These quinoa stuffed zucchini boats make for a fun and healthy dinner that both adults and kids will love! The filling is creamy from the cheese, and flavourful from the herbs and garlic. An easy weeknight dinner that is vegetarian, gluten free and low histamine.
⭐ Why you'll love this recipe
- Super healthy! Packed with plant-based protein from the quinoa, vegetables and herbs, these are healthy but feel rather indulgent.
- Make for a kid-friendly dinner - get them to help out with the mixture and spooning it into the zucchini.
- Versatile - can be a main dish or served as a side with other plates.
For these stuffed zucchini you will need quinoa, vegetables, herbs and cream cheese, Some tips on ingredients:
- Zucchini: you can either use regular green zucchini or yellow if you prefer. I spotted this little round ones at a vegetable stall and had to have them!
- Onion and garlic: to give the filling a lovely flavour. Use fresh garlic if you can.
- Quinoa: the main ingredient of the stuffing, I use white quinoa which is a good source of plant-based protein (Healthline).
- Red bell pepper: to add another vegetable, and some colour too!
- Cream cheese: I would suggest to use one with as few additives as possible.
- Thyme and parsley: these gives such a lovely flavour and thyme is a reputed antihistamine.
- Apple juice: to keep the filling moist. If you don't follow a low histamine diet you may wish to swap out for lemon juice.
Make sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients and their quantities!
🔪 Step by step instructions
Making stuffed zucchini is quite simple and requires just a few steps:
After making your quinoa according to packet instructions, hollow the zucchini so there is a space for the filling.
To do this I would suggest using a small spoon and then working along the zucchini to remove the centre where the seeds are. Leave a border around the edge so the filling doesn't escape! Save some of the zucchini flesh as you can add it to the filling.
To make the filling, fry the onion and garlic along with the bell pepper until softened.
In a bowl combine these with the quinoa, cream cheese, herbs, apple juice, salt and pepper (if using). Add a little of the zucchini flesh, dicing it into small pieces.
Place the zucchini on a baking tray and spoon the filling into the cavities. Don't worry about it looking perfect!
Bake in the oven, covering towards the end of cooking if the topping begins to look too brown but the zucchini isn't fully softened.
Enjoy as a vegetarian main dish or a side dish with other plates.
💭 Recipe tips and notes
- Try not to puncture through the skin when scooping out the flesh - go a little slow with this bit of the process and I suggest using a small spoon rather than a knife.
- Don't skimp on the herbs! The herbs (and garlic) are the big flavours in these stuffed zucchini, so include a fair amount.
- Cover with aluminium foil (or parchment paper) if the quinoa starts to look too brown - if your zucchini aren't quite cooked, but the topping looks as though it may turn, and get burnt, cover with foil. It should prevent burning but allow the zucchini to continue cooking to perfectly soft.
🍽 More delicious dinner recipes
Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 4 zucchini (green or yellow)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup quinoa (dry weight)
- ¼ white onion diced
- 1 garlic clove minced or finely diced
- ⅓ bell pepper diced
- 2 tablespoon cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley diced
- 1 tablespoon apple juice (or lemon juice if not low histamine)
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper optional
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions.
- Fry the onion and garlic in olive until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add the bell pepper and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir well, then add the quinoa, herbs, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and spoon in the cream cheese and apple juice. Stir to combine.
- Prepare the zucchini by slicing off the tops and tails, and cutting lengthways. Use a small spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving a rim around the edge and being careful not to pierce the skin. Dice a little of the zucchini flesh and add to the quinoa mix.
- Place the zucchini on your baking tray and then fill each with the quinoa mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the mixture has gone light golden brown on the top. If the topping looks too brown then cover with foil towards the end of cooking to allow the zucchini to cook through.
- When scooping out the flesh of the zucchini it is usually best to use a spoon rather than a knife.
- Dice the bell peppers fairly small so they 'fit' into the zucchini boats.
- If the topping is starting to brown too quickly in the oven, place foil or parchment paper to prevent burning but so the zucchini can still bake.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- black pepper, which scores 2.
- garlic, which scores 1.