Spicy Chickpea and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini.
Making use of all the summer produce with this Spicy Chickpea and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini. A healthy vegetarian recipe made with crispy spicy chickpeas and tomatoes, all stuffed inside herb-roasted cheesy zucchini. This simple sheet pan recipe doubles as both a healthy dinner and a simple side dish. Either way, you serve it up, it’s going to be a favorite. Perfect for the summer days ahead!
Summer officially starts on Friday, but I’m already knee-deep in summertime produce. I know it’s early, but I’m overly excited to be working with new ingredients. It feels so good to be super excited about recipes! Cooking as much as I do, I can sometimes get into recipe development ruts towards the end of a season. I get bored with things very quickly, and by the time a season is coming to an end I’m ready to switch things up. To say that I am happy summer is here is an understatement.
My plan for the next three months? Embrace all the summer produce and make sure that each recipe I share has at least one summer fruit or vegetable incorporated into the dish.
Well, excluding the frozen chocolate desserts that I have lined up. Ice cream might not be produce, but it’s certainly a summer staple!
(zucchini and tomatoes before roasting)
(zucchini and tomatoes after roasting)
Today I have a very summery vegetarian stuffed squash recipe. It’s different, unique, so delicious, and healthy too. It’s also pretty simple to throw together on a weeknight.
The only real downside to this recipe is that you have to turn your oven on. BUT the upside to using your oven is that this entire recipe is made on only two sheet pans. No boiling water, no stove-top, just two sheet pans and some time in the oven.
Meaning more time for you to mix up a Wednesday night cocktail, catch up on Instagram, fold the laundry, play with your dog, sit in the sun…I mean it’s summer, the sky’ s the limit! I love a dinner that cooks in the oven while you chill out.
Here is how this works.
Start with the zucchini. You want to scoop out some of the flesh to make room for the cheese and chickpeas. You don’t have to do this step, but it does make stuffing the squash easier. Once you’ve done this, add some tomatoes and herbs to the pan and roast everything together until the squash is tender and the tomatoes are bursting. This literally smells like summer as it roasts.
During that same time, roast the chickpeas on a separate baking sheet. Now, you might be asking why I am telling you to roast the chickpeas on their own baking sheet. Well, we want the chickpeas to be crispy, not soggy, so they need their own pan. Trust me, the extra pan is worth it.
Everything takes about the same amount of time to roast. Once it’s all done, toss the tomatoes and crispy chickpeas together and then stuff them inside the squash, reserving some of the mix for topping.
Add a handful of cheese and then throw the zucchini back into the oven to melt the cheese.
And done. Top with fresh basil for a pop of bright color and flavor. You’ll have the easiest summer dinner…made in under an hour, healthy, and delicious.
I’d go on, but really that’s all you need to know. This one is simple, healthy, a little cheesy, so flavorful, and a great use of summer squash and cherry tomatoes.
Oh and the spicy chickpeas? They taste like vegetarian spicy Italian sausage. They are addicting, so be prepared, you might just want to make extra!
If you make this spicy chickpeas and cheese stuffed zucchini, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Spicy Chickpea and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini.
- 4 zucchini or yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons oregano leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 can (14 ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves (reserve the flesh), leaving 1/2-inch thick shell on each half.
2. On a baking sheet, toss the zucchini, the scooped out zucchini flesh, and the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, thyme, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until the zucchini are beginning to char and the tomatoes burst.
3. On a separate baking sheet, toss the chickpeas with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, red pepper flakes, fennel, and a large pinch of salt. Add the Panko, and toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer and transfer to the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, or until crisp.
5. Remove everything from the oven. Add the roasted zucchini flesh and the tomatoes to the chickpeas and toss to combine. Spoon half of the chickpea/tomato mix into the roasted zucchini halves. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over each zucchini. Return the zucchini to the oven and cook another 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
6. To serve, plate the zucchini and top with the reserved chickpeas and tomatoes. Top with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
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