Feta-Stuffed Zucchini ♥

Feta-Stuffed Zucchini
What is it that's just so fun about stuffing vegetables? This is a long-time favorite recipe, partly because while it may look impressive, it takes just 20 minutes to get it into the oven. Thanks to the tang of good feta, it tastes much richer than it is, perfect light summer fare.

~recipe & photo updated & reposted 2012~
~more recently updated recipes~

2006 ORIGINAL POST Don't those zucchini boats look impressive? Think I must've slaved? But no, no, no! These are a snap to make, just 20 minutes into the oven. (And perfect to make ahead.) And once they're in the oven? The house smells oh-so-good! And a little bit to my surprise, they're not just good, they're delicious — my first really-favorite new vegetable of the summer! I will definitely make these again for a weekend supper or a special gathering. I'd even cut them into one-inch lengths as an appetizer! (Oh my. These must really be good to rate four exclamation points in one paragraphs! Uh, make it five.)

2012 UPDATE I love the recipes that say, "Make me!" but then happily accept adaptations based on taste and time and what's on hand. This is that kind of recipe, a good basic start but would be great with fresh herbs, more bits of vegetable (perhaps carrot or pepper for color?) and I think tiny bits of shrimp or sausage would be good too, adding protein and structure. I'm even tempted to add a little baking powder to the mixture (about 1/4 teaspoon, I think) to let the stuffing puff up in an airy pillow. The fixtures are the zucchini and the feta, after that, feel free to play around. Enjoy!

REVIEWS
"... they were fabulous!" ~ Kit
"The feta definitely makes it, but it was incredible." ~ Genie
"Delicious." ~ Lelo in NoPo
"... it was great." ~ Thomas
"... these are just amazing!" ~ Amber
"This recipe is fabulous." ~ Emily
"The flavor combination of the zucchini and feta is just incomparable." ~ Sarah
"Even my vegetable-virgin husband likes them ..." ~ hdwainright
"Thanks for the fabulous recipe ..." ~ Valerie
"The stuffed zucchini was awesome ..." ~ FeatheredGems
"... one of my hands-down favorite things I've ever gleaned from the internet." ~ AmberGale
"They were SO good. My 12-year old daughter declared them "a keeper."" ~ Marilee
"... used muffin tins (Pam first) to make the best personal crustless quiche!" ~ Loyal Reader
MANY READER ADAPTATIONS & IDEAS in the COMMENTS, below ~ Alanna


RECIPE for FETA-STUFFED ZUCCHINI

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 45 - 60 minutes
Serves 4 or 8 (see ALANNA's TIPS)

2 zucchini, about 6 or 7 inches long

STUFFING
1 tablespoon butter
1 large shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
2 tablespoons bread crumbs or 1 1/2 tablespoons flour (see TIPS)
2 ounces feta, crumbled
Pimenton (Spanish paprika)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish. (See TIPS.)

PREP THE ZUCCHINI Trim the stem end just a bit for aesthetics but leave intact. Halve the zucchini lengthwise. With a small knife, cut around the zucchini, leaving a rim. Cross hatch the center, staying within the outer cut, then scoop out the center with a serrated grapefruit knife or grapefruit spoon. (A small spoon and knife also work, it's do-able but trickier.) Finely chop the centers.

STUFFING In a small skillet, melt the butter until shimmery. Add the chopped zucchini centers, shallot and garlic and saute gently until soft. Let cool (see TIPS).

In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the bread crumbs or flour, feta and cooked zucchini. Taste the stuffing, make sure it tastes good (see TIPS).

FINISH & BAKE Stuff the zucchini boats. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 25 minutes to 40 minutes (my time, see TIPS), then brown slightly under the broiler.

