3 Healthy & Easy Zucchini Recipes Your Family Will LOVE

Written by Cristina Powell, PN1, ME-3, CMS

Easy Zucchini Recipes

If you’re a gardener or friends with one, you likely know zucchini season is upon us. Most gardeners I know both love and hate this time of year. Oh, the bounty of vegetables! Followed by… but what in the world can I do with ALL OF THESE ZUCCHINIS?! Don’t worry! I have you covered with 3 easy zucchini recipes that will help clear the overabundance of zucchinis from your garden or countertops (or from your local farmers market) to get them where they belong—in your belly! But first, let’s talk about the vast benefits of this bountiful vegetable.

When we think of green vegetables, most of us think of dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, collards, and the like, but zucchini is HUGE when it comes to packing vitamins and minerals. Zucchini is rich in B-complex vitamins, folate, B6, B1, B2, B3, and choline, as well as minerals like zinc and magnesium, which are all valuable in ensuring healthy blood sugar regulation. It also contains essential minerals such as iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

It is one of those super low-calorie foods that can fit into pretty much any diet plan (keto, paleo, low carb, etc.), and it is also high in fiber and has no cholesterol or unhealthy fats. Zucchinis also supply flavonoid antioxidants like zeaxanthin, carotenes, and lutein, which support healthy aging and may prevent diseases by zapping free radicals.

What’s more, zucchini is also a wonderful source of potassium, shown to help moderate blood pressure levels and support heart health. That’s why we thought it was so important to share these easy zucchini recipes.

Fun fact: A zucchini has more potassium than a banana.

Unfortunately, most Americans have gotten caught up in the false notion that bigger is better, but when it comes to the zucchini, that isn’t necessarily the case. The small and medium-sized zucchinis are actually more flavorful, less dense, and have less seeds.

One other thing worth noting is that it may be wise to select an organically grown variety of zucchini or purchase from a local farmers market, if you are not growing your own garden. A good deal of zucchini grown in the United States has been genetically modified, so this is the only way to know for sure that yours is non-GMO.

Here are three of my favorite easy zucchini recipes. Once you give these a try, you may even wish you had more zucchinis!

3 Easy Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini Jalapeno Poppers

1. Zucchini Jalapeno Poppers (Keto Friendly)

Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchinis, halved crosswise
  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (reserve 1 Tbsp for topping)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice off both ends of zucchini and discard.
  3. To prevent cutting all the way through the zucchini, place a chopstick on either side of zucchini. Carefully slice every quarter inch, leaving the bottom of the zucchini intact (with the chopsticks as guides). Repeat with remaining zucchini.
  4. Place zucchini on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until pliable, 10 minutes.
  5. While the zucchini is cooking, start to make the filling: combine the cream cheese, ½ cup mozzarella, cheddar, bacon, jalapeño, and garlic powder and mix well.
  6. Remove zucchini from oven and stuff jalapeño mixture between each slice.
  7. Top with remaining ½ cup of mozzarella and bacon.
  8. Place back into the oven, and bake until cheese is melted (about 6 to 8 minutes).
  9. Garnish with parsley.
  10. Enjoy! (this is on my favorite of the easy zucchini recipes)

Nutrition Information:
Yields 12 appetizer servings

  • Calories: 118
  • Fat: 9.7 g
  • Carbs: 2.5 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: .6 g
  • Protein: 5.9 g

Zucchini Burrito Boats

2. Zucchini Burrito Boats (Vegetarian)

Ingredients:

  • 4 large zucchinis
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup salsa
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeno, cored and diced
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese

Directions:

  1. Start by greasing a 9 x 13” casserole dish and then set aside.
  2. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise.
  3. Using a melon baller or metal teaspoon, hollow out the center of each zucchini.
  4. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish.
  5. Add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salsa, chili powder, and cumin and mix together in a skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes (until warm) and then remove skillet from the heat.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°F and then stir in 1/4 cup of the cilantro and salt to taste to the filling.
  7. Fill the inside of each zucchini with the filling.
  8. Top each one with a sprinkle of cheese and then arrange them in the baking dish and cover with foil.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and set the oven to broil.
  10. Cook them for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  11. Garnish with cilantro.

Chef Tip: Take the help when you can get it! I would prefer not to chop up peppers, onions, and tomatoes when I can open a jar of salsa and get exactly what I want. With this or any of my easy zucchini recipes, I also used another shortcut and took the help from a guy named Uncle Ben and grabbed a pre-cooked brown rice, which saved the step of cooking the rice. Another option is to cook your rice ahead of time while doing your weekly meal prep.

Nutrition Information:
Yields 4 servings

  • Calories: 514
  • Fat: 16.8 g
  • Carbs: 74.8 g
  • Sugar: 9.4 g
  • Fiber: 12.2 g
  • Protein: 22.1 g

Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups

3. Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 15 oz container ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups marinara
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease a sheet pan with 1 Tbsp oil and set aside.
  3. Slice zucchini into 1/8” thick slices.
  4. Lay zucchini slices on greased sheet pan and oven roast for 10 – 12 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, egg, and salt and pepper until combined.
  6. Remove the zucchini from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before handling.
  7. In a 9 x 13 casserole dish, spread some homemade tomato sauce on the bottom.
  8. To assemble this easy zucchini recipe, place a zucchini strip on a flat surface. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture over each individual zucchini strip. Top with a tablespoon of marinara sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Roll up the filled zucchini strip, and place in the casserole dish. Repeat. Drizzle the remaining amount of sauce over the rolls and finish with a sprinkle on each with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  9. Bake uncovered for 20 – 25 minutes at 400 degrees F or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Nutrition Information:
Yields 4 servings

  • Calories: 400
  • Fat: 21.4 g
  • Carbs: 30.6 g
  • Sugar: 16.8 g
  • Fiber: 6.8 g
  • Protein: 23.7 g
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