Baked Stuffed Zucchini Squash

Sunday, August 14, 2016
I love baked stuffed zucchini.

These Stuffed Zucchini are baked and remind me of little stuffed boats have so much flavor using ground meats of choice.

This recipe is an old family favorite from the 1960s that we loved growing up.

Mom used lamb but you can use lamb, beef, even ground turkey.

The spices can be all Italian in flavor or as we liked to switch the recipe around a little adding some Middle Eastern flair with some delicious spices and mint.

This baked version is healthier and full of comforting vitamins with vegetables that melt in your mouth after simmering in this delicious sauce.

You can also simmer this on the stove top or even use an instant pot slow cooked.

The stuffing can be without meat also, just chop up the scooped out insides of the zucchini add it to the rice!

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef

How To Prepare

When I was growing up mom used to save the insides of the zucchini to make zucchini bread or even egg frittata. She never wasted any of it and neither do I.

Preparing the stuffed zucchini is easy, just slice them down the length of the zucchini then take a sharp knife or small spoon and remove the insides to form a well.

Fill them with this delicious stuffing and put them an ovenproof saucepan or casserole dish.

this is the insides of zucchini that was hollowed out to be stuffed

Extra Squash

Save the insides for later by placing the scrapes of the hollowed-out zucchini in plastic bags and freeze them or place in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Since we had a garden and had so many zucchini, dad would give them away to neighbors and friends, we always had more than enough for the winter months.

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef

Different Kinds of Squash

It's totally a preference if you want to stuff squash with or without meat.

I like it with ground lamb, ground round or even a mix of beef or ground turkey with Italian sausage.

You can leave the meat out for a totally vegetarian dish. Just use the zucchini that was hollowed out and rice in the stuffing.

When I was growing up my mom would make this often. We loved it.

We had relatives that grew a hybrid kusa on their farm and that was a delicious homegrown squash we loved but didn't have often.

Dad never did get the seeds to have that light green kusa squash, it sure had a nice flavor.

yellow squash stuffed

Yellow or Green

We almost always used regular green or yellow squash to make our stuffed squash recipe.

Here in Florida, they call it Mexican squash which is striped with green and white.

The taste is quite the same but so tender and seems to have fewer seeds in my opinion.

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef

You Can Also Use Foil Pans

If you want easier cleanup, use a disposable tin.

Baking these is such an easy way to prepare this meal.

I love using throw-away pans when I want to have less to clean up.

They come out great either way.

The best thing about this recipe is leftover heat up easily and they taste great!

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef

Rice Used

If you use quick-cooking rice like mom did, this will not take as much liquid.

I usually use raw quick rice, if you are using the regular raw long grain rice, you will need to keep adding water or another liquid, as it boils away and drys out.

You can also add white wine or chicken broth for a richer flavor.

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef


You can also make the zucchini stuffed on the stovetop in a dutch oven.

Just follow the same instructions and check them around 1 hour on a low simmer to see if they are fork-tender.

Keep adding water as it boils away or the other options mentioned on liquids to use.

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef


Spices are a matter of preference.

We love the fresh mint, allspice, cinnamon flavor stuffed squash, it's more a Middle Eastern version.

The Italian version is garlic, basil, and oregano.

Make this how you like it if you love spicy add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef

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this is how to make baked stuffed zucchini squash and it all stuffed and in a pot ready to cook

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef

Some Ingredients You Will Need

  • ground lamb, hamburger or turkey
  • raw quick-cooking rice or regular
  • fresh minced garlic
  • fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • granulated garlic powder
  • dry basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper
  • fresh basil leaf chopped
  • fresh oregano chopped
  • fresh mint chopped
  • allspice
  • tomato paste
  • fresh plum tomatoes
  • water or chicken broth
  • white or red wine
  • zucchini dark green, yellow or green squash
  • olive oil

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef

Try Some Other Favorite Recipes

Zucchini Coconut Bread
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Prize-Winning Cranberry Zucchini Bread
Stuffed Squash in a Slow Cooker

baked stuffed zucchini, baked stuffed squash, baked squash, zucchini recipes
Casserole, zucchini recipes, squash recipes
Italian, Middle Eastern
Yield: 12

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef

Baked Stuffed Zucchini Squash

prep time: 20 Mcook time: 1 H & 20 Mtotal time: 1 H & 40 M
This is a stuffed squash with rice and meat. You can make it all vegan by adding the zucchini middles chopped instead of meat. A delicious Italian or Middle Eastern flavor you can choose either one to make baked in the oven.


