Stuffed Zucchini with Turkey Sausage

Large zucchini stuffed with ground turkey, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and Parmesan cheese.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 zucchini about 12 inches long, or 3-4 medium zucchini
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper


1 Prep zucchini: Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out insides, leaving shells about 1/4 inch thick. Reserve about half of the insides.

2 Sauté onion, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini insides: Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add mushrooms and reserved zucchini insides, and sauté another 2 minutes.

3 Brown the ground turkey: In a separate skillet heat a Tbsp of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the ground turkey. Lightly brown the turkey, stirring only occasionally. After the turkey browns on one side, stir it so that it has a chance to brown on other sides. Cook until the ground turkey is lightly browned, about 6 minutes.

4 Make stuffing: Stir the onion and mushroom mixture in with the ground turkey. Add the wine. Stir in tomato, basil and rosemary and cook 1 minute longer. Drain any excess fat. Remove mixture from heat and set it aside.

When mixture has cooled, add cheese, egg, salt and pepper.

5 Stuff zucchini shells and bake: Fill zucchini shells with mixture. Fill a baking pan with 1/4 inch of water. Place filled zucchini halves in pan and bake at 375°F for 40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove zucchini from pan and serve while hot.

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  • Derek

    Wonderful recipe. I did without the wine, covered in a broiler pan with water for the first 20 min. Used pork sausage and added some breadcrumbs.

  • Amanda V.

    This was delicious! I modified it a bit and added some green and red peppers. I also subbed spicy turkey bulk sausage. Looking forward to trying this again with a few more mods. Thanks for sharing!

  • Carolyn

    I love this recipe. I’ve made it many times and it is always a hit. I was thinking about making it into a casserole (rather than boats) – any suggestions?

    • Elise

      Great idea Carolyn! One idea is to cut the zucchini up into large-ish cubes, toss with the rest of the ingredients, sprinkle with cheese and bake.

  • LovelyLauren

    This was delicious! My husband like it and he supposedly doesn’t like turkey or zucchini. I followed exactly as you wrote, I just regret that I accidentally forgot to put in the white wine.

  • Anna

    Love it! Also recommend cutting down the salt a bit (parmesan is a pretty salty cheese as is) and experimenting with the spices and herbs to your taste. I tried this using ground bison instead of turkey and it was wonderful. May also try with other lean meats in the future.

  • Rebekah

    Uh, YUM. I used ground beef, omitted the mushrooms and zucchini insides, and only used one tomato– I wanted the stuffing to be meatier. :) Since I had cut back on the veggies I also needed less salt. The fresh herbs were fantastic. I sprinkled some really sharp Colby on top. Thanks for the basic recipe– I can tell that it will stand up to many variations!

  • Cheryl

    I made one similar also adding carrots, cornbread, buttermilk and low fat sour cream, I liked that yours had meat added, I will try that next time.

  • Stesha

    Wow. I thought this would be just a simple way to use zucchini and the flavors would be decent. Boy, was I wrong. This is delicious. I made it almost exactly as it states just I used cooking spray instead of olive oil.
    also, cause I am currently tracking the foods I eat. I made this in two zucchinis and it turns out that 2 boats (one zucchini) is equal to only 550 calories! Which is a perfect sized dinner for me. Not to mention that it is high in lean protein which is great. Thank you for this great recipe. Will definitely use again. :)

  • Julie

    I made this for dinner last night. My husband loved it! The stuffing was incredibly savory and browned up nicely, while the zucchini cooked up slightly firm and not mushuy at all. I am making this again this weekend for a side dish for my daughter’s birthday party since we have a TON of zucchini this year.

  • Anne Murphy

    Absolutely delicious. Will use this to stuff acorn squash, or anything that needs stuffing.


  • Katie

    So tasty! We made this last night and it turned out wonderful! I had leftover chicken stock so used it instead of wine. Also added red chili flakes for some added kick. This makes for a very satisfying low carb meal. I want to use this stuffing in everything! Thanks!

  • Damon

    I made this over the weekend. Absolutely Delicious! A great way to get a kiddo past zucchini :) He / We all devoured it. I will definitely be making again!

  • Samantha

    This recipe is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! We’re newlyweds with a first year garden and a bumper crop of zucchini. This is the most successful recipe I’ve made to date – I am just so pleased! I’ve handed it out once already with zucchini in hand (what a great idea!) and am making it again tonight for my in-laws anniversary!

