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Vegetarian Recipes

Recipe | Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini with Parmesan Panko

Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini with Parmesan Panko

Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini with Parmesan Panko
Stuffed zucchini is one of the first recipes I made myself. Every year, my family would grow zucchini in the garden and every year, we’d have more than we knew what to do with. (This seems to be the case for most gardeners, although the past two summers, I have had absolutely no luck growing zucchini myself. What am I doing wrong?!) My mom had a cookbook with zucchini recipes and one summer, I found a stuffed zucchini recipe while thumbing through it and insisted that we make it with some of our bumper crop of zucchini. We boiled the zucchini in a pot of water, scooped out the insides, and then stuffed the little zucchini boats with ground beef, cheddar cheese, and pieces of toasted bread. The whole family loved it and it became a summertime staple whenever we grew zucchini.

This summer, I wanted to find a vegetarian stuffed zucchini recipe to take advantage of the cheap (and plentiful!) zucchini at the local farmers market, since I have such trouble growing my own. My husband is pretty meh about the whole stuffed zucchini concept, so I wanted to find something different than the typical mozzarella and tomato sauce that seems to be so common in the meatless stuffed zucchini recipes I’ve found up to now. I adapted this recipe from the June issue of Cooking Light–I reduced the amount of oil, used panko instead of breadcrumbs, added sun-dried tomatoes, and added some panko and cheese to the tops of the zucchini boats instead of mixing it all into the filling, as the original recipe called for. With the flavorful filling and crispy topping, there is definitely nothing meh about this vegetarian stuffed zucchini–I think we finally found a recipe to stick with!

Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini with Parmesan Panko

A vegetarian stuffed zucchini recipe with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and a crispy Parmesan cheese and panko topping. Adapted from Cooking Light's Stuffed Zucchini with Cheesy Breadcrumbs.
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 as main dish, 8 as side dish


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp. salt divided
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 c. marinated jarred artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tbsp. dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. panko
  • 6 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp. pine nuts toasted
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon rind
  • cooking spray or olive oil mister


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Chop pulp and set aside. Place zucchini halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  • Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini pulp and onion. Saute for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add remaining salt and pepper, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and garlic; cook 45 seconds. Add wine and cook until liquid almost evaporates, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine vegetable mixture, 1/4 c. of panko, 1/4 c. of Parmesan, parsley, pine nuts, basil, and lemon rind. Stir until combined. Divide mixture evenly into zucchini shells. Top with remaining panko and cheese. Spray tops of zucchini with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn on broiler and heat for an additional 5 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
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  • Reply
    June 28, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Yum, sounds really good!! But I still don't have any zucchini growing!

  • Reply
    Twingle Mommy
    June 28, 2011 at 3:55 am

    This sounds too good not to try this week!

  • Reply
    Texas Type A Mom
    June 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Now this ones sounds so good! I'm bookmarking this one for a Meatless Monday dish!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I don't normally eat zucchini, but that? That I would do!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 1:30 am

    A new way to make the stuffing, sounds good!

  • Reply
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)
    June 29, 2011 at 2:17 am

    I'm so glad you decided to share this even though it's not your own creation. My daughter loves zucchini and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it. Bookmarking this to try soon.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    This makes me even happier about the zucchini in my garden this year!

  • Reply
    [email protected] eco friendly homemaking
    June 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Oh these look so delicious!! I really like so zucchini so I look forward to trying these out!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    those look wonderful and as luck would have it, i've just found a recipe for a vegan "parmesan' that sounds wonderful! thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    April 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I’m going to make this today, can’t wait!!

    • Reply
      April 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      I hope you liked it! 🙂

  • Reply
    September 9, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Most flavorful stuffed zucchini recipe I’ve ever made. Thanks!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    I have made these and they are my favorite. So easy

  • Reply
    July 21, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Yum! I had no pine nuts, no basil, so I substituted a glop of pesto. No parsley? No problem, I used cilantro. I’m sensitive to alcohol, so rather than wine I substituted the packing juice for the artichokes. It was a fantastic dish, lovely to use that femur sized zucchini that was taking up half of the kitchen counter! Even my if-it-ain’t-steak-or-bacon-it-ain’t-dinner man said it was delicious. Thank you for sharing. Will be my new summer go-to.

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