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
(2006) A "whole half" of stuffed zucchini is rich and filling. At a big supper, I'd serve halves, that is, 2 zucchini would serve 8 people. This isn't the place for those "huge" zucchini that the garden emits every year, small zucchini are better. I gauge which size to buy based on what I think looks "right" on the plate.
(2006) I used a Corningware dish and after 25 minutes, the "boat" was still uncooked. After 40 minutes, it was cooked but still firm (definitely not soft and watery). I liked this texture, it made it easy to either cut the zucchini into chunks (for an appetizer, say, or on a dinner plate) but also firm enough to lift with your hands. (2012) This batch baked in about 35 minutes.
(2012) Do let the stuffing mixture cool before adding it to the egg mixture, otherwise, bits of egg can cook, creating **unpleasant** lumps.
(2012) I've learned the hard way that the stuffing must taste good on its own for the zucchini boats to taste good. Do a taste test!
(2012) This batch, I used bread crumbs instead of flour and prefer that for a couple of reasons: the color is better and there's no risking of clumping.



A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic



LOVE "STUFFED" VEGETABLES? ME TOO!
~ Eight-Ball Stuffed Zucchini ~
~ Stuffed Zucchini Boats ~
~ Stuffed Peppers ~
~ Stuffed Pumpkin with Apple & Cranberry ~
~ more "stuffed" vegetables ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Pumpkin-Stuffed Lasagna Rolls ~
~ Acorn Squash with Quinoa & Cherries ~
~ Fall Stew Baked in a Whole Pumpkin ~
~ more vegetable recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

MORE FAVORITE SIMPLE ZUCCHINI RECIPES
~ Zucchini with Tomatoes & Cheddar ~
~ Easy Cheesy Zucchini ~
~ Stacked Ratatouille ~
~ more summer squash recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Carrot & Zucchini Bread ~
~ Shredded Zucchini with Thyme ~
~ Ratatouille Omelettes ~
~ more summer squash recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006


33 comments:

Yes, this does sound like a keeper. But (sigh) I am not home so I can't bookmark it. Time to get working on that deli.cio.us cookbook. (And I have no idea if I put the periods in the right spots.)

great picture - these are fab!

Sounds wonderful - I love Greek-style stuffed vegetables (had loads of them last week in Greece:)

My husband and I made these for dinner tonight -- they were fabulous! I am not usually a fan of zucchini, but I liked the mix of veg and feta. It added something rich to the dish that made it extra delicious.

Substitutions: We didn't have any garlic, so we used 2 shallots instead of one to make up the difference. We will definitely make this recipe again.

So glad you liked them, Kit! I've got some blue cheese in the frig that's going to be my next version!

Alanna, I think this is the winner I was looking for for a foot-long zucchini I harvested last night. I have some feta in the fridge already that needs to get used, and a friend coming into town for the weekend -- she's going to get a taste of this recipe, for sure!

I'm back to report -- I fired up the oven (and superheated the kitchen...yikes!) for this one, and it was oh-so-worth it. The feta definitely makes it, but it was incredible. Thanks for posting it, Alanna!

Delicious. This is a great way to use all of that zucchini we have this time of year. The feta tang makes it rich tasting: I think next time I'll top it with some freshly cut chives from the garden or maybe some dill? Thanks for this recipe!e

another hit! i actually ate a full one as my main meal...so yummy.

Hi, thanks for the stuffed zucchini recipe. I made it tonight and it was great.

I served it with a greek salad and therefore I replaced the feta with a mix of parmesan/cheddar.

It just so happens I have two freshly picked zukes in my fridge AND leftover feta, and was looking for a little inspiration. This sounds heavenly...do you ever salt your zucchini first, like eggplant? I always do, seems to make the texture a bit less mushy once cooked.

Hi EWSW ~ That's an interesting tip, I'll remember it next time I cook zucchini in the skillet. It's been nearly two years since I made these but I don't remember any mushiness and don't see any in the photo. In addition, since I've suggested cutting them into one-inch lengths for appetizers, that suggests that they'd be a good finger food, hence likely some firm.

Oh my gosh, these are just amazing! I did salt the zucchini first, just because I thought they might benefit from it taste-wise, I didn't think about sogginess.

I also used egg beaters instead of a real egg, and used reduced fat feta, and doing this got a serving down to 2 WW points.

Thanks for this delicious recipe! Oh - and the smoked paprika really adds something to this!

