This vegetarian stuffed zucchini with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and brown rice is topped with Parmesan and baked to perfection for a hearty meat-free meal!
I try to enjoy meat-free meals on a regular basis. It’s a great way to eat more vegetables, plus I end up experimenting with a bunch of fun flavors and ingredients.
One of my new favorites is this vegetarian stuffed zucchini! The filling is made from onions, peppers, mushrooms, and brown rice, then everything is topped with Parmesan and baked to melty perfection.
This simple recipe is meat free, gluten free, and packed with delicious flavor. And if you’re looking for a vegan meal, you can always omit the Parmesan or use a vegan-friendly version.
Did I mention the whole dish is ready in 45 minutes with less than 10 ingredients? For an easy weeknight meal, this recipe is definitely a winner!
How to make vegetarian stuffed zucchini
Ready to see how your stuffed squash comes together in just eight steps? Let’s see how it’s done!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Step 2: With a spoon, scoop out the flesh of each zucchini half. Dice the zucchini flesh and set aside.
Step 3: Place the zucchini shells in a casserole dish.
Step 4: In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and pepper, then cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
Step 5: Add the mushroom, diced zucchini flesh, and Italian seasoning. Cook until most of the moisture is gone and the vegetables are soft, about 5-6 minutes.
Step 6: Stir in the rice.
Step 7: Divide the filling between the zucchini shells.
Step 8: Top each stuffed zucchini with Parmesan cheese, then bake for 25 minutes or until the zucchini shells have softened.
Your stuffed squash is ready to enjoy! I recommend serving right away while it’s hot out of the oven.
Variations for this dish
This recipe is very simple, which means there are lots of ways that you can customize it to suit your tastes. You’ll love how versatile it is!
As I mentioned earlier, for a vegan version, you can either omit the Parmesan or substitute vegan cheese. You’ll also want to make sure the brown rice is made in a vegan-friendly way.
On the other hand, if you want to add some meat, anything from shredded chicken to chorizo would be a delicious addition! Just make sure the meat is pre-cooked, then mix it into the filling before stuffing the zucchini shells.
Want to play around with other vegetables? You could throw in spinach, diced celery, or even some hotter peppers.
Looking for a low-carb dish? Substitute the brown rice with cauliflower rice, or omit the rice entirely and add more vegetables.
This zucchini dish is going to be best when it’s hot and fresh out of the oven. However, if you do have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
You can reheat in the microwave or in the oven at 350°F. Make sure they’re heated all the way through, then enjoy.
Other vegetarian zucchini recipes
Have a bunch of zucchini you need to use? I’m always looking for more ways to enjoy the crop in my garden! Here are a few of my favorite recipes to use up this fresh ingredient:
When you’ve tried this dish, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked it and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini
- 3 medium zucchini (halved lengthwise)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion (finely diced)
- ½ red bell pepper (finely diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 white mushrooms (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ cup brown rice (cooked)
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional — omit for vegan)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- With a spoon, scoop out the flesh of each zucchini half. Dice the zucchini flesh and set aside.
- Place the zucchini shells in a casserole dish.
- In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and pepper, then cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the mushroom, diced zucchini flesh, and Italian seasoning. Cook until most of the moisture is gone and the vegetables are soft, about 5-6 minutes.
- Stir in the rice.
- Divide the filling between the zucchini shells.
- Top each stuffed zucchini with Parmesan cheese, then bake for 25 minutes or until the zucchini shells have softened.
Debra – I used to do mine in the microwave too! Good idea to try and merge the two.
Debra Kerns says
Love the idea of this! Thirty years ago, I won a local cooking contest in the Microwave category with a recipe similar to this (using ground turkey). This has inspired me to revisit my old recipe merging it with your version for a more contemporary flair!
Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen says
I want to grow zucchini this year and I know I will love trying this. Really wonderful cookbook.
The Food Hunter says
Obviously great minds think alike 🙂
This is a fun idea, my husband loved it! We love grilling vegetables, and it is fun to find new ways to work with veggies! Hugs, Terra