It’s time to ramp up your squash game with these zucchini stuffed with pancetta and parmesan. Stuffing and baking these mild-flavored, tender vegetables is one of the best ways to enjoy them in my book, especially if you’re growing tired of eating them grilled, sautéed or raw, like I am. If you’ve ever grown zucchini (or have a neighbor or friend that does), or visit the farmer’s market, you know the harvest is seriously abundant. So take advantage of the summer squash bounty and give this dish a try. They are great served as main topped with warm marinara sauce and some crusty bread and mixed greens.
4 medium zucchini, golden or green
4 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
3 oz. pancetta, diced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Zest from one lemon
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup finely chopped parley
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Marinara sauce, warmed for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon or a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the seeds and most of the flesh, leaving the remaining zucchini shell about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the zucchini, cut-side up on the prepared baking sheet. Coarsely chop the scooped-out flesh, and set aside.
3. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and starting to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini flesh and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and any liquid cooks off, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts, lemon zest, herbs, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the nutmeg. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan.
4. In a small bowl, combine the panko crumbs and the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan.
5. Brush the cut side of each zucchini lightly with oil. Season each zucchini half with a pinch of salt and pepper. Use a small spoon to fill each zucchini with the pancetta mixture, distributing it evenly among the zucchini halves. Top each zucchini with panko crumb mixture, about 1-1/2 heaping Tbs. on each zucchini half. Drizzle each with the remaining olive oil.
6. Bake until the zucchini are tender and the panko topping is golden-brown, about 25 minutes. Serve with warm marinara, if desired.
- Serving Size: 1/2 zucchini
- Calories: 216
- Sugar: 2.1g
- Sodium: 365.6mg
- Fat: 16.9g
- Carbohydrates: 10.1g
- Protein: 7.3g
- Cholesterol: 14.5mg
Keywords: stuffed zucchini recipe, zucchini recipes, how to stuff zucchini