Elevate your dinner game with delicious and healthy Mushroom and Onion Stuffed Zucchini! This delightful recipe combines the earthy flavors of mushrooms and sweet onions inside a tender zucchini boat. Not only is this dish incredibly tasty, but it’s also a great option for those following a vegetarian or low carb diet.
Zucchini, with its mild flavor and versatile texture, makes the perfect veggie for stuffing! You can load it up with a variety of fillings without worrying about it getting too mushy. In the case of this zucchini recipe, the zucchini acts as a perfect canvas for the rich flavors of the filling. It’s a winning combination that will have your taste buds dancing!
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Is this recipe like Zucchini Boats?
Another name for this veggie dish is healthy Stuffed Zucchini Boats. The shape of the zucchini halves kind of resembles a boat, and it just might make the kids in your family a little more willing to eat their vegetables!
Ingredients Needed for Mushroom and Onion Stuffed Zucchini
You’ll need the following ingredients for this stuffed zucchini recipe:
- 3 medium zucchini (you can use larger or smaller-sized ones depending on your appetite and love for zucchini!)
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 6 button mushrooms, diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup plain Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Make sure that the zucchinis are fresh and firm, without any blemishes or soft spots. The mushrooms should be fresh and free from any signs of spoilage. Choose a type of mushroom that you enjoy, such as cremini, button, or shiitake.
How to make Stuffed Zucchini Shells
Prepare: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 X 13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray. Rinse the zucchini and cut the ends off.
Cook Zucchini: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the zucchini in boiling water to cook for 5 minutes. Drain and cool enough so that they can be handled. Then cut each zucchini in half lengthwise.
Mushroom and Onion Filling: Scoop out the zucchini pulp with a small spoon or a melon baller, leaving a sturdy shell; chop and reserve the pulp.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add minced garlic, onion, mushrooms, zucchini pulp, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until tender.
In a medium microwaveable bowl, melt the remaining butter. Mix in the Parmesan cheese, Panko breadcrumbs, and Cajun seasoning. Add the bread crumb mixture to the mushroom mixture and thoroughly combine.
Stuff and Bake: Place stuffing into each zucchini half, then place each half into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving!
Variations and Substitutions
While the classic mushroom and onion stuffing is delicious on its own, feel free to get creative and experiment with different variations and substitutions. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Cheese lovers can add some shredded mozzarella or crumbled feta cheese to the filling. The melted cheese will create a gooey, creamy texture that is simply irresistible.
- For a flavorful twist, replace the dried thyme and oregano with a tablespoon of chopped fresh basil and a teaspoon of dried rosemary.
- If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, you can substitute them with other vegetables, such as diced bell peppers, spinach, or even roasted eggplant. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the vegetables are cooked through.
- To add a protein boost, mix in some cooked quinoa or lentils with the mushroom and onion filling. This will make it a more filling dish for bigger appetites!
- Serve the stuffed zucchini with a dollop of Greek yogurt or tzatziki sauce on top.
Feel free to get creative and make the recipe your own by incorporating your favorite flavors and ingredients. The possibilities are endless!
Can I make this zucchini recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the stuffed zucchini ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before baking. This makes it a great option for meal prepping or for dinner parties where you might be rushed for time.
How do you store leftover Mushroom and Onion Stuffed Zucchini?
Place leftover zucchini boats in an airtight container. They will keep for 3-4 days. To reheat, place them in the microwave on a plate and cook until heated through. You could also rewarm them in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
Can I freeze the stuffed zucchini?
While it’s possible to freeze the stuffed zucchini, the texture of the zucchini may become slightly softer upon thawing. If you do choose to freeze them, make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
More Ways to Use Zucchini
If you have an abundance of zucchini in your garden (or just really like zucchini), try one of these delicious recipes to use it up:
- Zucchini Pancakes
- Lemon Zucchini Muffins
- Homemade Zucchini Bread
- Breaded Zucchini Chips
- Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks
- Chorizo Zucchini Fettucine
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Mushroom and Onion Stuffed Zucchini
- 3 medium zucchini
- 3 tablespoons butter divided
- 6 button mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup onion chopped small
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray. Rinse the zucchini and cut the ends off.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the zucchini in the water to cook for 5 minutes. Drain and cool them enough to handle.
- Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the pulp with a spoon or melon baller, leaving a sturdy shell. Chop and reserve the zucchini pulp.
- In a large skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic, chopped onion, mushrooms, zucchini pulp, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until tender.
- In a medium microwaveable bowl, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Add the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Cajun seasoning. Add the breadcrumb mixture to the skillet and throughly combine.
- Place the stuffing into each zucchini half, then place them into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving!
This post was originally published April 26, 2012, and has been updated in format and with pictures on September 25, 2023.