Stuffed Zucchini (Courgette) with Beef, Basil and Quinoa, and lots more zucchini recipes

It’s summer squash time.

Whether you call them zucchini, courgette or yellow squash they’re all summer squash – and all the same in my opinion.

I’ve seen lots of recipes and more than a few comments that more recipes are needed…. Not by the same people (I assume).

I thought I would throw a few of my own into the mix.

I’ve also seen a few posts with rather complicated instructions on how to scoop out the interior (melon baller?) and prep the resulting shell (parboil?) to make stuffed zucchini.

I thought I would explain how to do it the easy way.


Stuffed Zucchini (Courgette) with Beef, Basil and Quinoa

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 2 zucchini or summer squash (courgette), 7″ each (17cm)
  • 5oz (150gr) ground beef
  • 2 large red tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large green tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small can (4oz, 120gr)  green chilies, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • large bunch of basil, big leaves torn, small left whole
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 cup (2.4oz, 65gr) quinoa
  • 2/3 cup (5oz, 150ml) beef stock

Stuffed Summer Squash with Beef and Quinoa


  • The zucchini:
  • Cut zucchini in half the long way.
  • The interior is soft – just take a spoon, draw a line down the center pressing lightly, then repeat the line, pressing harder each time, scraping out the seeds and flesh and forming long boat-like shells.  Leave 1/4″ (.6cm) at either end to hold in the filling.
  • Put them in a baking dish, single layer, cover with foil and bake, 400F (200C), for 15 minutes while you make the filling.
  • Remove and keep covered until ready to fill.
  • The filling:
  • Cook quinoa in stock until done, about 15 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion, pepper and garlic, sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add meat to skillet and cook, breaking it up as it browns.
  • Add red tomatoes, spices to skillet and cook until tender 5 minutes.
  • Stir in basil, quinoa and set aside.
  • The finish:
  • Spoon the filling into the zucchini. Any filling that doesn’t fit, just keep warm and serve on the side.
  • Cover zucchini with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • While zucchini bakes heat green tomato and green chilies in a saucepan until tomatoes are tender. Keep warm until needed.
  • Serve squash with tomato / chili sauce on the side.

Print Recipe

No, I didn’t forget the cheese…. Add it if you like, but I decided to enjoy it as is.

The one and only way to keep from having giant summer squash / zucchini in your garden is to pick them all when they are small.

Besides, Baby Zucchini are equally fun to stuff and have as a starter or side dish.

Stuffed Baby Zucchini



These reminded me of Banana Splits when I was making them.

Zucchini Sundaes


Of course, when they get a bit bigger you can slice the the long way and do other fun stuff….

Like these:

Zucchini Ricotta Rolls with Pesto Rosso



Zucchini Fettuccine 


Marinated Zucchini Ribbons


As for a simple vegetable side dish….

Simple Fried Zucchini is one of our favorites


Have a look at Spring and Summer Vegetables and you’ll find about 30 more side dish recipes and on First Course Vegetables another 15 or so first course squash recipes.

Happy Summer!

4 thoughts on “Stuffed Zucchini (Courgette) with Beef, Basil and Quinoa, and lots more zucchini recipes”

  1. My ice-cream scoop is always close at hand, and has become my default seed-scooper. I understand your preference for the spoon, but I don’t trust my own impatience with firmer veggies and would fear bending everyday cutlery 🙁

  2. Amerloc, my summer squashes are pretty easy to clean out – for the winter squashes I have a really sturdy, pointed spoon LOL

    Pam, always a good choice. Bacon makes everything (almost) better

    Tanna, well, it is, isn’t it ;-))

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