This Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini makes a wonderfully nourishing dish. You can experiment with the filling, but this time I went for a vegan filling. I used quinoa, mushrooms and spinach, topped with crispy breadcrumbs. This is one of the best vegan dishes I have tried in a long time. You will fall in love with this dish!
Before making this recipe, I thought it would be tricky to make, but it wasn’t difficult at all! I recommend that you focus on cooking the quinoa perfectly. I have written a few tips below on how to make your quinoa nice & fluffy. You can use regular zucchini and cut it in to pieces or get little round zucchinis. To cook the zucchinis I use a steamer or the microwave, which is even faster. Veggies and the basil vinaigrette complete this flavourful dish. It takes a bit more than 30 minutes, but I promise you, it’s worth it.
This stuffed zucchini recipe is a summer dish as they are in season during the summer months, although nowadays we can buy them throughout the year. I had so many Zucchinis I had to come up with some new recipe ideas and as a result this Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini recipe was born. Are you a Zucchini fan? Why not try some of my other recipes: Zucchini Burgers or Zucchini Pasta with pesto.
This recipe has evolved a little since I first made it. I’m super pleased with my final version and I think it’s the perfect vegan dish for any special dinner. I will probably make it for my Valentine’s Day dinner.
Nutritionally these quinoa stuffed zucchini are so good for you. Quinoa is a good source of plant based proteins. This means it has all the necessary amino acids that our body needs in the correct proportions. Together with the veggies this recipe makes a healthy and well-balanced dish!
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This Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini makes a wonderfully nourishing dish. You will fall in love with this vegan dish!
- 2 large zucchini
- 1/2 cup of quinoa
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 10-12 mushrooms, finely chopped
- 3 cus (100g) of spinach leaves (or frozen spinach, thawed)
- 1/4 cup of water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp of virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 6 basil leaves, finely chopped
Wash, top and tail the courgettes and cut into 3 or 4 pieces. You need 2 big pieces (around 7 cm long) and 1 small piece (5cm long) per person. Use a small spoon to scoop out the middle and reserve the flesh. Make sure you don’t break the bottom (I mean to leave a bit of flesh on the bottom of each courgette piece) and you leave enough of the shell so it doesn't collapse when you stuff it!
Place the courgettes in a baking dish and cover with plastic film (make sure it doesn’t touch the courgettes) Cook them in the microwave for 8’ at maximum power or until they start to soften (you can also steam them).
Rinse the quinoa in a mesh colander under running water. Place it in a saucepan and stir in 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring it to the boil, then simmer (covered) for 10'. Remove from the heat and leave covered for a further 5'. Transfer the quinoa to a big bowl and fluff with a fork.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown, (about 4'). Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 5’.
While the mushrooms are frying, chop the flesh that you removed from the courgettes. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the courgette flesh and the spinach to the pan. Continue to cook for about 2’ or until the courgette flesh softens. Add ¼ cup of water and allow to simmer for a couple minutes.
Stir is the quinoa and mix well. Taste and season to your taste. Remove from the heat.
Fill each zucchini with the stuffing. If you have any leftover stuffing you can serve it as a side dish. Top each zucchini with breadcrumbs, and place in the pre-heated oven. Bake at 200ºC for 10’ or until the breadcrumbs start to brown.
Serve with a drizzle of basil vinaigrette and garnish the dish with chopped hazelnuts and basil leaves.
*The Basil vinaigrette is optional; the Zucchinis are yummy enough on their own. Another option is to add a couple spoons of tomato sauce on the base of the plate.