In the last few years, my parents have created a huge garden in their back yard. They grow an abundance of vegetables in the summer, which is amazing for my sister and I because they give us tons of organic produce: lettuce, kale, radishes, beets, green beans, snap peas, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, and a variety of tomatoes including earlygirl, brandywine, roma, and cherry. Every Sunday I look forward to going to my parents’ house for dinner, partially because my mom is an amazing cook and she always prepares a delicious dinner, and partially because I get to bring home a large bag filled with fresh vegetables. When my husband and I moved into our new house, we realized that the previous owners had made 2 garden plots in the back yard. Initially, I didn’t even really want to grow anything because my parents always have more than enough vegetables for all of us to use. However, when I thought about it more I decided to plant a few things that they don’t have: spaghetti squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe. The one vegetable we decided to grow that wasn’t different was zucchini. And that was because I use SO much of it in the summer. I grill it, stuff it, bake it, make it as a side or a main dish, mix it into casseroles, bake it into bread or brownies…you name it, I can do it with zucchini. This recipe is for cheesy, mushroom-stuffed zucchini. It’s one of my absolute favorites. It makes a really satisfying veggie main dish. The zucchini is hallowed out, stuffed with a mixture of mushroom, peppers, onion, garlic, cheese, and breadcrumbs, and then baked in the oven until it’s nice and soft and the filling is lightly golden brown. The cheesy filling makes you feel like you are indulging in something unhealthy, but really this whole main dish has less than 400 calories. You can easily double this recipe to serve more people. I usually serve this as a main dish, with 2 stuffed halves (one whole zucchini) making up a serving, and a side green salad. You could easily serve one stuffed half as a side dish to chicken or fish, if desired.
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
½ cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ red bell pepper, chopped
8 oz. button mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp butter
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup light sour cream
1 tsp thyme
salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out pulp from zucchini, leaving a ¼ inch shell. Place zucchini, cut size up in 13×9 inch baking dish and set aside. Finely chop zucchini pulp and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, zucchini pulp, and bell pepper. Cook until onions and peppers are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook for an additional 6-7 minutes, until mushrooms are browned. Remove from heat.
Stir in breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, sour cream, thyme, and salt. Stir to combine. Divide mushroom mixture among zucchini shells. Bake for 30 minutes.
Nutrition Information per serving (two stuffed halves):
Calories: 370 Fat: 16g Carbs: 35g Protein: 24g Sodium: 354mg Sugar: 17g
*Nutrition information is based on the products I used personally in this recipe. Different products may yield slightly different information.