When life hands you zucchini, we say stuff it. That's certainly the advice of our Allrecipes community of home cooks, and it looks like they've got the right idea for using summer's most popular squash. Read on for top tips from the community for prepping, stuffing, cooking, and serving stuffed zucchini.
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Stuffed Zucchini
Credit: naples34102

To make our #1 top-rated stuffed zucchini recipe, fresh zucchini is sliced lengthwise and scooped out to form "boats," which are then filled with sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and the seeds you scooped out. Then everything is covered with prepare spaghetti sauce and baked under foil for 45 minutes. Finally you peel back the foil, sprinkle mozzarella over the top and bake until the cheese is melted.

Pretty straightforward, wouldn't you say? Well, our community of passionate home cooks offered up their own tips and tricks for making this recipe so it turns out just the way they want it. Take a look and see if they answer some questions you might have about cooking this recipe yourself.

How to Make Stuffed Zucchini: Top Tips from Home Cooks

1. Precook large zucchini before stuffing.

"In order for the zucchini boats not to be undercooked, (ie. crunchy) they should be baking in the oven while the stuffing is prepared." - MyVintageMommy

"If you have problems with crunchy zucchini, split them lengthwise and par boil them before scraping centers, stuffing and baking them. This works well on larger zucchini and makes scraping centers much easier. Do not over cook, 2 minutes usually does it. I have used this method for 23 years and this step makes the recipe much easier." - Pat Nelson

"Pre-cooking depends on the size of the zuck you're using. If it's a small or medium size zuck there is no need to pre-cook. 45 mins in the oven in enough time for it to cook to perfection. Perhaps if you're using a really large size zucchini from someone's garden then I can see pre-cooking a bit. If you do pre-cook be sure to put a wee bit of water in the dish." - lakelady

"You can solve the problem of underbaked boats by par-baking them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Just salt and pepper them and add a splash of olive oil to the hollowed-out zucchini." - bakergirl

"After halving the zucchini I microwaved them for a few minutes to pre-cook them a bit." - naples34102

2. No need to precook small zucchini.

"I used regular little zucchinis and found they were cooked perfectly after 40 mins." - CarolineC

"Would suggest using smaller zucchini as bigger ones are tough and stringy" - bakergirl

"Scraped the zucchini pretty thin so I wouldn't have a cooking issue " - Ginny Blesener

3. Change up the fillings to make it a little healthier.

"I usually saute' the sausage just a little to get rid of some of the fat before mixing with other ingredients and baking." - lakelady

"I used turkey Italian sausage instead of the pork sausage, for a slightly healthier twist." - Malissa

"I did change it up a little to make it healthier. I used lean ground beef instead of the pork and I used brown rice instead of bread crumbs." - abanaszak

"I used chicken sausage instead of pork and used egg as a binder instead of bread crumbs. Still very good but cuts down on the carbs and fat quite a bit." - Tamara

4. Change up the flavors.

"I used a little less than a pound of sausage and used panko bread crumbs and added some onion and sun-dried tomatoes to the sausage mixture. I thought these turned out great." - Monica

"I made this but added olives and fresh mushrooms and it turned out excellent." - scout

"I made this with turkey burger and used pizza sauce. Turned out delicious! Added more onion and garlic and omitted the bread crumbs. Great thing to do with extra zuks from the garden!" - ChristieJean

"This dish was excellent. We used sweet and mild pork sausage and vodka sauce. We also added mushrooms and French onion topping." - aundreal12

"I added some chopped onions, extra garlic, Italian seasoning, and fresh basil. I always use turkey sausage, but made it like the recipe. My family loved it. Will make again and again." - Eileen H

"I added extra vegetables that I needed to use up. . .mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers, fresh tomatoes instead of the sauce. I eliminated the bread crumbs to lower the carbs and added ricotta cheese to give it a lasagna twist." - ponyexprz

"I made a vegetarian version of it and I omitted the sausage. Instead, I added some sauteed onion and sauteed red bell pepper, and some corn kernels and mixed that with the rest of the ingredients." - Alexandra Bourne

"I made this with beef chorizo and it was scrumptious as well!" - Melissa

5. Ovens are optional.

"I've done it on the gas grill using a grill tray and foil. Cook the zucchini boats covered with foil about 30 minutes. Top with mozzarella and drizzle with warm sauce. - Deb Vrsansky

6. Zucchini are optional, too?

"Delicious and easy! It was tasty despite the fact that my husband bought cucumbers instead of zucchini :-D. I bet it is even better when made with the proper vegetable base!" - crazy14hoops

7. Try these serving suggestions:

"I served it over orzo pasta." - Monica

"We had this with spaghetti and a green salad and it went really well with it. " - Allison M.

"I served this over some brown rice and it was yummy!" - Melanie Wolfe

"It was delicious on basmati rice, but I would like to try it with angel hair pasta as suggested." - Sherri