Are you ready for a Dinner Diva original recipe? This blend of homegrown zucchini and both Vietnamese and Thai flavors creates a lighter version of a classic baked Italian-stuffed squash. No marinara sauce needed here!

Baked Stuffed Squash Recipe

This lighter version a classic baked Italian-stuffed squash is delicious!

This lighter version a classic baked Italian-stuffed squash is delicious!

My initial inspiration for this squash recipe came from a dish I found on Food & Wine’s website.

Step 1: Prepare the zucchini for stuffing by cutting each squash in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds and most of the flesh, leaving a hollow shell.

Step 2: Steam the prepared zucchini, cut-side down, using a basket steamer on your stove top. Cook until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Step 3: Make the meat filling, using this recipe, as your guide.

Dinner Diva tips:

  • Use any ground meat of your choice: beef, chicken, pork or turkey, or any combination.
  • Lemongrass paste can be substituted for fresh lemongrass, which may be difficult to find in some areas.

Step 4: Add additional binder for texture. Use your choice of cooked quinoa, brown rice, barley, organic red rice or wild rice pilaf. I used 1 cup of cooked quinoa when I made mine.

Step 5: Fill the zucchini “boats” with the desired amount of meat filling. Bake on a cookie sheet or in a casserole dish at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.

Step 6: Add a sauce when ready to serve.

  • Option 1: To keep the Asian theme, use a sweet-chili sauce. You can buy a prepared sauce at an Asian market or make your own. It’s super-easy! See the recipe here.
  • Option 2: Mix together equal portions of jalapeño jelly and prepared hoisin sauce. Microwave to melt jelly or heat on stovetop.
  • Option 3: Top with your favorite BBQ sauce.
  • Option 4: Top with your favorite Italian Marinara Sauce & parmesan cheese.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy zucchini? Share via Facebook, Twitter, Google + or any of my other social media accounts!

Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: for more info.