Easy to make and full of great flavor, these cheese and pesto stuffed zucchini are a great side dish or appetizer.
Why you’ll love it: Easy, cheesy, and healthy!
How long it takes: 10 minutes to prep, 35 minutes in the oven
Equipment you’ll need: sharp knife, spoon, baking pan, small mixing bowl, oven
With the warmer weather comes lots of fruits and vegetables. We’ve already been eating a ton of asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, and sugar peas. it’s just so great to have a little variety back in life with seasonal produce available.
Do you have zucchini planted in your home garden? Maybe you have a generous neighbor or friend that likes to share the abundance of their garden. Zucchini grow prolifically and sometimes it’s challenging to find different ways to prepare it.
You’ll love these cheese stuffed zucchini boats. They are cheesy and delicious, and super easy to make.
About These Stuffed Zucchini
Versatile: Serve these cheese and pesto stuffed zucchini as a light vegetarian meal (pair with a hearty salad) or as a side to accompany a juicy baked breaded pork chop, easy baked salmon with lemon and chives, or chicken breast. Slice them into bite-sized pieces for a delicious appetizer.
Balanced flavors: Stuffed zucchinini are creamy and slightly decadent without being overly rich. The zucchini adds a nice crispness and freshness to balance the richness of the cream cheese. Pesto brings great flavor to the party.
Appealing: I sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top to add even more crunch. The Parmesan gets nice and golden brown, making these stuffed zucchini boats an attractive addition to any plate.
As always, you’ll find the printable recipe card with all the information you need at the end of the post.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Zucchini: Look for medium-sized zucchini, about 9 oz. each, with dark green unblemished skins. There’s no need to peel zucchini, simply rinse off and dry.
- Cream Cheese: Use reduced fat or full-fat but not non-fat cream cheese which contains additives.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Shredded mozzarella gives a nice texture to the cheese mixture, especially when it’s melted.
- Pesto: Use purchased pesto or make your own.
- Parmesan Cheese: Shredded Parmesan adds flavor and color.
How To Make Stuffed Zucchini
It’s so simple! Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and hollow out the center of the squash. Arrange the 4 halves on a baking pan.
Mix the cheese filling.
Using a spoon, fill the zucchini halves.
Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake! That’s all there is to it.
Now that you’ve mastered that, try lasagna zucchini boats! They boast all the flavor and fun of lasagna but without the hassle of noodles.
Those babies grow fast, don’t they? One minute they’re little tiny things and the next time you look, there’s a big ol’ log growing there. While a submarine-sized zucchini won’t work well for this recipe, they can be shredded and used in zucchini bread. Slice them and sauté them (We love these sauteed summer squash and zucchini ribbons.) Grill them. Add them to minestrone soup.
Cut them in half vertically, lengthwise from stem to blossom end. I like to use a serrated grapefruit spoon to scoop out the centers. Leave about a ¼ inch wall.
Oh, most certainly! It’s very tender and contains most of the nutritional benefits.
Prepare zucchini but don’t bake. Refrigerate up to one day. Bake as directed, adding 5 minutes to baking time.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Store leftover zucchini in refrigerator in airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in oven or toaster oven until heated through.
More Zucchini Recipes
Have an abundance of zucchini? Try one (or all!) of these great zucchini recipes:
- Grilled Zucchini — probably the easiest recipe for zucchini and so good!
- Air Fryer Zucchini Chips
- Vegetable Fritters
- Grilled Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese
- Boursin Cheese Stuffed Zucchini with diced red peppers
- Zucchini Noodle Salad with Beans, Feta, and Lemon
- Zucchini Rice Casserole (brown rice!)
- Zucchini, Red Pepper, and Carrot Pancakes
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- 2 zucchini squash (about 9 oz. each)
- 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened (full fat is fine, too)
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line rimmed baking pan with parchment.
- If desired, 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 on prepared baking pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together softened cream cheese, mozzarella and pesto until well combined. Spread cheese mixture evenly into hollowed out zucchini halves.
- Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until zucchini is fork tender and cheese is golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Air Fryer Instructions: Prepare zucchini as directed. Place stuffed zucchini in basket of air fryer. Air fry at 350ºF for 18 minutes or until zucchini is fork tender and breadcrumbs are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like Cheese stuffed zucchini with Boursin or Alouette garlic & herb spreadable cheese.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.