  • 1 lb of ground lamb, hamburger or turkey
  • 2 cup of raw quick-cooking rice or regular
  • 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 whole fresh basil leaf chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint chopped
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon allspice or more to taste and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • (for a Middle Eastern flavor)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 pound of fresh plum tomatoes put through food processor skins and all
  • water or chicken broth
  • white or red wine
  • 8 large or 10 small assorted colored zucchini dark green, yellow or green squash ... if your lucky enough to cultivate Kusa's from seeds those are the best of both squash to use!
  • olive oil
  • Optional: shredded mozzarella cheese for the garnish


How to cook Baked Stuffed Zucchini Squash

  1. Mix rice, and whatever ground meat you like some lamb, beef, sausage or a mixture of them.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and all spices except fresh minced garlic together in a medium-size bowl.
  3. I like to add a little red wine to this mixture around 4 tablespoons plus a splash of olive oil.
  4. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  5. In the meantime, slice zucchini in the length then in halves this usually makes sixteen halves.
  6. Scoop out all the insides with a spoon and put aside to make desserts or use with eggs.
  7. Take the lamb mixture and press tightly into hollowed out zucchini.
  8. Place them in a foil pan or into a dutch oven saucepan.
  9. Add water, wine or chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. 
  10. Add the rest of the paste.
  11. Keep stacking the zucchini with the stuffing faced up.
  12. Add more liquid of choice,  to be halfway up the pan using.
  13. Note: You will have to add more water or liquid if using regular rice as these cook.
  14. Add 2 whole garlic cloves in the tomato-water mixture, 1 fresh basil leaf, and salt, pepper to taste and some fresh mint in the liquid.
  15. Place in a dutch oven pan that has a tight fitting lid in the oven at 350 degrees until the rice and zucchini are tender takes around an hour and a half to cook.
  16. If adding the cheese sprinkle them the last half hour of cooking until the cheese is melted.
  17. Once the fork goes through the squash it's done.
  18. You can do this on top of the stove also. I like to make mine, it seems to control the heat better.
  19. Here's a crockpot recipe for stuffed squash: Crockpot Stuffed Squash
  20. Want desserts using that leftover zucchini? Try these recipes: Zucchini Coconut Bread, Chocolate Zucchini Bread,
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Created using The Recipes Generator

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this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef

Don't Forget to Try the Slow Cooker Version!

Stuffed Squash in a Slow Cooker

this is a baked stuffed squash that is loaded with cooked rice, tomato sauce and lamb or beef


  1. that...all in one pot. Looks very delicious.

  2. This is good dear. I love stuffed zucchini and yours are very rich and appetizing. Bye, have a great day

  3. Love it.Filled zuccini and would do it with lamb:)

  4. Oh, I love stuffed zucchini! I used to wing a recipe when I was single...and you've reminded me of how much I loved this!

  5. This was the first year we planted zucchini but not a single one has grown. Lots of blossoms though. Might have to give this a try.

  6. Another great way to use my garden zucchini!! I ususally stuff with bread stuffing, but this sounds fantastic with the wine and the lamb. YUM :)

  7. This would be a lot easier if one made the stuffed zucchini and the rice separately - and it would taste just as good.

  8. Sounds great! I never liked my Czech heritage when it came to food - stuffed cabbage has never been appetizing! (I love being Czech just not so much the stuffed cabbage part.) But my smidge of an Italian food heritage - yes please!

  9. All in a Dutch Oven - fabulous! I love all the herbs used - it truly makes it summer. And yet it's hearty enough for a meal.

  10. this looks delicious! thank you for sharing this. i know my husband would love this!

  11. Sounds very appetizing. A great mix of ingredients.

  12. I love how you make everything look so yummy and easy to make =)

  13. This looks and sounds delicious. Your boats are a great way to use summer's bounty. I know my family would love these. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  14. YUMMY! I am not a zucchini fan but do you think this would work with eggplant??

  15. This is yet another of your meals that I must try. It just sounds so freakin' good!

  16. Dear Claudia, This is something I love. It is just real good!! I love it. Have a great night. Blessings, Catherine xo

  17. Excellent, Claudia! The flavors have to be awesome! Like your flag too!

  18. Super delicious with lamb and all the spices and herbs!

  19. This is a good one for sure.
    Thank You.

  20. I am loving all of the zucchini recipes I have been seeing this week. This is really a fantastic way to get a lot of this summer squash.

  21. Hi Claudia,
    This is the first time I've seen burgandy wine called for. My mom uses it all the time in her cooking. I was looking for a new use for zucchini, getting tired of my same ole, same ole. Hope you have a great weekend.

  22. Claudia,
    This is a great post. I needed a step by step how to make stuffed zucchini.

  23. Perfect for this time of year when there is SO much extra zucchini in the garden!

  24. Looked at all your zucchini recipes they look great. Will have to try some of them, lots of zucchini still available here in Central Fl. Have a great weekend.

  25. Yummy this looks fantastic, love this recipe! :)

  26. Never considered stuffing zucchini before, but why not! Looks wonderful!

  27. Claudia this looks absolutely amazing! What a clever, tasty dish! I would have to omit the allspice, but I think we'd be okay....

  28. Love making zucchini boats. Great recipe by the way!

  29. I love zucchini, I use it all the time, I've just NEVER stuffed them before. What a great way to serve it!

  30. I have never cooked with lamb before but this sounds so good. I love your zucchini boats!

  31. Wow! Great idea. I'm sure it would taste good with ground venison...

  32. Ooh, this looks good. I'm doing a similar kind of dish with eggplant tonight.


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