Easy Stuffed Zucchini with Ground Beef and Rice

Easy Stuffed Zucchini: this easy recipe is made with ground beef, rice, and tomato sauce, and topped with cheese.  The perfect hearty meal.
Easy Stuffed Zucchini: this easy recipe is made with ground beef and rice for a quick, healthy and hearty dinner.

Stuffed zucchini is a hearty, and delicious favorite.  Any zucchini lover will love this delicious casserole version, filled with ground beef, rice, tomato sauce, and veggies and topped off with a layer of cheese.

Fall is coming and it makes everyone feel like eating a nice hearty casserole and these easy stuffed zucchini are perfect for the whole family. If you are a gardener, you’ve got a lot of zucchini this time of year, and if not they’re at the farmers market and supermarket and the price is right.  This recipe is perfect for zucchini season, or any time of year.

I saw some lovely ones this week and couldn’t pass them by. I have a funny memory of my Dad making dinner one night (which was a bit of a rarity when I was a little girl) and making stuffed zucchini. He was so excited about it.  I think he got the recipe from a friend at work and they were delicious.  It’s always been a favorite of mine.  

stuffed zucchini casserole

One Dish Meal

We love that this is a complete meal in one dish.  It’s full of delicious veggies, and also contains rice and meat, so it’s everything you need all in one dish.  We often serve this with a salad and crusty bread, but all on it’s own a great complete meal.

Individual Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Casserole?

Many times when people make stuffed zucchini they create a stuffed zucchini boat by scraping the inside of the zucchini out and discarding the insides to create a hollow area in the middle of the zucchini half for stuffing.  You can certainly do that with this recipe.  If you want to hollow out your zucchini to make zucchini shells, you can use a melon baller to scrape them, and then discard cores. This recipe will make more than enough stuffing if you want to stuff the zucchini without overflowing contents.  You will have enough extra filling with this recipe for 6 whole zucchinis, cut in half to make 12 stuffed zucchini boats if you want to stuff them without over filling each individual zucchini boat half.  Or, cut the filling part of the recipe in half to not have extra filing leftover if you’re not making the casserole version of this recipe.

stuffed zucchini recipe

I’ve chosen not to scrape out the zucchini pulp insides of the zucchini halves.  I don’t see the reason to waste the inside of the zucchini, since it’s so delicious, and more veggies are always a great idea.  My version of the stuffed zucchini is more of a zucchini casserole, overflowing with delicious toppings and all bathed in tomato sauce, and covered in cheese.  This more hearty version is a little less delicate, and deliciously hearty.

how to make easy stuffed zucchini

Other Options

If you prefer not to eat ground beef, you can substitute ground chicken or ground turkey in this stuffed zucchini recipe.

This beef mixture is also a delicious filling for stuffed peppers also.  Make them in the same way substituting hollowed out bell peppers cut in half for the zucchini, fill them with the meat mixture, and top with cheese and bake in a casserole dish the same way you would with the stuffed zucchini recipe.

easy stuffed zucchini with ground beef and rice

Vegetarian Version

If you want to make this into a vegetarian version of stuffed zucchini you can substitute the ground meat in the recipe for a vegetarian meat substitute, or leave it out and add in some extra peppers and mushrooms.  To make the recipe vegan, substitute a vegan cheese for the topping of the stuffed zucchini.

Low Carb Version

If you are on a low carb diet, you can leave the rice out of this dish.  Or substitute the regular rice with a cauliflower rice option.

easy stuffed zucchini

Yield: 6 Stuffed Zucchinis

Easy Stuffed Zucchini with Ground Beef and Rice

Easy Stuffed Zucchini with Ground Beef and Rice
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 650mL jar tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice (or 1 1/2 cup leftover cooked rice)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated


      1. Cook rice according to package directions.
      2. Brown ground beef with onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season with Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.
      3. Add in cooked rice and half of the jar of tomato sauce to the meat mixture, and stir to fully combine.
      4. Meanwhile, trim off the stem end of the zucchini and cut them in half lengthwise to make the boats. Pour the remaining half of the jar of tomato sauce into a 9 x 13 large baking dish and put the zucchini halves on top. Next, pour the topping beef and rice mixture over the sliced zucchini pieces. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella on top of the zucchini and stuffing mixture.
      5. Cook at 350, for about 40 mins, or until the zucchini is soft when poked with the tip of a sharp knife.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 548Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 1068mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 44g
stuffed zucchini

The leftovers from this dish are delicious the next day too.  If you have leftovers, store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and reheat in the microwave.

I like to serve this dish with a green salad and fresh bread or rolls.  This is one of my favorite dinner recipes.  It’s perfect whenever you’re craving a hearty dish.

how to make stuffed zucchini

I am a zucchini fan, I love zucchini cake, zucchini fritters, ratatouille, sautéd zucchini…what can I say, I like it. My five year old daughter…not so much. So, I’ll say if you’re a zucchini fan, your going to love this, if you’re not a zucchini fan, if you eat your dinner you can have a cookie. ;).  

easy stuffed zucchini recipe

Looking forward to the leftovers for lunch 😉 -Hope you enjoy!

With easy stuffed zucchini, life really is a party!

More Recipe Inspiration

You might also like our Unstuffed Zucchini here.

Unstuffed Zucchini: the perfect quick and easy, one pot weeknight meal. We made cooking time quicker using zucchini zoodles.Also check out Mom’s Easy Lasagna here.

Easy Lasagna with cottage cheese: this is a great make-ahead, and it freezes well. Easy to put together, and sure to be a family favourite.

You might also enjoy our Butter Chicken Pizza here.

Butter Chicken Pizza: use frozen naan bread and jarred butter chicken sauce from the grocery store, for this quick and easy butter chicken pizza recipe.

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