Chili Stuffed Zucchini; state of the potager

Chili con Carne is a favorite dish among the British, both here and ‘back home’.

I asked someone once why they always specified ‘with meat’ (con carne) and he told me that sometimes it’s just made with beans, so the ‘con carne’ lets the diners know that meat had been added.

It always has beans.


And they always eat the Chili con Carne on rice.

Perhaps it’s considered sort of a Mexican Curry. The Brits do rather love their curries….

I explained that the dish, Chili, was treated / made a little differently in the U.S., particularly in Texas and other parts of the southwest.

No one cared.

Why am I telling you this? Because, although I was thinking ‘chili’ when I started this dish I ended up adding rice to round-out the meal. Mon mari needs his carbs.

I’d be ridden out of Texas on a rail for putting chili in a zucchini, anyway….

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Chili Stuffed Zucchini

Once it’s cool enough to cook inside and use the oven I love stuffing summer squash of all types.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: One Dish


  • 1/2 cup (3.3oz, 95gr) brown Basmati rice
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) beef broth
  • 10oz (300gr) sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (8oz, 250gr) chopped, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 large zucchini (14oz, 420gr) or 2 smaller
  • 1/2 cup (2oz 60gr) shredded cheese


  • Cut zucchini in half the long way. With a small spoon scrape out the seeds and flesh from the center 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 30 minutes.
  • Remove and keep covered until ready to fill.
  • Cook rice in beef broth until done, about 16 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, and sauté briefly.
  • Add onion, pepper and garlic, sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add sausage to skillet and cook, breaking it up as it browns.
  • Add tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  • When rice it finished, stir into meat mixture.
  • Spoon filling into the zucchini shells. Any filling that doesn’t fit, just keep warm and serve on the side.
  • Cover zucchini with foil and bake for 10 minutes.


The zucchini bake while you make the filling. It only takes a few minutes to finish together,

Chili Stuffed Zucchini

Summer, and the potager, came to rather an abrupt halt.

This is what it looks like:

I still have a few tomato plants that may (or may not) produce ripe tomatoes – that are without the stinkbugs and worms and blight that are afflicting most of them at the moment.

I have 2 zucchini / summer squash that are managing to produce something edible every week or so.

I’m waiting to see if the little bit of green life on 1 butternut squash and 1 spaghetti squash is enough to ripen the last 2 squashes they started.

It’s been a good year – for the winter squashes.

This is the rest of the harvest – the butternut and the Crown Prince, as well as the last of the delicata and 2 mysteries:

The acorn and spaghetti squashes are already in the cave.

I don’t think I’ll be buying vegetables for awhile….

14 thoughts on “Chili Stuffed Zucchini; state of the potager”

  1. I would love to talk about chile and chili and that whole “with meat” thing if you’re interested. I lived in the middle of it for 12 years over on the NM border and learned a lot. But for now I’m wondering about lardering squashes — can you do that through the winter?

    • The butternuts will last past the end of the year and, supposedly the pretty gray-blue ones (Crown Prince) will last about 6 months. Our cellar is a cellar, not a basement, dirt floors, stone walls, no heat and 2 small windows… They keep nicely down there. I, on the other hand, do not go down to get them. Creepy place lol
      The last time I discussed chili with people in the US (midwest) they were debating the merits of adding Creamettes…..

  2. How many plants of each variety did you put in? I have been picking kilos of cherry tomatoes from a few self sown plants. I left them because last year I didn’t get any from the ones I planted – next year I will limit it to two only!

    • It’s a waste of time to plan… Last year I planted 2 Delicata plants and got 3 squashes, total. This year I planted 3 and got 22 squashes. I was hoping for 10. I planted 4 butternut and got 17 squashes – that is pretty consistent. The Crown Prince (blue ones) were new – I planted 4 plants and got 9, which is more than I need. I didn’t realize how big they would be lol I just let them all grow together in a big area and they seemed to do well that way

  3. Interesting! I make a killer chili but lots of meat and no beans. I use mushrooms instead of beans…

    Your potager looks like mine. I have lots of green tomatoes on my plants still though and I’m really hoping some of them ripen up. It’s getting cool out now though so I don’t know…

  4. I don’t understand the rice but they were dumbfounded that I didn’t know one was supposed to eat chili on rice. I have stinkbugs attacking my tomatoes at the moment so I think they are done…. First year that has happened but we have a plague of stinkbugs this year. They leave white spots that go into the tomatoes and makes them kind of hard…. and not nice. lol

  5. J’adore chili con (or not) carne with rice. Or with cornbread. Or with tortillas. Or in Cincinatti Skyline-style 5-way spaghetti. This chili stuffed zucchini looks good too!

  6. J’adore chili con (or not) carne with rice. Or with corn bread. Or with potatoes. Or Cincinnati Skyline-style (5-way) with spaghetti. Or served over spaghetti squash. I bet it’s delicious as a stuffing for zucchini squash too. Remind me to try it next summer when zucchini are in season.

    (You have to love the British for making up rules about how chili con carne is eaten and for decreeing that it ALWAYS has beans. While the chili we make invariably has beans, I know that there are lots of people like nightsmusic who make it with only meat. Aren’t chili peppers the only required ingredients to define the dish as chili.)

    • I always use beans as well – ’cause I love beans! But I would never make it without meat. Cornbread is the most traditional accompaniment, chez nous…. As to the French – who needs chili when one has cassoulet?

      • We usually add at least a little meat too. Unless there are vegetarians who will be dining with us….

        Mmmmm…. cassoulet! Suddenly, I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed cassoulet.

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