Stuffed Zucchini

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These stuffed zucchini with rice, kidney beans, and bell pepper make the perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family. The recipe is very easy to make, insanely delicious, and super healthy. 

five stuffed zucchini on a marble countertop with fresh parsley in the background

Why This Recipe Works 

I’ve been making this recipe for years and it was actually one of the very first recipes I posted on the blog back in 2015. I updated the original post and the photos, but the recipe is pretty much still the same. It’s just so delicious and definitely a keeper! 

For the stuffing, I used an easy combination of cooked brown rice, onion, garlic, tomato paste, kidney beans, corn, and a lot of spices. For extra protein, I added vegan ground meat crumbles.

Before baking the stuffed zucchini, I topped them off with a homemade vegan cashew cheese sauce. It’s made with cashews, almond milk, yeast flakes, miso paste, garlic, and paprika powder. It’s also great with nachos or vegetable sticks. I’ve been cooking vegan recipes for almost a decade, but I sometimes still can’t believe you can make such a creamy and cheesy sauce out of cashews! It definitely takes this recipe to the next level!

All in all, the recipe is pretty easy and perfect for busy weeknights. When you make the brown rice the night before, you’ve only got around 20 minutes of active preparation time. The zucchini then need another 20 minutes in the oven. 

What Goes Into This Recipe 

the ingredients that go into this recipe on a marble countertop

  • Rice – I used brown rice. It’s best to use leftover rice from the night before. This saves you lots of time. 
  • Vegan Ground Meat Crumbles – use your favorite brand. 
  • Zucchini – make sure the zucchini are all rather large and roughly have the same size. 
  • Kidney Beans – I used canned kidney beans. 
  • Corn – frozen. 
  • Onion & Garlic 
  • Spices – paprika powder, oregano, basil, hot paprika powder, and cumin. 
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cashews – unsalted and not roasted. They’re the perfect base for creamy vegan sauces. Just blend them with plant-based milk into a creamy sauce. 
  • Plant-Based Milk – make sure to use unsweetened milk. My favorite is oat or almond milk. 
  • Nutritional Yeast – it has a nutty and cheesy flavor and is perfect for vegan cheese sauces. 
  • Miso Paste – I used white miso paste. It adds a lot of flavor and gives the sauce a cheesy taste. 

How To Make This Recipe 

a collage of four step-by-step photos that show how to make this recipe

1. Step: Place the cashews in a small bowl of water. Prepare the rice according to the instructions on the package. It’s best to do this the night before. Heat a bit of oil in a large pan and prepare the vegan ground meat crumbles as directed on the package. Set aside. 

2. Step: In the same pan heat some more oil and sauté the onion 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. 

3. Step: Then add the cooked rice, the tomato paste, and the vegetable broth. Stir well and cook for 3 minutes on medium heat. 

4. Step: Add the kidney beans, corn, meat crumbles, and spices.

a collage of four step-by-step photos that show how to make this recipe

5. Step: Stir well and cook for 3 more minutes until warmed through. 

6. Step: Heat your oven to 350 °F. Prepare the cashew cheese sauce: Drain the cashews and place them (without water) with the remaining ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. 

7. Step: Blend until you’ve got a smooth sauce. 

8. Step: Cut the zucchinis in halves lengthways and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Then line a baking tray with parchment paper, place the zucchinis on top, and lightly rub them with olive oil. 

stuffed zucchini on a baking tray lined with parchment paper before baking

9. Step: Fill the zucchini halves with the rice bean mixture. 

Mexican stuffed zucchini on a baking sheet drizzled with vegan cheese sauce

10. Step: Drizzle the vegan cheese sauce over the stuffed zucchini and bake for 20 minutes at 350°F. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Don’t worry, it’s normal that the vegan cheese sauce is pretty thin. It will thicken up considerably when being baked in the oven. 
  • Depending on the size of the zucchini you use you might have leftovers. Just serve the stuffing on the side, use it for the next day, or use more zucchini. 
  • You could also replace the brown rice with quinoa for a change. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will The Stuffed Zucchini Last? 

Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they will last up to 3 days

What’s The Best Way To Reheat Them? 

I recommend reheating them at 350 °F for around 10 minutes. You can also reheat them in the microwave. 

Can I Freeze Leftovers? 

Yes, you can freeze them completely assembled, but they will become softer after thawing. 

Related Recipes 

  • Vegan Stuffed Peppers
  • Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 
  • Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers 
  • Vegan Enchiladas
  • Vegan Burritos

I Like To Hear From You!

I hope you like these stuffed zucchini as much as we do around here.

If you give them a try, I’d love to know what you think about them. Just leave me a comment and a star rating below. Your comments really make my day!

You like my recipes and want to see more? Then follow me on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest

Sina

five stuffed zucchini on a marble countertop with fresh parsley in the background

Print

Stuffed Zucchini

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These stuffed zucchini with rice, kidney beans, and bell pepper make the perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family. The recipe is very easy to make, insanely delicious, and super healthy. 
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 280kcal
Author Sina

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 6 large zucchini
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Vegan Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened oat or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon white miso paste
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • salt

Instructions

  • Place the cashews in a small bowl of water. Prepare the rice according to instructions on the package. It’s best to do this the night before. Heat a bit of oil in a large pan and prepare the vegan ground meat crumbles as directed on the package. Set aside. 
  • In the same pan heat some more oil and sauté the onion 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  • Then add the cooked rice, the tomato paste, and the vegetable broth. Stir well and cook for 3 minutes on medium heat. 
  • Add the kidney beans, corn, meat crumbles, and spices.
  • Stir well and cook for 3 more minutes until warmed through. 
  • Heat your oven to 350 °F. Prepare the cashew cheese sauce: Place the cashews (without water) with the remaining ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. 
  • Blend until you've got a smooth sauce. 
  • Cut the zucchinis in halves lengthways and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Then line a baking tray with parchment paper, place the zucchinis on top, and lightly rub them with olive oil. 
  • Fill the zucchini halves with the rice bean mixture. 
  • Drizzle the vegan cheese sauce over the stuffed zucchini and bake for 20 minutes at 350°F. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Notes

  • I like to use leftover brown rice from the night before. 
  • Don’t worry, it’s normal that the vegan cheese sauce is pretty thin. It will thicken up considerably when being baked in the oven. 
  • Depending on the size of the zucchini you use you might have leftovers. Just serve the stuffing on the side, use it for the next day, or use more zucchini. 
  • You could also replace the brown rice with quinoa for a change. 
  • Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they will last up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 921mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 531IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 3mg

The post Stuffed Zucchini appeared first on Vegan Heaven.





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