Chicken and Cheese Stuffed ZucchiniJuly 4, 2010 • By Tara Ziegmont
The last time we went to the beach, we came home to a dead garden. It had been quite hot during the week we were gone, and the plants simply baked.
We wanted to keep our fledgling garden alive when we went to the beach this year, especially in light of the dozens of tomato and squash blossoms emerging in the days before we left. It wasn’t an easy task, but Joe installed a sprinkler and a timer set for 6:30 am every day.
It wasn’t easy because the water hook-up on the outside of the house leaks, and Joe had to repair it before we could leave it open for the whole week. It wasn’t anything that Joe couldn’t handle (fortunately!).
Joe’s work paid off. The sprinkler watered the garden every day, as we intended, and we came home on Saturday to find all sorts of garden bounty. The plants are huge and lush.
We found innumerable green tomatoes, a dozen orange and red peppers, green beans, peas, squashes, and much more.
Best of all, in my opinion, were six zucchinis and summer squashes ready to pluck and eat. As soon as I saw them, I knew I wanted to make my favorite summertime recipe, cheese stuffed zucchini.
I asked Joe what he’d like to have to go with the stuffed zucchini, and he said hamburgers. Grace wanted chicken. Neither sounded good to me.
The more I thought about it, I decided to alter my recipe to make it into a meal rather than a side dish.
Here’s what I did:
Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 cup basmati rice prepared according to package directions (Any rice will do; basmati is our favorite.)
- 3 8-oz pkg cream cheese softened (I used low fat.)
- 1.5 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 19.5-ounce shredded chicken approximately 20 ounces of any chicken will work nicely
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- spaghetti sauce optional
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cut zucchini in half and scoop out the seeds. Discard, or feed to your worms in the basement. Scoop out some flesh to make a shell. Grate and set aside.
- Place zucchini shells in a baking dish and cook for 10 minutes in the microwave.
- Preheat a tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion for 3 to 5 minutes, add zucchini and continue to saute until tender.
- Combine rice, cream cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic, and onion and grated zucchini in a large mixing bowl. Add in shredded chicken and mozzarella cheese. Mix until well blended.
- Use a spoon or scoop to fill the precooked zucchini shells in the baking dish.
- Cook in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until filling is hot and beginning to brown.
- Cool slightly before serving.
- Serve with spaghetti sauce on the side.
© 2010 – 2020, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.