the zucchini stuffing.
  3. Steamed Green Beans A simple, crunchy side that adds freshness and color to the plate.
  4. Couscous with Lemon and Herbs This has a fluffy texture and zesty flavor, which pairs well with the zucchini boats.
  5. Garlic Bread Vegan garlic bread can add a crispy, flavorful component to the meal.
  6. Kale Salad A hearty kale salad with a tangy dressing to contrast the soft texture of the stuffed zucchini.
  7. Grilled Asparagus Charred asparagus brings a smoky flavor that enhances the dining experience.
  8. Rice Pilaf Aromatic and lightly spiced, it is a comforting base alongside the zucchini.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • Platter Presentation: Arrange the stuffed zucchinis on a large platter garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or basil for a touch of color and freshness.
  • Drizzle Sauces: Before serving, consider drizzling the zucchinis with a vegan sauce such as cashew cream, pesto, or a balsamic reduction to add another layer of flavor.
  • Side Dishes: For a well-rounded meal, accompany the zucchinis with complementary side dishes such as a light quinoa salad, roasted vegetables, or tangy couscous.
  • Fresh Lemon: Offer lemon wedges on the side for guests to squeeze over their serving, adding a zesty brightness that enhances the flavors.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Sprinkle nutritional yeast over the top for a cheesy, nutty flavor that is especially appealing in vegan cooking.
  • Toasted Nuts: For an added crunch, top the zucchinis with toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds before serving.
  • Warm Bread: Serve with slices of warm, crusty bread to soak up delicious juices and fillings.
  • Pair with Wine: Choose a light, refreshing white wine or a rosé that complements the zucchini’s freshness and the stuffing’s richness.

Quick Tip– Incorporate a variety of herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of your vegan dishes. They add depth without extra calories, making your meals more vibrant and tasty.

How To Serve

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover stuffed zucchini in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze individual zucchinis on a baking sheet before transferring it to a freezer-safe bag or container. They keep well for up to 2 months.
  • Reheating: If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the filling and stuff the zucchinis a day in advance. Keep them refrigerated until ready to bake, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time if needed.
  • Vegan Cheese Tip: If homemade vegan cheese is used, add fresh cheese before serving and after reheating the zucchini for optimal texture and taste.

Fact– Did Italian immigrants first bring zucchinis to the United States in the 1920s? They’ve since become a versatile staple in American cuisine.

Storage & Make Ahead

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Vegetables in Advance: Chop all your vegetables and store them in the fridge the night before you plan to make the dish.
  2. Use Pre-cooked Grains: Opt for pre-cooked quinoa or rice to reduce cooking time.
  3. Microwave Zucchinis: To save baking time, soften the zucchinis in the microwave for a few minutes before scooping out the flesh.
  4. Double the Recipe: Make a larger batch of the filling and freeze half for a future meal. It’s a great way to have a quick, healthy option.
  5. Pre-measure Spices: Measure out and mix your spices in a small bowl beforehand so they’re ready to go when you start cooking.
  6. One-Pan Filling: Cook your filling in a large skillet, minimizing cleanup and saving time washing multiple pots and pans.
  7. Bake and Serve in the Same Dish: Prepare and bake the zucchini in an oven-safe serving dish to reduce the number of dishes to clean.
Nourishing Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Recipe- 5 Minutes Guide!

Nourishing Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Recipe- 5 Minutes Guide!

Recipe by Julia

Vegan stuffed zucchini is a delightful dish featuring hollowed-out zucchini filled with a savory blend of grains, beans, and vegetables, baked to perfection. This wholesome recipe is nutritious and versatile, allowing various fillings and toppings. It is a perfect centerpiece for a plant-based meal, offering a satisfying combination of flavors and textures.

