Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Recipe | Entree Recipes | PBS Food

Rachael Faught of California submitted this recipe for our Healthy Eating Contest.

Rachael Faught describes her recipe:

Stuffed zucchini is the food of childhood memories. There isn’t a time when I cannot recall my mother making this for us. Her original recipe calls for tequila seasoned ground beef, and while that is still tempting on a gorge-your-face-with-meat level I have been attempting to incorporate more quinoa in my life and in my staple recipes. This was the perfect recipe to give the old switch-a-roo too and it turned out marvelously. You see, the problem with using ground beef is that after we stuff our faces we feel heavy and kind of shamed for our gluttony. Substituting the beef for quinoa, however, leaves us feeling oddly healthy and perfectly satiated.


Prep time: 10 Minutes

Cook time: 10 Minutes

Total time: 20 Minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings



  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 handful of shredded cheddar cheese (2% reduced fat milk mix is OK)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup pico de gallo (diced tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro)
  • lime & lemon juice, a splash of each
  • dash of garlic powder
  • light sour cream (optional)


  1. Trim the ends of the zucchini and halve it lengthwise. Remove the seeds and middle so that the zucchini halves resemble a veggie boat. Stab its flesh with a fork a few times and stick it in the microwave for about seven minutes, until tender but not mush. You can also do this the slow way and bake it in a shallow dish with water.
  2. As the zucchini is cooking, line a cookie sheet with either parchment paper or foil.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mash up your avocado and mix with the pico de gallo. Add your splash of lime and/or lemon juice and a dash of garlic powder. Set aside until zucchini is done.
  4. When the zucchini is done, place each half on the foil lined cookie sheet.
  5. Spoon the quinoa into the hollowed out middle areas of your zucchini boats, top with cheese and stick it in the oven to broil no more than three and a half minutes (until cheese is melted).
  6. Remove from oven, slice up your portions and top with guacamole and sour cream (optional)
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