Italian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe Just Like Mama Used to Make - 2 Dads with Baggage
Plated Italian stuffed zucchini plated with roasted cherry tomatoes

Italian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe Just Like Mama Used to Make

My mom was a resourceful cook, creating delicious meals with limited resources. She grew up in a poor family of Sicilian immigrants, and learned to cook from my nana by adapting recipes from the Old Country to more modern American ingredients. Mom taught me many of her secrets, and I’m happy to share with you one of our family favorites – her Italian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe.

preparing globe zucchini for stuffing
Any type of zucchini can be used, and we like globe zucchinis because they look so cool.

Summer is the perfect time to make this dish, since zucchini is in abundance at farmers markets and backyard vegetable gardens. Although you can make this recipe with any type of zucchini, I found the globe zucchini variety at our local Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market. They are fun to hollow out and use as natural cups to hold all the cheesy goodness. However, the recipe works just as well with regular zucchini – just make sure you get them large enough to work with.

Hollowed out fresh zucchini ready for stuffing
Hollowed zucchini are ready for stuffing with deliciousness!

Italian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Start with four good size zucchini. Whether you have globe zucchini or the regular type, hollow them out like you would a pumpkin at Halloween. Set aside the insides – we will use them in the recipe.

stuffed globe zucchini
Hollowing out globe zucchinis, we stuff them with a mixture of sausage, mushrooms, cheese and other goodness.

How to Make this Italian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Serves 4

Mom would plop the hollowed zucchini in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes to soften them. I have skipped this step once or twice when making this dish. It really depends on whether you want to enjoy the finished product with a knife and fork, or more softened like a casserole.

Italian sausage crumbles browning in a frying pan
Brown the sausage first, crumbling the pieces into small morsels.

Gather the following ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini (globe or regular)
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 medium (or 1 large) portobello mushroom, cubed
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (mom made her own but who has time for that?!?)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (I used a mix of Italian cheeses readymade from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup romano cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  • 2 tbs chopped basil
  • salt and pepper to taste


portobello mushroom ingredients
Any mushrooms can be used in this recipe, and we prefer portobellos for their flavor and flair.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take the sausage out of its casing, crumble and fry in a pan with oil, onions and garlic.
  3. Add mushroom and insides of zucchini, cooking until just tender.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sausage mixture with the bread crumbs, cheese, egg, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.
  5. Stuff the zucchini until heaping, and place in a greased baking dish.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until tender.
  7. Serve with a dash of parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh basil.
Print Recipe
Italian stuffed zucchini ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

Mangia! Now you have made one of our family’s favorites – our Italian Stuffed Zucchini recipe!

Along side this delicious Italian Stuffed Zucchini recipe, think of serving something colorful and fresh. You can roast cherry or plum tomatoes in the pan with the stuffed zucchini if that sounds good to you. Just toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and then place in the tomatoes in the bottom of the same pan to roast in the oven.

red colander filled with yellow and red cherry tomatoes
Bake some colorful cherry tomatoes in the same roasting pan as a delicious side dish.

Or if you can find those meaty, delicious heirloom tomatoes at the market, serve those sliced with some buffalo mozzarella. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Then top with slices of fresh basil. Sooooo summery and delicious!

And if you like zucchini, try our authentic Pasta with Zucchini Blossoms recipe!

rototilling the vegetable garden 1971
Mom was willing to tackle anything when I was growing up, including this rototiller sesh getting our vegetable patch ready for planting zucchini and more.



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    12 thoughts on “Italian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe Just Like Mama Used to Make

    1. I’m going to try this recipe tonight. One question: recipe says to bake for 125-30 minutes. Is it really 2 hours, or is that a typo?

      1. Hi Sherry – Thanks for catching that! It’s a typo and should be 25-30 minutes. Hope it comes out well!

    2. Dinner’s NOT going to be late tonight with your gorgeous (and easy) recipe for stuffed zucchini. Added oregano and red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Yum-OLA! Love your show — keep it going!

      1. So glad you liked it, and now we have new ingredient ideas to add! Keep watching for more good stuff ahead.

      1. She did make a stuffed eggplant, but I don’t have the recipe because I did not love it. Now her eggplant parmigiana…..

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