De Ma Cuisine



May 2013



Zoo Boats (Roasted Stuffed Squash) – Episode 68

Written by , Posted in A Cooking Show with Rachel O, Abundant Harvest Organics, Baking, Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Main Dishes, Rice, Sides, This Week's Feast, Vegetables, Vegetarian


As a kid, I remember my mom making Zucchini Bread. She called it “Zoo Bread”. I wonder if she thought that if we didn’t hear the word “zucchini” we might eat it. We did. However, I don’t remember feeling fooled… I think we might have known what was in it. We liked it because it was good.




Today I’m making Roasted Stuffed Squash. But, if it helps anyone in your home to eat them without a fuss, you are welcome to call them “Zoo Boats”.

Or maybe if someone thinks they don’t like squash, but gets to help scoop out the middle, they will be so proud of themselves that they will insist on eating some. Insist.

I used leftover rice. Quinoa would also be delicious (and would add more protein). Adding Italian sausage or ground beef would be great too.

This is kinda like a switcheroo on the classic Stuffed Pepper or Stuffed Tomato. Hey! Why not get creative and make a few different kinds of stuffed items – Peppers, Tomatoes, and Squash! Everyone could have their favorite.



Unfortunately, now I’m craving Zoo Bread. Guess that’s what I’ll be making later on today.

Happy Eating!


Roasted Stuffed Squash
Recipe Type: Main, Side, Vegetable, Vegetarian
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
Roasted squash is stuffed with rice, peppers, and onions, then it’s topped with basil. It tastes like summer.
  • 1 medium or large summer squash, sliced lengthwise, center scooped out
  • 1 T olive oil, divided
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 C (heaping) cooked rice
  • 1 large tomato (about 1 C), chopped
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 t fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 t fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 t fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 t fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 C gruyère, grated
  • fresh basil, chopped (for topping)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Scoop out center of squash. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes (or until tender).
  3. Heat a pan, when it’s hot, add remaining oil. When oil is hot, add onion and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add rice, herbs, seasonings, and tomato. Cook over medium to medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and parmesan to rice mixture. Stir and taste. Adjust seasoning if desired. Spoon rice mixture into squash. Top with gruyère and return to oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  5. Serve topped with fresh basil. (Could serve whole, or cut in pieces to serve more.)
Cooking time is actually about 15 minutes because rice mixture cooks while squash roasts. You could save the scooped out portion and add it to the rice mixture, or save it to add to some soup or a pasta sauce! Recipe has since been adapted to include fresh herbs rather than dried. If using dried oregano, basil, thyme, and sage, reduce to 1/4 t of each.

Sponsored by: Abundant Harvest Organics, Bari Olive Oil Company, Waterfall Creative, Molly Jenson.

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