Course: Dinner
0 from 0 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep Time

15

minutes
Cooking Time

40

minutes
Calories

250

kcal
Rest Time

5

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients List 

  • 2 2 Medium Zucchini

  • 1/2 Tbsp 1/2 Vegetable Oil or Water (if oil-free)

  • 1 Medium 1 Onion, Chopped

  • 3 Cloves 3 Garlic, Minced

  • 1 Small 1 Bell Pepper, Chopped

  • 1 1/2 Cup 1 1/2 Cooked Chickpeas (drained and rinsed) (one 15 oz can)

  • 1 Heaped Tbsp 1 Tomato Paste

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Hot Sauce (or more to taste)

  • 6 Tbsp 6 Plant-Based Milk

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Rice Vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Soy Sauce

  • 1 Tsp 1 Onion Powder

  • 1 Tsp 1 Coconut Sugar or Brown Sugar

  • 1/2 Tsp 1/2 Smoked Paprika

  • 1/2 Tsp 1/2 Ground Cumin

  • Sea Salt, Ground Pepper, Chili Powder (To taste)

  • Fresh Herbs (for garnish) To taste

  • 7 Oz 7 Vegan Cheese Sauce or Store-bought Vegan Cheese (200 g)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare the Zucchinis
  • Cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out about 2/3 of the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick border.
  • Chop the scooped-out zucchini flesh and set aside.
  • Cook the Filling
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and sauté for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, bell pepper, chopped zucchini flesh, all spices, soy sauce, rice vinegar, tomato paste, hot sauce, and plant-based milk.
  • Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Preheat the Oven
  • While the filling is cooking, preheat the oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210 degrees Celsius).
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add Chickpeas
  • Add chickpeas to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or spices according to taste.
  • Stuff the Zucchinis
  • Fill each zucchini half with the chickpea mixture.
  • Top with vegan cheese.
  • Bake
  • Place the stuffed zucchini on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the zucchinis are tender and the cheese is bubbly.
  • Garnish and Serve
  • Let the zucchini rest for about 5 minutes after baking.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.
  • Equipment List
  • Cutting Board
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Spoon (for scooping)
  • Skillet
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • Oven
  • Mixing Bowl

Notes

  • Use a spoon or melon baller for easier removal of zucchini flesh.

  • Save the scooped-out zucchini flesh for soups or stir-fries to minimize waste.

  • Customize the filling with your favorite vegetables or protein alternatives.

  • Nutritional yeast can be added to the filling for a cheesy flavor.

  • Add a little more plant-based milk or water if the mixture seems dry.

  • For a crispy top, broil the stuffed zucchini for 2-3 minutes of baking.

  • Vegan stuffed zucchini can be served as a main dish or a side.

vegan stuffed zucchini recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Gluten-Free?

Yes, you can easily make vegan stuffed zucchini gluten-free by ensuring that all the ingredients you use are free from gluten. Pay particular attention to soy sauce, as it commonly contains wheat. Opt for a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari instead. Also, if you add any store-bought vegan cheese or other processed ingredients, check their labels to ensure they’re gluten-free.

How Can I Add More Protein To This Dish?

To increase the protein content in vegan stuffed zucchini, consider incorporating more legumes, such as lentils or black beans, in addition to or instead of chickpeas. Another excellent option is adding quinoa, which is high in protein and a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. Tofu or tempeh, finely crumbled and sautéed with the rest of the filling, can also significantly boost the protein content.

vegan stuffed zucchini recipe

Can I Prepare Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Ahead Of Time?

Absolutely. You can prepare the stuffed zucchini by following the recipe up to the point before baking. Store the prepared, unstuffed zucchinis and the filling separately in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, stuff the zucchinis with the filling, bake as directed, and enjoy. This make-ahead strategy is perfect for meal prep or entertaining.

Is This Recipe Suitable For Meal Prep?

Yes, vegan stuffed zucchini is an excellent option for meal prep. After baking, allow the zucchini to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until thoroughly warmed. You can also freeze individual portions for longer storage, making sure to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

How Can I Make The Stuffed Zucchini More Flavorful?

To enhance the flavor of your vegan stuffed zucchini, consider the following tips:

  • Sauté your spices with the onion and garlic at the beginning to release their aromas.
  • Fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or cilantro can brighten the dish significantly by being added to the filling or as a garnish.
  • Use a robust vegan cheese or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor without dairy.
  • Incorporate umami-rich ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, olives, or mushrooms to add depth to the filling.
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste before stuffing the zucchini to ensure the filling is flavorful enough.

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VIE DE LA VEGAN!

Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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