Italian Stuffed Zucchini (vegetarian)

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Italian stuffed zucchini (zucchine ripiene) are one of the most classic Italian ways to eat zucchini. These little bites are mild, tender, flavorful, and packed with delicious zucchini, onion, and olive oil flavor. You will love this twice baked zucchini recipe!

I usually gobble up one or two right out of the oven. They pop in your mouth and are highly addictive! More of my favorite zucchini recipes: Sautéed Zucchini and Onion , Baked Zucchini and Tomatoes Bruschetta, Paccheri Pasta Zucchini Tomatoes Crème Fraîche, and a sweet Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Bread.

Favorite Italian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

These vegetarian stuffed zucchini highlight the flavor of the zucchini from the inside out!

They are topped with plenty of cheese and baked to perfection. An easy and healthy recipe the whole family will enjoy!

If you like meat-stuffed vegetables try Best Italian Style Stuffed Peppers. And for more vegetarian recipes, try this Loaded Quiche Recipe!


  • Zucchini (it helps if they are thick in diameter) 
  • Onion 
  • Egg
  • Olive oil, more for topping 
  • Bread crumbs (unflavored), more for topping 
  • Parmigiano, finely grated, more for topping  
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 

Step by Step Instructions with Photos

With a little tender love and care you will be glad you spent the extra 10 minutes prep time to make this delicious Italian zucchini recipe.


We call them zucchine ripene in Italian meaning “stuffed zucchini”. For this recipe the zucchini are cooked two ways.

First, the interior is removed and sautéed with onions until perfectly tender. Then, the cooked zucchini mixture is combined with an egg, bread crumbs, and freshly grated parmigiano.

The shells of the zucchini are fried and then stuffed with the zucchini mixture and baked.

They are topped with loads of parmigiano and bread crumbs to create the most delicious golden brown topping.

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Serving Suggestions

We love to serve twice baked zucchini with fresh bread. Try these delicious Italian bread recipes: Easy No-Knead Focaccia Bread Recipe (Italian), Softest No Knead Bread, or Fast Italian No Knead Ciabatta Bread

They are also delicious to accompany Breaded Chicken Breast Pan Fried (Italian).

final dish on a plate

These easy stuffed zucchiniare a simple, fresh, and delicious showcase for peak-season summer squash.

I don’t let any of the zucchini go to waste here, as I stuff the zucchini shells with a savory filling that includes the scooped zucchini flesh.

This recipe works best with medium-large zucchini (larger squash = more space for filling).

It’s a great one that you can make as summer season progresses and the squash get bigger. You will love this simple Italian recipe as much as we do!

More than Zucchini. A Story about Zucchine Ripiene.

These little golden nuggets are a treasured family recipe. You know the ones that people talk about all year long?

A recipe that sticks in your heart as much as it does your belly? This is one of those. I remember begging Nonna Laura to make them more than once a week. Finally, she said, “you need to learn to make them yourself”.

So, I did, as well, as all my sister and cousins. We make them often and feel connected though this recipe that she brought to us with her special way of bringing people to the table with delicious food.

The heart of Italian cooking is simplicity. Don’t mistake the short ingredient list for lacking taste or flavor. In fact, it is the humble simple dishes that are most treasured and remembered.

When these are baking in the oven I can smell that familiar aroma from a mile away. I’m transported to our beach home in Italy where we ate these all summer long.

My sister, cousins, and I would fight over every last one!

We would sneak into the kitchen even before the meal was ready and steal one in secret. Yes, we fought over these little stuffed zucchini’s, as silly as that might seem!

Once you try them you will see how they really are worth the fight.

stuffed zucchini on a plate with a fork

Can You Freeze Stuffed Zucchini?

I don’t recommend freezing stuffed, simply because the zucchini will be quite mushy upon thawing.

Made with Amore, Elena

More delicious recipes for you:

Polpette Con Sugo (Italian meatballs in tomato sauce)

Italian Salad Pears, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola

Chicken Skillet Creamy Chive Mascarpone Sauce

stuffed zucchini on a plate

Have you checked out my NEW CBE PRODUCTS? Take a look at the 2-in-1 cutting and charcuterie board, gorgeous apron, and unique pasta server that you that you absolutely need. The wood products are all handmade in Salt Lake City, Utah. They make great gifts as well!

Looking for more delicious Italian summer recipes? Find ideas here: 29 BEST Italian Inspired Summer Recipes

These make a perfect side dish, appetizer, or light dinner with a salad and delicious bread. If you love zucchini, run and make this recipe!

Make sure to leave a star review below!

Make sure to tag me on Instagram @cucinabyelena. I hope you loved it! To get more ideas follow me on Pinterest.

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stuffed zucchini in a serving plate

Italian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe (zucchine ripiene)

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5 from 3 reviews

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Vegetarian stuffed zucchini (zucchine ripiene) are one of the most classic Italian ways to eat zucchini. These little bites are mild, tender, flavorful, and packed with  delicious zucchini, onion, and olive oil flavor. I usually gobble up one or two right out of the oven. 

  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


  • 4 large zucchini (it helps if they are thick in diameter)
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs (unflavored), more for topping
  • 3 tablespoons parmigiano, finely grated, more for topping
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Wash zucchini. Cut ends and discard. Cut zucchini into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces. With a melon cuter or knife carve out the white flesh of the zucchini. Creating a hole still leaving enough at the bottom to hold the filling.
  3. Save the zucchini shells for later. In a large skillet pan heat 1 tbs olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and interior flesh of the zucchini. Cook 8 minutes until soft and golden brown. Set aside and let cool in pan.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small pot, add reaming olive oil and heat on high. Fry the zucchini on all sides about 6-8 minutes total. Remove from oil onto a plate lined with a paper towel. 
  5.  Once the zucchini mixture in pan is cooled; add- egg, parmigiano, breadcrumbs, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork until well combined. Drizzle an oven safe baking dish with olive oil. Place the fried zucchini shells in the dish. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini shells until the tops are filled.
  6. Sprinkle the tops generously with parmigiano and bread crumbs. drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes until tops are golden brown. 
  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 12
  • Calories: 42
  • Sugar: .05
  • Sodium: 6.6 mg
  • Fat: 3.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 15.5 mg

This nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. This nutritional information is a result of online calculators. While attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are estimates. Various factors, including, but not limited to, the actual brands used, change the nutritional information in any given recipe. 

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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  1. I have a question regarding frying the shells. It had 2 remaining tbs of oil. It says fry in a pot, does this mean deep fried so the inside of the shells gets cooked, or just the outsides using the 2 tbs of oil?