Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites

This is a guest post from Beth at Tasty Yummies:

We have a lot of zucchini over here. As a whole, my vegetable garden has been doing very well, but the zucchini has been doing exceptional. I feel like it’s all we eat lately and I have even given away so much.  I have been taking 1 or 2 zucchini to give away every time I see friends. Thankfully zucchini is my most favorite vegetable.

I have been trying to be as creative as I can be with all the zucchini, I’ve made a raw zucchini appetizer, I baked chocolate zuccini muffins, I have made more zucchini “pasta” than I would like to admit and the rest have been getting grilled.

Last weekend we had dinner plans with Meg and Todd from Beard & Bonnet, who live just around the corner from us and I offered to make something with my homegrown zucchini. Besides being insanely excited to have another food blogger nearby, one who I happen to have a ton in common with, I was also super excited to eat at another gluten-free household where I could be certain everything was 100% safe to eat! Really made for an extra special night.

Meg was making her delicious homemade falafel, so I came up with these Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites. They have so much flavor and they are easy to make, I pre-stuffed the zucchini and popped them in the oven when we got to their house. We ate a few before dinner as appetizers and served the rest as a side dish with our meal. If your zucchini is small enough, these bites are the perfect size for picking up with your fingers and popping into your mouth.

What is your favorite way to eat zucchini?

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites – Gluten-free + Vegan
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer or 2 to 4 as a side dish

2 medium-sized zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little extra, if need be
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, in oil, roughly chopped + some of the oil they are packed in
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced or roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper or a silpat.

Slice off the tops and bottoms of your zucchinis, and then cut them into 1 to 1 1/2-inch long segments. Stand each segment up on one of the cut sides, and use a melon baller (or spoon) to remove the center flesh. Be careful not to scoop all the way through the bottom and create a hole (if you do make a small one, it’ll be fine). Arrange the hollowed-out zucchini pieces onto your prepared baking sheet so that they’re ready to go. Set aside.

Heat up the olive oil in a small sauce pan, add in the onion and garlic, sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes, then add the quinoa. Stir it around and let the quinoa get coated in a little oil and let it toast up for a minute.  Add in your liquid (broth or water), thyme and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, take the temperature down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, chop your mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. After the quinoa is cooked, add it to a medium sized bowl. In the same pan you cooked the quinoa in, add a little more olive oil if need be and quickly sauté the mushrooms, just a couple of minutes until they are soft.

Add the mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and the fresh basil to the quinoa. Stir everything together add salt and pepper, to taste. I like to add some of the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes to the stuffing, maybe 1 tablespoon or two. You could also just use a little more olive oil.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared zucchini pieces, letting it mound up as much as you’d like. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the stuffing is lightly browned and the zucchini is slightly tender (you don’t want them to get overcooked or they will be too mushy and be hard to eat).

Hi! I am Beth, the lady behind the blog Tasty Yummies. I am a yoga-obsessed graphic designer, illustrator and printmaker living in Southern California with my hubby and business partner, Mark, our mini bull terrier, Seri and two cats Indie and Jpeg. I have been gluten-free for nearly 9 years after finding I had an intolerance. In addition to a fully gluten-free diet, over 3 years ago I decided to make a huge lifestyle change and cut out all processed and packaged foods and quickly lost 30lbs and recently in the last year, I also cut out dairy. I consider myself to be a “conscientious omnivore”, though I eat a mostly vegan diet. I love cooking and I love sharing my food with the people I love.

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook.

10 Responses to Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Bites

  • Beth, these zucchini bites are just gorgeous! I love the ingredients and the creative display. I will definitely be making these soon!


    Beth @ Tasty Yummies Reply:

    @Heather @Gluten-Free Cat, Thanks so much Heather!!


  • These were so amazing that even my kids couldn’t quit popping them into their mouths! At one point my daughter was walking around with a plate full of these. I am so happy to have the recipe now, thanks Beth!!


    Beth @ Tasty Yummies Reply:

    @Meg @ Beard and Bonnet, I am so glad you guys all liked them so much, Eliza seriously made my whole day with her sweet compliment. Nothing like the pressure of making a new recipe for a fellow food-loving blogger friend, I cannot wait to test other recipes out on you :)


  • Donna says:

    I think I’m going to try these for our Church potluck this Sunday. I love how they look and how healthy. Nice to have something for everyone to eat with special diets. I love to make zucchini cranberry muffins. The sour from the cranberries is a nice combo with the zucchini.


    Beth @ Tasty Yummies Reply:

    @Donna, yay! I hope you like them. I agree, I love recipes like this that work for basically everyone! Yum those muffins sounds amazing!!!


  • Erin S. says:

    I don’t usually eat zucchini but this sounds like the kind of recipe that I wouldn’t mind eating them. Thanks for posting!


  • aubrey says:

    I made these for a dinner party appetizer and they were a hit. They were all gone and everyone commented on how deliciously healthy they are, not heavy like some appetizers can be. will make this again. Thanks!


  • Jennifer says:

    I’m making these for an open house tomorrow. Do you know if I make them the night before how they will last until tomorrow evening?
    Thank you they look wonderful.


  • Rae says:

    Made these for Thanksgiving, and oh my … incredible!! A huge hit with the family. Thank you thank you thank you!!!


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