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Quinoa Stuffed Grilled Zucchini

Quinoa Stuffed Grilled Zucchini | A Couple CooksQuinoa Stuffed Grilled Zucchini | A Couple CooksQuinoa Stuffed Grilled Zucchini | A Couple Cooks

I left the farmer’s market with a boat-load of zucchini this weekend. Unfortunately we didn’t grow any in our garden this year, so we had to pretend we had the late summer “drowning in zucchini” problem. We tried a few things that didn’t work out, even zucchini noodles with a spiralizer (anyone tried this? it”s pretty fun!).

But luckily one recipe did turn out: this grilled, quinoa stuffed zucchini. It was one of those ideas that Alex dreams up that I’m a little skeptical about until he convinces me otherwise, and then I have to grovel that he was right…which really isn’t a bad place to be when you’re left with a tasty dinner! We’ve been enjoying the lemon and basil flavor combination lately, so he added them with red pepper, quinoa, and mozzarella cheese to make a tasty filling for grilled zucchini boats. They’re a fabulous vegetarian main to get the last out of grilling season; a fitting late summer dinner.

We’re thrilled to kick off our focus on health this month with Cook for Health September, and thought we’d start out with a healthy meatless main using local, seasonal ingredients. The zucchini and red pepper were from our local farmer’s market, and the basil from our garden.

Got Zucchini?

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Quinoa Stuffed Grilled Zucchini
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
What You Need
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • ⅔ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
What To Do
  1. Preheat a grill to medium high. (Alternatively, you can bake at 425°F covered with foil for 15 minutes, then uncovered for 5 minutes.)
  2. Place 1 cup quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot, and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit covered to steam for about 5 minutes.
  3. Finely dice 1 red pepper, mince 1 shallot, and chop ¼ cup basil leaves.
  4. When the quinoa is done, mix the vegetables above with the quinoa, ⅔ cups mozzarella, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and the zest of 1 lemon.
  5. Cut off the ends of 4 zucchini, then cut them in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the fleshy centers. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil and grill cut-side down for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove the zucchini from the grill and and sprinkle with kosher salt. Spoon in the quinoa stuffing, then top with grated Parmesan cheese (or Mozzarella cheese). Grill indirectly on a medium high grill for 8-10 minutes until tender.


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  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    September 8, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Stuffed zucchini is the best! Love this quinoa version!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    September 8, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Mmm, the lemon-basil flavor combo sounds delicious with quinoa. I never tire from cooking with quinoa and probably have it once a week, so this stuffed zucchini is going in my file.

  • Reply
    Sharlynn Ng
    September 8, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Oh wow, these look so wholesome and yummy! I would totally add some meat into the stuffing as well for a protein kick! Great recipe!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I make zucchini noodles fairly frequently – there are two dishes I make fairly regularly, one raw, one cooked. They have turned out well for me every time. This recipe sounds like a wonderful way to use zucchini. I would need to do something to add more protein, but I would love to try it.

  • Reply
    Millie | Add A Little
    September 8, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I love stuffed zucchini and quinoa sounds super tasty!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    September 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

    This is such a great time of year to get boat loads of zucchini at the best price. We make zucchini spaghetti a lot, and these stuffed zucchinis are right up our alley! Delicious!

  • Reply
    Tina Muir
    September 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Yummy! What a great idea! Love that these would be so hearty, especially for vegetarian meals! These will go a long way in convincing people to eat meatless, so please linkup to my page for meatless monday. Meatfree can be hearty, and definitely way more healthy! Thanks for the recipe :)

  • Reply
    Rivki Locker
    September 8, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    This looks delightful. I am really in the ‘drowning in zucchini’ conundrum, but not because I grow it – my CSA has been sending lots, plus I can never resist it at the farmers market. Then I get home and realize I bought way too much. This looks just lovely. I made a similar recipe last week with bell peppers; we were drowning in those last week. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2014 at 9:46 am

    These look amazing! I’m so glad I found your blog :)

  • Reply
    September 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    What a great idea! I do this every kind of squash imaginable — acorn, butternut, winter, even patty pan, but never thought of zucchini. Add a few pieces of chorizo to top and I can pass this off as pizza to my preschooler, which somehow just makes it more fun.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Yum! Such a great weeknight meal. Easy and delicious. Will definitely be giving it a try. :)

  • Reply
    Joan Cook
    September 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    This is awesome! I am eating really clean lately and this is one of those yummy things that would be really good for my diet.
    I have pinned it for later use.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    i have never tried eating this way but it does looks darn tasty!!

  • Reply
    Phoebe Lapine @ Feed Me Phoebe
    September 14, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    What a fun way to eat zucchini! And looks filling but healthy :)

  • Reply
    Andie Markijohn
    November 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I wish the nutrition content was included!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    I just finished making this. It’s in the oven. Not sure why, but despite following recipe directions, I ended up with around 3 times the amount of filling needed to stuff 4 zucchinis! Unfortunately, I don’t have any extra zucchinis to stuff. Am I the only one with so much filling??

  • Reply
    August 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Loved this idea!! I didn’t have any fresh basil, but I added some dried basil and mint, pine nuts, and crumbled feta cheese (didn’t have mozzarella or good Parmesan on hand). It was super yummy. We had it as a side dish for chicken.

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    Happy Cooking! ~ Sonja & Alex