Zucchini is Here

I love July and the arrival of zucchini. It’s one of my favorite vegetables! Zucchini is so absolutely versatile. It lends itself to simple recipes as well as my Zucchini Pie and Zucchini Corn Fritters from the book. When selecting zucchini for a dish, you’re not looking for the county fair prizewinner for size—bigger is not necessarily better. The most flavorful zucchini are small-to-medium-sized–and also go for the darker skin, as it’s richer in nutrients.

Here’s a spectacular side for weeknight eating that you can have on the table in about 10 minutes. It’s such an easy zucchini recipe! The key is to brown the zucchini in multiple batches in a single layer using your largest fry pan. It takes as long as it takes. By that, I mean it totally depends on you, your stove, your zucchini, and how thick it is cut. I love making a double batch, putting it in the middle of the dinner table, and letting everyone dig in. Lovely like this, but fantastic accompanying a skirt steak or my Sizzling Everyday Roast Chicken Breast. Serve with sliced tomatoes and salt and my Cucumber Salad for weeknight dinner.

My mother used to make the most marvelous stuffed zucchini boats. Hers had cottage cheese and other ingredients from the 1970s, but we’ve updated it, and all our test eaters loved it. In this case, you want to choose a rather large (but not giant) zucchini. It’s easy to slice down the middle and scoop out the inside. I like to prepare the filling on the stove, stuff the zucchini, and it’s ready to bake without much hassle.

Here’s what I like best: you can vary this in so many different ways. Make it grain-free with no rice, or vegan with no meat or cheese. Make it Whole30 by omitting the cheese. Or to take it to the next level, top it with some sheep’s milk feta and melt some parmesan or mozzarella toward the end. I can’t imagine anyone eating less than two halves, because these are absolutely spectacular. And they hold up very nicely, so make additional, refrigerate, and bake them the next day.

I wanted to create a vegan recipe for this dish for my son, Nocrumbslefts_otherkid. Here we’ve done it with mushrooms, peppers, onions, and garlic. I also think it would be lovely with a gently cooked lentil added to the stuffing mixture. To take your vegan version up a notch, top it with a little bit of Kite Hill Almond Ricotta or my Cashew Crema, and it’s pretty much a dream. I can’t wait for you to get started cooking this! Be sure to tag me @nocrumbsleft and #nocrumbsleft so I can join in the fun and find you!

I’m excited to share a zucchini recipe from new blogger Olivia Carter, who says, “Zucchini Pizza Bites is a guilt-free, delicious snack that is perfect for satisfying a pizza craving. I love making extra to keep in the fridge and reheating them to enjoy as an afternoon snack.”

Stuffed Zucchini

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Stuffed Zucchini

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This delicious summer zucchini recipe is so easy and can be made Vegan. For the vegan version, substitute the beef for the vegan mixture below and use vegan cheese instead of parmesan and feta. We used our favorite vegan ricotta.

 


Scale

Ingredients

Tomato Sauce, use your favorite store-bought (for a homemade version, see my easy recipe below)

 

For the beef filling: (see vegan version below)

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 cups chopped brown mushrooms

1 cup chopped white onion

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided

½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

1 lb ground beef

4 cups spinach

 

 

For the zucchini:

5 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Dried oregano

Garlic powder

½ cup crumbled feta, or more if desired

½ cup parmesan, or more if desired

Easy Tomato Sauce: 

14½ ounces whole or crushed canned tomatoes

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

For the Vegan filling:

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 cups chopped brown mushrooms

1 cup chopped white onion

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided

½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

4 cups spinach

1 cup cooked rice


Instructions

Preheat oven to 375F.

 

Make the beef filling:

 

In a large sauté pan over high heat, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the mushrooms and onions and sauté until cooked thoroughly, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell peppers and garlic, stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook 2 more minutes. Then add the spinach and sauté for 1 minute, or until thoroughly cooked. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

 

In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the ground beef, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper and stirring constantly, sauté until meat is thoroughly cooked, about 4-6 minutes. When done, add to the vegetable bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.

 

Make the zucchini:

 

Using a spoon, scoop out the pulps from the zucchini halves, reserving for later use. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spoon a little tomato sauce under each zucchini half. Fill each half with the beef mixture. Then pour about 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce over the beef. Place in the oven and cook until zucchini are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with crumbled feta and parmesan. Return to oven and cook until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Serve.

 

Make the Tomato Sauce:

 

Place tomatoes in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne and stir to combine. Set aside.

 

Make the Vegan filling:

In a large sauté pan over high heat, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add mushrooms and onions and sauté until cooked thoroughly, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell peppers and garlic, stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook 2 more minutes. Then add the spinach and sauté for 1 minute, or until cooked thoroughly. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cooked rice and stir to combine.


Grilled Zucchini

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Grilled Zucchini

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

5 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise into six ¼-inch planks

Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Sliced green onions (optional)


Instructions

Place a grill pan over high heat.

 

Brush zucchini planks with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill pan and cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes a side. 

 

Garnish with sliced green onions.


Keywords: grilled zucchini

Brown Parmesan Zucchini

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Brown Parmesan Zucchini

  • Author: nocrumbsleft

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds zucchini, sliced into rounds (about 2 medium zucchini)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 


Instructions

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cooking in batches and watching closely so they don’t burn, place half the zucchini in a single layer in the pan and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then flip and cook 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or plate. Adding more olive oil to the pan if needed, repeat until all zucchini slices are cooked. When done, top with parmesan and serve.


Gluten-free Zucchini Muffins

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Zucchini Muffins

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 24 small or 12 large muffins 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Scale

Ingredients

3 eggs

1 cup light olive oil

1 cup coconut sugar

3 cups gluten-free flour (we used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free one to one)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon baking powder

3 cups grated raw zucchini

3 teaspoons vanilla 

½ cup chopped pecans

½ cup raisins 


Instructions

Preheat oven to 325F.

 

Using a hand or stand mixer, add the oil, eggs, and sugar and mix until smooth and creamy.

 

Using a sifter, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and baking powder over the creamed mixture. Stir to combine.

 

Add the zucchini, vanilla, pecans, and raisins. Stir to combine. Pour into greased muffin pans. 

 

Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 15–18 minutes. 


Keywords: zucchini muffin, zucchini dessert

Zucchini Pizza Bites

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Zucchini Pizza Bites

  • Author: Olivia Carter

Description

Zucchini Pizza Bites are a guilt-free, delicious snack that is perfect for satisfying a pizza craving. I love making extra to keep in the fridge and reheating them to enjoy as an afternoon snack.

Recipe by Olivia Carter


Ingredients

1 zucchini

Tomato sauce of your choice

Mozzarella cheese

 

 


Instructions

Slice zucchini into rounds and sauté until both sides are golden brown. Turn on oven to a low broil.

 

Remove zucchini from pan and place onto the baking sheet. Add tomato sauce of choice and mozzarella.

 

Place zucchini bites in oven until cheese has melted, 3-4 minutes.

 

Let cool and top with basil salt and pepper, and/or red pepper flakes.


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