Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

You can stuff the zucchini a day ahead of time and bake right before serving.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 large zucchini, 12 to 14 inches long (about 1 1/4 to 2 pounds) or 3 to 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 slices bread, pulsed in food processor or blender to make fresh breadcrumbs (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (less or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


1 Preheat oven to 375°F.

2 Cook the sausage: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet on medium heat. Add the sausage, and gently cook until it is mostly (but not completely) cooked through.

Stir frequently and break up the sausage into smaller pieces while it cooks. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.

Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Recipe cook the sausage Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats cook the sausage most of the way through

3 Prep the zucchini: Cut the zucchini in half. Use a metal spoon to scoop out the insides of the zucchini, leaving the zucchini shell about 1/4-inch thick. Remove and discard any thick seeds from the insides you've scooped out.

Chop up about a cup of the remaining zucchini flesh. (Whatever remains beyond a cup use for another purpose, discard, or compost.)

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini scoop out the insides of the zucchini

4 Cook the onions and garlic: You should have 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan (rendered from the sausage). If not, add more olive oil so that you have at least a tablespoon of fat in the pan, and heat on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

Add the chopped zucchini and cook a minute or two more, remove from the skillet and add it to the bowl of sausage.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini cook the onions and garlic

5 Make the stuffing: Add the rest of the stuffing ingredients to the sausage and onions.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Recipe make the stuffing

6 Stuff the zucchini and bake: Place the zucchini halves in a baking dish and add the stuffing. (At this point you can make ahead, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.) Add 1/4-inch of water to the bottom of the pan, which will help zucchini cook evenly and prevent the bottom of it from drying out too much in the oven.

Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes. Let sit to cool briefly before serving.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Recipe stuff the zucchini and bake it Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Recipe bake the zucchini

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  • Traci

    This is my second go-round with this recipe the first one is a really large zucchini this time of used 4 small and I use chopped mushrooms instead of tomato is I have a picky eater and I use panko instead of the fresh bread crumbs and let me tell you this recipe is to die for my picky eater and I just love it thank you my picky eater asked me to make this one and make sure he knows how to make it you’re awesome


  • Rebecca

    LOVED this recipe.
    I am dairy free so I subbed the parmesan for nutritional yeast. Also pre-baked my zucchini after hollowing out for about 20 minutes which made it perfectly tender once everything was done!
    I highly recommend and will definitely be making again!


    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you liked the stuffed zucchini Rebecca! Good idea to pre-bake the zucchini.

  • Denise

    This recipe was delicious!! Will definitely make it again. The only thing I would suggest is to blanch the zucchini before stuffing it. The zucchini was a bit too firm for me.


  • Kate

    This is really delicious! I’m gluten free so I substitued minced white mushrooms for the bread crumbs and sauted the mushrooms with the onions and garlic. My family loved it! it s the perfect use for the jumbo zucchini that often happens over night! Absolutely Yummy!


  • Suzy

    We really enjoyed this! Some might not appreciate my tweaks, but trust me that you can veganize this recipe and it’s wonderful! Cutting the recipe in half, I used 2 smallish zucchini. I stuffed with 2 links of Field Roast Italian “sausage,” a flax egg and 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. All the other fresh veggies and herbs really made the dish pop! Thanks for the recipe!


  • Jane

    This is incredibly delicious!I belong to a CSA and need new ways to cook zucchini. Stuffed one along with yellow patty pan squash Cut into half inch slices and used chorizo sausage. I love your recipes and your whole approach to food and family and sharing. Thank you!


  • Hermien Braitsch

    Elise made this tonight. It was so good! Thank you, you’re the best!


  • Jenny

    This looks amazing! I’m eating very low carb right now… Could I just leave out the breadcrumbs, do you think, or would I really mess it up? Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jenny, you can easily leave out the breadcrumbs, sure!

  • Kathleen

    Better yet; put it on the grill to cook! YUM