Are you looking for a hearty and flavorful dinner recipe? Look no further than stuffed round zucchini, also known as 8-ball zucchini. This unique dish features a delightful combination of beef, tomato sauce, rice, and Italian seasoning. It’s a fun twist on the classic stuffed zucchini boats that will surely impress your family and friends!
Round zucchini, or 8-ball zucchini, is a special variety of zucchini that is round and about the size of a softball. Apart from the shape, it is similar to regular zucchini in every way. For this recipe, we will hollow out two round zucchinis and fill them with a mouthwatering beef and tomato rice mixture. However, if you don’t have round zucchini, you can use regular zucchini or bell peppers as alternatives.
Serve stuffed round zucchini this summer and surprise your taste buds with this creative take on classic zucchini boats. Complete your meal with a side salad or some garlic bread for a satisfying dining experience.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this delicious recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Oil: Olive oil can be substituted with any cooking oil you have on hand.
- Onion: Adds flavor to the filling. I don’t recommend omitting it.
- Garlic: Adds flavor to the filling. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder instead (added with the other seasonings).
- Tomato sauce: If you don’t have 8 ounces of tomato sauce and Italian seasoning, you can substitute them with marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce.
- Round zucchini: You will need two large round zucchinis, about 4-6 inches wide, or three to four smaller round zucchinis for this recipe. Alternatively, you can stuff the filling into three medium zucchinis or bell peppers. The recipe card below provides alternate directions for both options.
- Seasoning: Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning add flavor to the filling.
- Rice: Any cooked rice will work for this recipe. I used cooked white rice.
- Mozzarella cheese: You can substitute it with your favorite melty cheese, such as cheddar or gruyere cheese.
How to Prepare Round Zucchini
Preparing round zucchini is similar to hollowing out a small Halloween pumpkin. Here’s how to do it:
- First, make diagonal slices around the stem and then remove the stem. This creates the opening for your zucchini bowl. Ensure that it’s wide enough to add the filling and later eat from.
- Next, use a metal spoon or a melon baller to gently scoop out the zucchini flesh. Leave about ¼” of flesh attached to the skin around the edges and bottom.
Do I Need to Peel My Zucchini?
No, there’s no need to peel your round zucchini. In fact, the skin contains nutrients and fiber that you would otherwise miss out on. Additionally, the skin helps the bowls maintain their shape as they bake. So, feel free to enjoy the skin along with the rest of your zucchini bowl.
Ways to Use Leftover Zucchini Flesh
For this recipe, we discard the inner zucchini flesh. However, you can refrigerate the leftovers and use them in other recipes. Here are a few ideas:
- Chocolate zucchini smoothie
- Blueberry zucchini smoothie
- Zucchini pesto
- Chocolate zucchini snack cake
What to Serve with Stuffed Zucchini
If you’re wondering what to serve alongside stuffed zucchini, here are some delectable options:
- Garlic bread
- Zucchini pesto pasta
- Side salad
- Roasted veggies
- Roasted potatoes
For more side dish ideas, check out my post: side dishes to serve with zucchini boats.
Stay tuned for the full recipe card and enjoy this delightful stuffed round zucchini dish! Don’t forget to explore more mouthwatering recipes and cooking tips at Ekilove. Happy cooking!