Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini (Zucchin-izza) Recipe

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 zuchinni 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.

Also, if your child is dairy free, skip the cheese or use a casein-free option. 

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! 

  • 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 cheese (dairy-free or other)

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 cheese or  dairy-free cheese (if you are casein-free).

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

Makes 4 servings.

Hi, I’m Julie Matthews, a Certified Nutrition Consultant, Author, and Published Researcher. I teach parents and practitioners that children with autism, ADHD, and related disorders can improve and heal, and that there’s hope for their children. Then I educate and empower them to make strategic dietary changes that positively affect children’s health, which in turn helps their learning and behavior. With 17 years of experience and my unique range of knowledge, from nutrition research and clinical experience to cooking in the kitchen for my own family, I’ve created a much-needed community for parents and practitioners looking to help children with autism live happy, healthy lives. Join us.

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One response to “Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini (Zucchin-izza) Recipe”

  1. Melody J Wiggins says:

    Hi Julie,
    I love your recipes. The stuffed Zucchini is a favorite as well as spaghetti squash.

    Stay safe and well

    Melody

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