It's so difficult being a weight watching vegetarian - these sound delicious - I probably should have left researching recipes seeing as all my points are gone for tonight!


Could you use the stuffing for bell peppers, aubergine, tomatoes etc? Or is it a strictly zucchini based dish?

Brid - Ah yes, like not shopping on an empty stomach. I don't have experience with this with other vegetables, cooking timing would be the issue but I'm sure it could be worked out.

Oh, how wonderful these look! I am definitely bookmarking them to try as I have zucchini and feta in in the fridge at home - hurray!

This recipe is fabulous. The only thing I did a little differently was to only roughly chop the onion and garlic and then combine them in a food processor with the zucchini insides until it was mashed-potato consistency. That was a lot less energy-intensive than mincing things by hand, and it all ends up combined really well at an even consistency.

I confess I altered this recipe a lot. I don't eat eggs, so I left out the egg and flour and substituted 1/4 cup of panko instead. It needs more volume that way, so I might add more chopped shallot in this dish, because it was delicious! Or I might add a different veggie, like minced mushrooms, to the stuffing. Leaving out the egg also reduces the WW point load. I figure my way is two points for two zucchini halves, and a very satisfying side dish. The flavor combination of the zucchini and feta is just incomparable.

These sound excellent! I have fresh zucchini AND feta right now and I'm so tempted to make them - or some variation because I'm sure I wouldn't wind up doctoring them somehow whether they need it or not.

Alanna, it was so nice meeting you at BlogHer. I enjoyed getting to know you in person and hanging out with some other great foodies :-) Hope you had a nice trip home.

Great - I put them on a cookie sheet and 20 minutes + a few under the broiler was perfect. Also added just a touch of salt. Even my vegetable-virgin husband likes them (I will win him over!) :)

Try using a melon baller to gut your zucchini...works like a charm. :) Thanks for the fabulous recipe - I have it in the oven right now.

Can also stuff the same way:
- Tomatoes
- Eggplant (I only use the smaller Japanese or Chinese or Thai eggplant)
- Mushrooms

And I use a melon-baller that has serrated edges.
I tend to be rather picky about the kind of feta I use: I *only* use Valbresso or Valpresso - in a block, wrapped in plastic.

I made this last night. At the point where it called for adding an egg, I realized we had no eggs in the house, so I skipped that part. I added a dash of Cavender's Greek seasoning to the stuffing. I filled the boats, and put them inside a "pan" I made of aluminum foil with the edges folded up about 1". I baked them on the gas BBQ grill, heated to about 350F for about 45 minutes, while we grilled burgers to go with them. The stuffed zucchini was awesome, and browned nicely inside the closed grill. The egg was not missed; the stuffing held together just fine without it.

This recipe is still one of my hands-down favorite things I've ever gleaned from the internet. It is so easy and so good. It was the first thing I ever bought smoked paprika for, and that in and of itself was a whole new chapter in my culinary life. I haven't made these in a long time - I think I know what I'll be picking up at the farmer's market next time.

Made these tonight. Added about 1/2t dried oregano and just a bit of salt. They were SO good. My 12-year old daughter declared them "a keeper." I used panko breadcrumbs, and the addition of the egg was lovely...gave it a quiche-like flavor. Served them with Greek-style roasted chicken drumsticks. Perfect. Thank you so much for the recipe.

I just got my first zucchini from the garden today and some of them were way too small to make boats. I chopped them and added to the filling anyway so I ended up with extra filling. What came out of that? No problem! added some panko, parmesan and EVOO, used muffin tins (Pam first) to make the best personal crustless quiche! Thanks for the recipe!! (again)
A Loyal Reader

Yum! This looks wonderful and I love to find new zuzzhini recipes.

I'm sure my husband will actually eat this! Can't wait to try it.

These would be great with quinoa instead of breadcrumbs!

I just planted zucchini a few days ago. Can't wait till harvest time.
'hugs from afar'

Wow, this looks delicious! What a great idea.

Sounds and looks delicious, thanks!

This was wonderful!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna