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Risotto Stuffed Zucchini with Bolognese Sauce

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  • Author: Roz
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Additional Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale

  • 23 medium to large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup cooked rice (either regular rice, Italian Arborio rice, OR orzo pasta)
  • 1 package shredded 5-Cheese Italian blend cheese
  • 1/2 package of either shredded mozzarella, or Italian-blend shredded cheese
  • Bolognese sauce (see recipe on my blog), approximately 10 cups, add to your preference level
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning
  • Nature’s Seasons seasoning
  • Accent seasoning
  • Italian blend dried herbs


  1. Scoop the pulp out of the zucchini halves, discarding any seeds.
  2. Chop the pulp up
  3. Chop up one zucchini (minus the seeds), including the green skin for extra color.
  4. Boil a pot of water and cook the rice, Arborio rice, or Orzo pasta according to package directions.
  5. Drain and set aside.
  6. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a skillet.
  7. Add the onions and sauté until golden.
  8. Add the garlic and sauté for about one to two minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  9. Add the chopped zucchini pulp and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  10. Set aside off of the stove burner.
  11. Meanwhile in another skillet, sauté the ground beef with the seasonings until dark brown and cooked completely through.
  12. Add the Bolognese sauce to the cooked and seasoned ground beef and cook until hot.
  13. Add the sautéed onions, garlic, and zucchini to the beef and sauce mixture.
  14. Add the cooked and drained rice/risotto/orzo.
  15. Add one entire package of Italian blend cheeses.
  16. Make sure the entire mixture cooks through.
  17. On the bottom of a large baking dish, layer some of the beef-sauce-rice-cheese mixture.
  18. Place the zucchini halves on top of this layer.
  19. Fill each zucchini half with the remaining beef-sauce-rice-cheese mixture.
  20. Place in a 350 degree oven and cook for 1-½ hour, covered with aluminum foil.
  21. Sprinkle the last ½ package of cheese on top during the last 15 minutes and bake uncovered until the cheese melts on top, bubbles and is golden brown, keeping an eye on the cheese so that it doesn’t burn.


  • For vegetarians, just substitute a delicious Marinara sauce in place of the Bolognese sauce and don’t include the ground beef in the stuffing mixture.
  • Adapted from my friend Claretta Gurganus Voelker, 1995, Ames, Iowa.
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