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Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

by TastefullyJulie on July 13, 2012

Have I been MIA lately or what? Actually, no. Because MIA stands for “missing in action”, and my lack of presence is entirely unrelated to “action”.

It’s quite the opposite.

My brain is on summer vacation, people. Also, I’ve been working a lot – on my tan. It’s far too nice out to spend a whole lot of time sitting in front of this computer screen. Some other things that it’s apparently too nice out to do include vacuuming, laundry, dishes, and just general overall straightening up.

Whatever you do, DO NOT COME OVER. I am not prepared for company.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I would type up some recipes for you at night but I’ve developed a serious new addiction to the show Sons of Anarchy. I’m deep in the gun-slinging motorcycle gang drama right now. I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 54 episodes to catch up on before the new season comes out. I hardly have time to sleep at night!

So this recipe was developed more out of necessity than motivation. I was a bit overzealous in the zucchini planting this year. I went on vacation for two days and returned to some monster zucchinis larger than my forearm. Something needed to be cooked with them, and stat.

I posted a picture of my zucchini to Facebook and someone suggested I stuff it. Hmmmm, why not? I’ve made zucchini boat appetizers plenty of times with tiny, young zucchini. This would just be more of a zucchini ship.

I usually use bread crumbs in my little zucchini boats but I made this with quinoa to up the nutrition factor. Ideally I’d saute some eggplant and mushrooms to use in the filling but I had to throw in turkey sausage instead for the carnivore.

This was delicious and satisfying enough to be a meal on it’s own. I do find the giant zucchinis to be less flavorful so if you don’t have any monsters growing in your garden just use a few normal sized ones. You can use yellow squash, too, or even bell peppers or tomatoes if you have a garden full.

4.6 from 5 reviews

Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 


  • 1 huge zucchini or 3-4 normal ones
  • 1 tablesoon olive oil
  • 3 links turkey Italian sausage, casing removed
  • ½ Vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • a few springs of fresh thyme and oregano (optional)
  • ½ cup dry quinoa, prepared
  • ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup grated Romano cheese plus more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut a slice off the side of the zucchini to create a large boat. Scoop out the inside of the squash leaving a shell and bake the shell in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Dice up some of the scooped out zucchini to use in the filling. Only use the parts that aren’t too seedy.
  4. While the zucchini bakes, brown the turkey sausage in olive oil over medium heat, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
  5. Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and diced excess zucchini, and cook until softened (about 5-10 minutes).
  6. Add the spices, quinoa, and broth and cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and mix in the Romano cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Removes the shell(s) from the oven and stuff them all as full as possible with the sausage mixture.
  9. Sprinkle with Romano cheese and return to oven to bake for at least another 20 minutes or longer depending on the thickness of the zucchini boats.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 CJ at Food Stories July 13, 2012 at 11:06 am

These are beautiful … Now get back out there and work on your tan :-)
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2 Nancy @ Rivertree Kitchen July 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

These are lovely. What a great summer meal.
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3 Baking Serendipity July 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I’ve yet to convince my husband that tanning is a productive activity. What does he know. Love the thought of stuffed zucchini (especially with quinoa!)!
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4 TastefullyJulie July 15, 2012 at 11:37 am

Well, your skin isn’t going to just tan itself now, is it? ;)


5 Angie@Angie's Recipes July 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm

It looks summery and tasty!
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6 Choc Chip Uru July 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

This looks gorgeous my friend, a lovely recipe :D

Choc Chip Uru
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7 Sara N. July 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Summer in a boat! I love it! I never would have thought to add quinoa to stuffed zucchini and will have to try this.


8 Katherine Martinelli July 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Ooh I love stuffed veggies and this combo is just perfect. Hearty and light at the same time!
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9 kale July 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm

A zucchini ship, haha! I grew up eating stuffed zucchinis. We used the gigantic, mutant ones from the garden that had been forgotten. Those were zucchini cruise ships! ;)
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10 Lauren @Part Time House Wife July 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I love stuffed zucchini. I just bought 4 8 ball zucchini at the farmers market and they’re the perfect stuff holders! I love the idea of sausage. It made my tongue tingle and juice a bit when I read it.

Ps. My yard is looking way better than my bedroom and laundry room and kitchen and bathroom. You get the picture. I’m on summer hiatus too ;-)
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11 TastefullyJulie July 15, 2012 at 11:35 am

Lol @ tingle and juice :)


12 Lauren @Part Time House Wife July 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I’m commenting from my “dumb” phone. I wanted to give this 5 stars but I think it might of only given u 3. So I’m rating again ;-)
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13 TastefullyJulie July 15, 2012 at 11:35 am

Ha ha. Dumb technology!


14 Eha July 13, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Although it is winter in Australia the zucchini piles in supermarkets are astounding in height! Wondered what exactly I would do with what seems to have landed in my fridge?! This one will be on tomorrow’s menu! BUT, I shall substitute the meat with the gorgeous mushrooms also in said fridge and make a really healthy tasty Sunday meal for self and a few neighbours! [Well, whoever has a few bottles of a nice dry white to go alongside :) ! ]


15 TastefullyJulie July 15, 2012 at 11:35 am

Sounds fantastic!


16 Jo July 15, 2012 at 2:20 am

Hi Julie,
I love stuffed zucchini and yours looks so good. Aren’t zucchinis great, so versatile, and this could easily be turned into a vegetarian version.
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17 beti July 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

it looks so bright, fresh and really good!
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18 Jane July 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

That is a big zuc! I never really liked cooked zucchini, but it looks good! It would probably be good on the grill too :) I’m just the opposite of you .. no luck with the zucchini’s in the garden .. Oh well!


19 Mary@FitandFed July 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Too bad there aren’t giant zucchinis left at Thanksgiving time to stuff for a vegetarian dish. I’m sure my family would love something like this, though with a mushroom-hater at the table I’d have to use veggie sausage instead.
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20 kitchenriffs July 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Nice recipe! Our zucchini isn’t doing well at all this year, alas, so I don’t have many. But this looks like a really nice recipe. Sausage with anything is great, and quinoa has such nice flavor. I find the huge zucchini make pretty good soup, though I often scoop out the middle (it can get kind of woody) and often peel them too (the skin seems to get tough when the zucchini are too big). Anyway, happy to hear that you’re being lazy! It’s good for the soul.
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21 jennie @themessybakerblog July 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I love stuffed zucchini. Heck, I love zucchini any way I can get it. This dish looks delicious. I won’t come over your house if you won’t come over mine :) I’ve been to busy to straighten up, and my house is a mess right now. It’s either clean the house or go out on the boat. And, well, the boat always wins.

Enjoy getting your tan on!
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22 TastefullyJulie July 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Boat, hands down!


23 EA-The Spicy RD July 18, 2012 at 3:00 am

Oh my goodness, that is one huge zucchini! Your review ounces divine. Glad to hear you’re enjoying your summer:-)
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24 Vicky July 18, 2012 at 10:27 am

Sounds delicious! So nice you found zucchini so big — I can only find the really small slender ones at the grocery store or even nearby farmer’s market!
Completely know what you mean about putting off laundry, cleaning, dishes etc, – my apartment is certainly not ready for company either !
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25 Elizabeth @ Eating Local in the Lou July 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm

This is lovely and so perfect for the seasonal veggies that are now in season. Pinning and trying soon!
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26 Anita at Hungry Couple July 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm

This both looks and sounds great. I’m glad you’re enjoying some lazy summer down time. :)
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