This vegan stuffed zucchini is a hearty plant-based recipe that’s ready in less than 30 minutes. This recipe is perfect for summer when zucchini is cheaply available and it’s too hot to turn on the oven!
Stuffed veggies are always a great vegetarian or vegan main course idea. Not only are there a bajillion different veggies that are great for stuffing (like these no-bake vegan stuffed peppers), there’s also a bajillion different ways you can stuff each of them (like this Moroccan-spiced vegan stuffed squash).
Zucchini is a classic choice for stuffing and make for a dirt-cheap meal when they’re in season. If you’ve got a garden, lucky you! Zucchini plants are great producers and will keep you cheaply-fed all summer long!
I wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible so I made an easy filling of TVP, carrot and green pepper. I like using TVP to imitate a ground beef texture as it’s cheaper than buying a packaged veggie ground round product and it takes on the flavours of whichever spices you choose really well.
If you don’t like (or can’t find) TVP, you can just as easily use lentils or mashed extra-firm tofu in its place. I fried the TVP with onion, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, thyme and tomato sauce to give it a delicious taco meat-type flavour.
Now, most recipes for vegetarian and vegan stuffed zucchini call for baking them in the oven. That’s because they normally have cheese (either dairy or vegan) that needs to be melted. Since I don’t like using vegan cheese products (too expensive and fake), I realized that I could make these stuffed zucchini much quicker in the microwave.
It took about 8 minutes to cook the zucchini in the microwave and in the meantime I fried the vegetable and TVP filling. Once the zucchini were fork-tender, I scraped out the seeds and added them to the filling before stuffing them. To top them off I fried a couple more cloves of garlic with some breadcrumbs until toasty.
After sprinkling over the breadcrumbs I also added a few dollops of coconut yogurt. This is optional but really delicious! You could use a vegan sour cream, soy yogurt, cashew sour cream or something of the like or just keep them plain with the breadcrumb topping.
Vegan Stuffed Zucchini
- 1 cup (90 grams) TVP - $1.53
- 2 medium-large zucchini - $0.63
- Half a small onion diced - $0.16
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped - $0.32
- Half a green pepper diced - $0.24
- 1 small carrot diced - $0.14
- 1 ½ tablespoons smoked paprika - $0.16
- 1 teaspoon cumin - $0.05
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano - $0.10
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme - $0.10
- ½ teaspoon chili powder - $0.05
- ¼ cup tomato sauce - $0.10
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce - $0.02
- Salt and pepper to taste - $0.03
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - $0.10
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs - $0.06
- Optional: vegan sour cream, coconut or soy yogurt, cashew sour cream, chopped avocado
- Put the TVP in a bowl and cover with water. Set aside to soak.
- Pierce the zucchini all over with a knife and put them on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high in two minute increments, turning them over once, until they are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork (mine took about 8 minutes). Take them out and let them cool until you can handle them.
- In the meantime, heat a small pan over medium-high heat and add the onion, half the garlic and a splash of water (you can use oil if you prefer). Fry until tender. Add the green pepper and carrot, and more water if necessary, and fry until tender. Allow any extra water to simmer off and then add the herbs and spices. Fry, stirring, for 30 seconds to bring out the flavours of the spices.
- Drain the TVP (if necessary) and add it to the pan along with the tomato sauce and soy sauce. Mix well and cook until heated through. Taste and add salt and pepper if you think it’s necessary.
- Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat and add the remaining garlic. Once it’s tender and fragrant add the breadcrumbs and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
- Slice the zucchini in two and scoop out the middle. Chop this pulp and add it to the TVP filling. Stuff the zucchini halves with the filling and sprinkle over the toasted breadcrumbs. Dollop with vegan sour cream (or whatever) if using.
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