Rachel Cooks

Pesto and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

Easy to make and full of great flavor, these pesto and cheese stuffed zucchini are a great side dish or even a vegetarian meal! 

Pesto and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini - an easy side dish! Find the recipe on RachelCooks.comIt is finally, finally, finally starting to look and feel like spring around here in Michigan and I could not possibly be happier about it.

We even went to the zoo last Monday! It was still a little chilly (high 40’s/low 50’s) but gorgeous and warm in the sun and the animals were out and active which is always  a good part about the slightly cooler days. When it’s in the 80’s, they’re all lying around sleeping. Can’t say I blame them!

With the warmer weather comes spring fruits and vegetables. Hallelujah and good riddance to oranges and clementines (no offense, I love you guys, but it’s time for a change). We’ve already been eating a ton of asparagus, zucchini, strawberries, and blueberries. All totally premature of course, but it’s just so great to have a little variety back in life!

pesto-cheese-stuffed-zucchini-600 (2 of 5)

I love these pesto and cheese stuffed zucchini for a vegetarian meal (pair with a hearty salad) or as a side to accompany a great grilled pork chop or chicken breast. They are creamy and slightly decadent without being overly rich. The zucchini adds a nice crispness and freshness to even out the cheese. And of course, the pesto brings great flavor to the party. Then of course, I had to toss some panko bread crumbs on the top to add even more crunch to these. As a bonus, the panko gets nice and golden brown to make these an attractive addition to any plate. Enjoy!

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Pesto and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

Yield: 4 side servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Easy to make and full of great flavor, these pesto and cheese stuffed zucchini are a great side dish or even a vegetarian meal!


  • 2 zucchini
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup low moisture, part skim mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. Cut off ends of zucchini and slice lengthwise so that you have four long halves. Using a spoon, hollow out the middle (take out the seeds) of each half, leaving a little bit on each end to prevent the filling from running out. Place zucchini in/on baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together softened cream cheese, mozzarella and pesto until well combined.
  4. Spread cheese mixture evenly into hollowed out zucchini.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until zucchini is cooked and cheese is golden brown.

Verdict: Loved these! The creaminess of the cheese goes great with the crisp zucchini and the pesto adds great flavor.

Husband’s take: Too much cheese for him. He’s not a huge cheese fan. Crazy horse.

Changes I would make: None.

Difficulty: Easy!

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26 Responses to “Pesto and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini”

  1. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — April 7, 2014 at 6:01 am

    OH I eat zucchini was parm multiple times per week…it’s my fav! I never though of adding pesto! This sounds fab, thanks for the great idea! Pinned 🙂

  2. Kristen — April 7, 2014 at 7:09 am

    I love springtime fruits & veggies! Enjoy the warmer weather!!

  3. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — April 7, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I love this so hard. Stuffed zucchini is so delicious!

  4. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — April 7, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I love the simplicity of this meal and of course our whole family would love them.

  5. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — April 7, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I love love love zucchini. This looks incredible.

  6. sally — April 7, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I would love to try a easy pesto recipe. Do you have one you could suggest to use in this stuffed zucchini recipe or possibly a store brand so I choose a good one?Thanks, Sally

    • Rachel Gurk — April 7th, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

      Hi Sally! I love this pesto recipe, but I should note that it isn’t a traditional pesto since it doesn’t include garlic. And it makes a large batch. I also always have success with Elise’s recipes so if you’re looking for a more traditional pesto, this one might be a good one to try: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fresh_basil_pesto/. Good luck! If you’re going to use store bought, look for one with good ingredients including extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. DeLallo is a great brand.

      • sally — April 7th, 2014 @ 9:30 pm


  7. Liz@Virtually Homemade — April 7, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Yum…What a delicious and fabulous idea!

  8. Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic — April 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    The Arctic Ring of Life is my absolute favorite exhibit at the zoo! We used to go all winter long just to see the polar bears when they were most active. I really like the idea of using pesto to stuff the zucchini because it’s so flavorful!

  9. denise — April 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm


  10. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog — April 7, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    These little beauties look delicious! They sound absolutely perfect for a week night, can’t wait to try them 🙂

  11. Carol at Wild Goose Tea — April 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Is there ever too much cheese? Too much chocolate? Too many shoes? I believe there is no need for most women to answer this. Since it was your husband who made the cheese comment, its understandable. I looked at the zucchini in the market yesterday. I wanted it, but couldn’t really bring a recipe to mind. Well hey, here it is. Guess who is stopping off at the store after work today?

  12. Julie — April 7, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    This is the most delicious looking side dish I have seen in a long time, YUM! “Too much cheese” makes me laugh thinking of when my daughter was younger…she would say “I can’t eat that, too much cheese makes a big ball in my stomach.” Fifteen years later I am still wondering about a switched at birth possibility. The cheese and pesto here look perfect. Thank you…will definitely be trying this!

  13. Aimee @ ShugarySweets — April 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I absolutely LOVE pesto. These zucchini boats are just awesome.

  14. laurasmess — April 7, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    This is a gorgeous idea Rach, I am a sucker for anything with a crispy cheese topping… and my husband loves zucchini, so this will be perfect for us! Yum. Trying this very soon!

  15. Cassie — April 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    We are finally starting to see spring too. I love it! And I love these zucchini boats. Pesto is always a winner in my book!

  16. danielle — April 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I have been making a lot of zucchini lately – I love your version!

  17. Danae @ reciperunner — April 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I’m with you bon voyage oranges and citrus, give me berries and asparagus! This looks like a great side dish. I’m a huge fan of zucchini, and who wouldn’t want it stuffed with cheese and topped with crunchy panko, brilliant!

  18. Karen @ The Food Charlatan — April 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Dude, that shot of the polar bear swimming is pretty freaking awesome. I’ve never tried stuffed zucchini but considering pesto makes everything magical, I’m sure I will love this!

    • Rachel Gurk — April 9th, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

      Right after that, he swam right at my daughter with his mouth opening and closing. That was the end of hanging out in the polar bear exhibit, lol.

  19. whatjessicabakednext — April 9, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Love this recipe- full of so many delicious different flavours! Pesto is one of my favourite things to make!

  20. Bri — August 13, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Amazing recipe! I used jalapeño/Chipotle cream cheese instead and heat it up with my pesto and also added Italian bread crumbs to the top. It was perfect!

    • Rachel Gurk — August 18th, 2014 @ 7:45 am

      oooh that sounds wonderful!


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