  • katie

    I made this and used canned garlic roasted tomatoes, AWESOME!! I also used italian style ground turkey which gave it more flavor. The mixture didn’t look all that appetizing initially but it tasted great!

  • AF

    Made this tonight and it is fantastic! I subbed goat cheese for parmesan cheese because I was out of parmesan.

  • Char from Chicago

    Made this for dinner last night per the recipe. It was delicious got rave reviews. One person thought it would make a great brunch dish.

    Have you thought of stuffing acorn squash with this mixture? I have a stuffed acorn squash recipe that uses ground turkey. This mixture is much tastier. In the acorn squash recipe you cook split acorn squash in microwave in glass dish under plastic wrap, scoop out some of the squash and mix it with the turkey.

    Will try it with the squash next–but love the zucchini just as is.

    Sounds like a great idea! If you make it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • suefoodie

    Awe — some!! I did not have white wine so I substituted Sherry wine and it was still fabulous! Wow, I will make these again and again.

  • Lisa

    Delicious meal. Next time I am going to cut the salt in half, if not cut it out all together.

  • Diana

    What a great recipe. I’ve got a meatless stuffed zucchini recipe I like, I can’t have a stuffed zucchini without lots of cheese though! I call them Colorful Super Stuffed Zucchini Boats.


    Oh my goodness! I made this last night. Followed the recipe since it was the first time making it. It turned out AMAZING. Even my 8 year old son who doesn’t eat tomatoes ate two servings. This is the second recipe I have tried from this site(wild rice salad was the first). Same results… FABULOUS!

  • jan

    Loved it. I didn’t use the things as in turkey, but lean beef, added diced tomatoes/chilies, many yummy spices and then at the end added cheese on top. Also added butter around the edges of the zucchini so it would get nice and brown. Thanks for the idea. Many more in my mind. Seems a person can take this stuffed veggie to the limits.

  • Susan

    Made this last night and, as all your recipes, it was really good. Perhaps, next time, I would use less salt.

  • Stacy

    I made this recipe as written a couple of days ago…I ended up being the only one home for dinner so gave some to two friends of mine – and they – along with me – all loved it. It’s prefect timing with zucchinis in abundance here and the flavor of the sausage stuffing is out of this world.

    Thanks you.

  • Jeanne S Tanner

    I so want to try this recipe,but since the recipe says it is Turkey sausage, but the recipe calls for just ground turkey, I would appreciate a verification.
    Thank you, Jeanne

    Turkey sausage is just ground turkey with herbs and seasoning. So we are using ground turkey with herbs in the recipe. You could substitute a favorite turkey sausage if you wanted to. ~Elise

  • purplecook

    This looks delicious. My grandmother makes stuffed vegetables all the time, but somehow manages to keep them whole. My own attempt at stuffed zucchini was pretty close to hers, and it’s easy to hollow out the zucchini with a corer. I stuffed them with lamb for some extra flavor. Here’s the recipe:

    What a great idea, I love ground lamb and wouldn’t have thought to use it in a zucchini stuffing. ~Elise

  • Ruth

    I had all the ingredients except the wine (which I just omitted) I used big yellow courgettes, fresh onions and garlic which I bought on the way home from a local farmer. Everyone loved it! I usually make my stuffed vegetables with a meat/rice mixture, but this was much tastier.

  • Ophelia

    This looks delicious! Question, though — the title says turkey sausage, but the ingredients only say ground turkey. Is this a typo? Should I use spicy or sweet sausage?

    The farmers market I go to has a very nice turkey farmer, so I’m looking forward to trying this recipe!

    Turkey sausage is nothing more than ground turkey with herbs and spices. ~Elise

  • heidi leon

    I make a vegetarian version of this; stuffing my zucchinis with tomatoes eggplant and zucchini.

    My boyfriend just love it (maybe because I got the recipe from his Mamman??). He even asked me to prepare this dish again, and voila, I will make it tonight :)

    Your recipe (and that pic) looks amazing, I will try it without the meat and adding some of my recipe as well.

    btw, I do also add water, but I also add a cup of uncooked rice (since the begining) so you have main dish done in just one baking dish, and the rice is *blessed* by the deli juices that comes from the zuchinni.


