Stuff It! 26 Ways with Stuffed Vegetables
Stuffed Vegetable Recipes
Here’s a brilliant way to easily incorporate veggies into even the pickiest eater’s diet. Zucchini, winter squash, bell peppers, eggplants, mushrooms, and more are fair game for stuffed ingredients such as roasted chicken and quinoa, a blanket of melted cheese, and crisp breadcrumbs sprinkled over top. Read on for our stuffed vegetable recipe collection full of speedy cooking shortcuts, prep tips, and simple substitutions.
First up: We broil the bell peppers for a sweet char, then fill them with Israeli couscous, shredded rotisserie chicken, fresh herbs, lemon, spices, and goat cheese. While this recipe calls for eight peppers, you’ll actually only need four. So, slice the remaining broiled peppers and use in pastas or salads throughout the week.
Stuffed Zucchini with Cheesy Breadcrumbs
This zero-waste recipe repurposes scooped-out zucchini pulp in the filling, adding it to onion, artichoke hearts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs. Pair with a simple soup, such as Creamy Tomato Soup for a complete meal.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños
Ditch the deep-fryer for the grill in this lightened version of the typically breaded and fried party favorite. While our recipe cuts calories, fat, and sodium, we’ve still managed to sneak in crumbled bacon and plenty of cheesy goodness.
Grilled Bean and Cheese Stuffed Poblanos
Grilling the peppers over blazing flames not only saves countless time in the kitchen, but it also results in a blackened, sweet-charred skin. Round out this recipe with creamy-crunchy-tangy Spicy Jicama Slaw on the side.
Quinoa-Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes with Romesco
Vibrant heirloom tomatoes are the perfect vessels for a simple filling of quinoa, chickpeas, and fresh-herbs. For a stunning presentation, serve the tomato tops alongside. The accompanying romesco sauce, made from roasted red peppers, garlic, and almonds, also works beautifully as a sauce for mild white fish.
Shiitake-Stuffed Butternut with Quinoa Streusel
Naturally-sweet butternut squash takes on an umami-packed filling of shiitake mushrooms, fresh ginger, garlic, and spinach. Toasted quinoa flakes and panko top the stuffed squash for added texture. On the side, we top broccolini with lime rind to balance the plate.
Stuffed Roasted Bell Peppers (Poivrons Farci)
Small bell peppers work best for this Mediterranean-inspired appetizer. After they’re prepped, the peppers are stuffed with sliced fresh mozzarella, topped with umami-rich anchovy fillets and olives, and drizzled with thyme-infused olive oil.
Ingredient tip: While a bit pricier, we recommend Ortiz anchovies (3½-ounce jar)—they aren’t as fishy as other brands.
Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish
Think of this recipe as destructed falafel, sans deep-fryer. We combine the ingredients of the classic Middle Eastern dish—chickpeas, bold spices, tahini, and breadcrumbs—and bake it inside hollowed out eggplants until golden brown. To finish the dish, we drizzle over a honey-tahini sauce and add a scoop of tangy tomato-cucumber-red onion relish.
Jasmine Rice-Stuffed Peppers
The filling in these simple stuffed peppers is a perfect exercise in building flavors—cooking the jasmine rice with onion, garlic, jalapeno, and chicken broth enhances its flavor, while using two types of ground meat lends complexity. Last but certainly not least, melted Parmesan cheese over top ties all the flavors together.
Summery Stuffed Poblanos
Don’t let the recipe title discourage you from making these delicious stuffed peppers in chilly weather—if you can’t find fresh corn, use frozen. Speed up prep by making the rice ahead of time or by using any leftover grain in your refrigerator. We love nutty pine nuts, but if cost is an issue, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are a great substitute.
Mexican Stuffed Poblanos
Poblano peppers are stuffed with a delicious combination of pinto beans, bulgur, and topped with fresh tomatoes and Mexican flavors for a delicious meal.
Here’s another lightened take on this popular appetizer. We’ve mixed Greek yogurt into the filling to lower the fat while keeping a smooth and creamy texture. Instead of crumbling the bacon, we keep it whole to ensure you get a satisfyingly salty bite with each stuffed jalapeño half.
Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Dried ancho chile is the star ingredient in this recipe, infusing the tomato sauce that tops the peppers with a complex flavor reminiscent of dark chocolate. Note that the chiles take time to prep, but they’re worth the effort. After they’re rehydrated in water, make sure to remove the stem and seeds (leave some if you like a little heat) from the chiles before blending.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad
The microwave steams the zucchini halves in just a few minutes, giving you time to start the filling on the stovetop. Simply stuff the cooked zucchini, top with fresh mozzarella and homemade breadcrumbs, then flash under the broiler for melty-crispy bliss. If you have time, make the side tomato salad in advance to allow the flavors to develop.
This speedy recipe is full of clever shortcuts. Jarred tomato sauce adds a quick flavor hit to the fillings, while steaming the bell peppers in the microwave beforehand significantly cuts down on bake time in the oven.
Persian Rice-Stuffed Zucchini with Pistachios and Dill
Persian rice, a popular Middle Eastern dish, is characterized by the caramelized bits that form on the bottom of the pan during cooking. Our recipe mimics this effect using the broiler, which is used to create a crunchy crust over the filling inside the zucchini.
Sausage and Rice-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is delicious on its own, but a stuffing of sausage, brown rice, and Parmesan cheese elevates its nutty-sweet flavor. We especially love how tart dried cranberries lend texture and balance the richness of the filling.
Plank-Grilled Zucchini with Couscous, Spinach, and Feta Stuffing
Grilling zucchini over a cedar plank gives smokiness that enhances its mildly sweet flavor. Even when time is short, don’t skip the step of soaking the plank beforehand—this will prevent it from burning on the grill. Use the largest zucchini possible to prevent the filling from spilling out while cooking.
Golden nugget squash resembles a small pumpkin in color and shape—acorn squash is a good substitute if necessary. Our recipe uses hot Italian turkey sausage as the main filling ingredient, but any lean, ground meat will work. For a whimsical presentation, serve the top half of the squash alongside the stuffed half.
Bacon and Ricotta-Stuffed Mushrooms
These crowd-pleasing stuffed ‘shrooms pack two cheeses, crumbled bacon, and fresh thyme. You can fill the mushroom caps in advance, but don’t sprinkle the panko mixture over top until ready to bake.
Stuffed Savoy Cabbage with Tomato Sauce
This hearty recipe comes from James Beard Award-winning chef Andrea Reusing. As her go-to weeknight family dinner, she assembles the cabbage rolls in the morning and bakes them in the evening. Highly-satisfying and sure to please picky palates, this recipe is also a foolproof way to sneak veggies into your kids’ diets.
Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Prevent these cheesy, tomato and rosemary-stuffed portobello caps from sticking by spraying a liberal coat of cooking spray on the grill. Round out this recipe with grilled chicken breasts, or sandwich the Portobello between two sturdy bun halves, piling with crisp bibb lettuce and other accoutrements.
Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn, and Green Chiles
Quinoa, corn, and poblano peppers combine for a spicy-sweet stuffing inside hollowed-out tomatoes. Save any extra filling and repurpose as a grain salad for a quick and healthy lunch during the week.
Pepita Pesto-Stuffed Mushrooms
These pesto-filled, two-bite cremini mushrooms are perfect as an appetizer or as a side to grilled chicken or steak. The spicy Mexican-inspired pesto combines parsley, cilantro, pepitas, crushed red pepper and Cojita cheese for an innovative take on the traditional Italian recipe.
Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
Delicate, bitter-flavored endive is dressed up with a single orange section, toasted walnuts, goat cheese (or blue if you prefer), and a drizzle of orange, honey, and balsamic-infused syrup. Perfect for a holiday fete, each bite of this balanced recipe packs a burst of tangy, salty, and sweet flavors.
Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Summer is prime season for squash blossoms, the flowering part of the zucchini—look for them at your local farmers' market. Handle these fragile beauties with care, using tweezers to gently pull out the pollen-producing anther before stuffing with the cheese mixture. Store unstuffed blossoms at room temperature, as they are too delicate for the refrigerator.