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Provençal-style Stuffed Zucchini

Provençal-style Stuffed Zucchini

Any gorgeous variety of zucchini from the market can work in this recipe. And who doesn’t love stuffed zucchini? We bake these until the zucchini is nicely cooked through. If you need the crumbs to brown a little more, fire up the broiler for a minute at the end.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 2 cups (about 2 ounces) diced French baguette or other crusty bread, preferably day-old (1/2-inch dice)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 small zucchini (each about 7 inches long and 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches wide)
  • 4 ounces fresh lean mild pork sausage
  • 3/4 cup minced onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes)


  • Pulse the diced bread in a food processor until you have an even mix of fine and coarse crumbs. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the parsley leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper, and process until evenly mixed. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumb mixture for the filling. Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil into the remaining breadcrumbs, transfer the mixture to a small container, and set it aside. (Alternatively, you can use store-bought fine fresh crumbs: Combine 3/4 cup breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Set aside 2 tablespoons, and mix 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil into the remainder.)

  • Lay the zucchini on a flat work surface, and using a sharp knife, slice off the top quarter of each squash lengthwise. Next, slice a sliver off the bottom of each squash to help keep it stable. Using a small melon baller or spoon, remove the inner flesh from the zucchini to form a small boat shape, leaving a shell that is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut the zucchini pulp into 1/4-inch dice, and reserve it separately. Lightly salt the inside of the zucchini shells with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set them, hollow side down, on paper towels to drain while you prepare the filling.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. Add the sausage and sauté until it is golden, using a spoon to break it into small pieces, about 6 minutes. Add the onions and cook until they are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chopped zucchini and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, and cook, stirring, until the moisture has evaporated and the filling comes together, 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the reserved 2 tablespoons breadcrumb mixture, and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • Rub the outside of the zucchini with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Turn the zucchini hollow side up, and lightly pat the insides with paper towels. Using a tablespoon or other small spoon, fill the zucchini with the warm filling. Top with the reserved breadcrumbs. Lay the zucchini in a baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on top.

Recipe Details