  • Vicky

    Just served this for dinner tonight. Didn’t have any white wine so I used red and it was great. I will save the leftovers for another night. It is a great GF recipe, too.

  • Debbie

    I make Grilled Zucchini Boats stuffed with a feta, sun-dried tomato mixture. It is so delicious!

    Cut full length zucchini and hollow out the middle a bit.

    (Sorry don’t have any measurements)

    Mix together feta, sun-dried tomatoes chopped small, clove of garlic minced, sprinkle of italian seasoning, add olive oil as needed.

    Mix together with a fork and fill hollowed out zucchini.

    Place on a sheet of tin foil and grill for 20-25 min.

  • Andrew L. Arruza

    Tried the recipe and it was great. Wife thought I had used real sausage.
    Did not use the wine and it was fine.

  • Duane in West Michigan

    I don’t drink or use wine in any way, shape or form. Since this recipe calls for some, what can I use in place of the dry white wine? Any other liquid or is it just flavoring of some sort?

    Just skip the wine or give the mixture a squirt (half a teaspoon) of lemon juice. ~Elise

  • Stacey Snacks

    I just made almost the same recipe, sans the mushrooms, and I used pork sausage.
    The results were fantastic!
    Great for a summer party!

  • Mélanie

    I found this recipe in Living a few years ago, for a Zucchini frittata.
    First you sauté the zucchini with some onions and herbs (thyme and rosemary). Then you add 4 whisked eggs (I like to add some low fat cream) and you bake it in the oven. It’s simple and healthy, so I made it quite often

  • Andrea

    I made this last night and it was absolutely fabulous! I am growing zucchini in my garden for the first time this year and will be making this recipe all summer!!

  • Rebecca

    Zucchini is one of my new favorite veggies and I’ve been trying lots of recipes with it to concinve my family of its greatness, too. We all liked this–even my picky brother! The only thing I did different was use dried herbs and a can of no-salt added diced tomatoes that I drained. Thanks for a great tasting recipe!

  • Anita

    If you wanted to add some spaghetti sauce, you could put some in the bottom of the zuchinni boat before you put the meat mixture in.

  • Lauren

    Hi Elise – I made this last night and it was fantastic! My husband and 2 year old both liked it so well they had seconds!

    I did substitute for the white wine, since I didn’t have any on hand and used dried rosemary, but the dish was great.

    I have only recently found your site, but I am cooking almost daily from it. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Daryl Stephens

    I tried this recipe last night, but I forgot about the water. It still turned out fine. Also I didn’t have some of the ingredients so I substituted with what I had on hand (parsley, Mrs. Dash, garlic powder instead of garlic cloves, canola oil instead of olive oil, etc.). But it turned out great. It ended up filling two large and two small zucchinis, so I’ll have some great leftovers for the next few days.

  • Paula

    This recipe is going in my Favorites folder. It’s terrific. The flavor combinations are perfect and the little boats come out so tender and juicy. I added some good dry bread crumbs with dots of butter just before putting in the over. The filling ingredients augment those tasty end-of-summer zuccs perfectly. Thanks Elise for passing it on.

  • Patricia

    The spaghetti sauce in the bottom would be a great addition, but to keep it from drying out or burning you will need to cover the dish with foil or place them in covered baking dish to keep the moisture in. This would be done the same way you would do stuffed peppers.

  • Elise

    Hi Sunny, I suspect that a thin layer of spaghetti sauce baked at 375°F for 40 minutes would dry out to a crisp and then start to burn. Water really is your best bet here.

  • Sunny

    This looks like a great meal. I was thinking that perhaps inlieu of water in the bottom of the pan, one might try a thin layer of spaghetti sauce(either homemade or jarred). It would still keep it moist and add another dimension to this receipe.

  • Elise

    Hi Kroole – Yes, you are reading the recipe correctly. The water boils away, helps keep the zucchini from drying out in the oven. You can see slightly different way to make it in the stuffed zucchini with ham and mushrooms recipe.

  • Krooie

    Am I reading the recipe correctly? When you bake the filled zucchini, do you place them directly in the 1/4 inch of water in the baking pan? I’m worried they’ll become mushy during baking.

    Other than this concern, this recipe sounds wonderfully flavorful!