Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini (Zucchin-izza)


We continue the food and garden chronicles here at Nourishing Hope. Our garden, to say the very least, has been a place of comfort, fun, learning, memories, and deliciousness for me and my family. 

I know there can be some intimidation around starting a garden. But trust me when I say you can start small and really create something successful. 

Today, I’m sharing a delicious and kid approved recipe for ground beef stuffed zucchini. 

I love this recipe so much, not only because my LO (little one) Ruby loved it, but because it’s easily tailored to accommodate food restrictions and allergies. The fact that we have been able to grow a ton of zucchini also adds to the fun of it.

To be frank, Ruby was not super convinced about trying zucchini but she was a sport about it. Ruby is actually low-histamine, so I only included one fresh tomato. 

**If you are truly following a low histamine diet, I recommend avoiding tomatoes altogether. 

Turns out, the whole dish was a hit and she asked for it for dinner a second night! Definitely a win in my book. 

And now she’s had it so many times, I’m becoming an expert at making it and can whip it up quickly. It’s a kid-friendly favorite!

She calls this dish Zucchin-izza (pronounced Zucchin-itza) because it tastes like zucchini pizza – It’s a great meal for a grain-free diet and Paleo folks.

Picky Eater Tip

Name, or have your child, name the new dish something fun. Now, not only does she love the taste, but she giggles every time she mentions it because of the clever name she came up with.

Finding a creative way to prepare vegetables by making them tasty and a good texture, can turn a mushy vegetable they don’t like into something they’ll love. 

Something I’ve learned over the years is that it is common for kids not to like something the first or even second time they try it. I can’t say it enough, don’t give up! They need time to build their taste buds and familiarity just like we do. Don’t be discouraged and avoid that food forever. As I teach parents in my Nourishing Hope for Healing Kids program, the research shows you may have to offer a food 8-15 times. Try again. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Pro-Gardening Tip

Sometimes your zucchini can get really large. When they do, they tend to get a slightly off kilter texture, particularly the center where the seeds are. This recipe is perfect since you scoop the seeds and center out, and you won’t toss any produce out!

Diet Compliance Notes 

For the low oxalate diet, avoid pepper or use white pepper in its place, and use 1/2 cup of a low oxalate tomato such as big beef or brandwine.

For keto diet complaint, limit to one medium zucchini.

Avoid the optional dairy-free cheese unless compliant with your diet.


  • 4 zucchinis
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • Dash of pepper
  • Optional: dairy-free cheese 


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Cut the ends off zucchini – just the very ends, not too much so that it will hold its “boat shape.” Scoop out center seeds and carve a boat.

Boil zucchini for 3-4 minutes depending on size and thickness, so they soften and cook about half way. 

Heat pan, and brown ground beef. When close to done, add onion, garlic and tomato, as well as salt.

Cook for a few minutes until the tomato is cooked down and the onion and garlic get fragrant.

Place zucchini halves on a roasting pan, fill with cooked ground beef mixture.

Optional step is to sprinkle on dairy-free cheese.

Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and/or top is a bit browned.

Makes 4 servings.
Takes 40 minutes

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


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