Italian Stuffed Squash

Italian Stuffed Squash

by Amy Flanigan on September 6, 2011 · 34 comments

I’m wearing white. Ya, that’s right. I’m getting all James Dean on the system. I’m sure my disapproving letter from Miss Manners will arrive shortly.

It’s still blazing hot here, like most parts of the country, so this no-white-after-Labor-Day rule is silly. As are most fashion rules. Although, I lack all kinds of fashion sense, so what do I know?

I know that I need to do laundry.

Is this a summer dish? Fall dish? I tend to make it more in the fall when I don’t mind the oven being on, but I’ll let you decide.

Italian Stuffed Squash

I’m willing to bet a lot of you have an abundance of zucchini from your CSA right now. So before it goes bad in your crisper drawer, use it up with this easy and tasty dish.

Italian Stuffed Squash

In parts of Italy right now, the weather hovers in the mid-high 80′s. So today, let’s call this a summer dish…and serve it in your best white apron. Come on. We’ll be rebels together.

Italian Stuffed Squash
Serves: 12 as an appetizer or 6 as a main course
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

• 6 large zucchini (or 3 zucchini and 3 yellow squash), cut in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 3/4 cup plain couscous
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 pound seasoned Italian ground sausage
• 1 can (15 ounce) petite cut diced tomatoes
• 1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Set  aside.

In a small saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the couscous. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

In the meantime, in a medium saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high. Cook the sausage, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the couscous, tomatoes, and parsley.

Place squash on the baking sheet, cut side up, season with salt and pepper.  Fill zucchini shells with the couscous mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes, until squash is tender.

Sprinkle with the mozzarella and place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Maddie July 30, 2014 at 12:52 pm

I loved this!!!

I can’t have parsely so I swapped it out for fresh sage and basil! It was incredible!!!! Even the kids ate it!

I WILL be making this again!



Maddie July 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Oh, and we have gluten issues in the house so I swapped out the couscous for quinoa…it was epic.


Amy @Very Culinary July 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Awesome! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Maddie! And I have no doubt that the quinoa was delicious, too. I might try that some time.


roberto bianco May 15, 2014 at 8:32 am

how’s possible you say italian when you put the couscous in the recipe?
surely is very good but this is culturally uncorrected, I think


Amy @Very Culinary May 15, 2014 at 8:59 am

First of all, I don’t claim to be an expert on Italian cooking, I just know what flavors/ingredients work well together. And these do. Second, call it something else if you want. It’s still a great recipe. Lastly, if Lidia Bastianich cooks with couscous, then that’s all the confirmation I need. Nobody is more Italian than she is!


carol August 15, 2012 at 8:49 am

Oh My! I made this two nights ago. First it was so easy it was almost scary. Second, we loved this. I made a bunch so that my husband, who works nights, could take the extra to work for the guys. Everyone loved it. Apparently it’s ‘finger food’. The guys just ate it like a french bread pizza! Anyway it got rave revues from everyone. Thanks for the recipe.


Amy August 15, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hi Carol! I’m so happy it turned out for you. We love it too, and often forego the utensils as well!


Jen B October 26, 2011 at 7:06 am

My husband made this for dinner the other night and we made it a vegetarian version where we replaced the sausage with some summer squash cut up really small & some broccoli and added a little tomato paste to the mixture to give it a little depth, and kind of replace the flavors missing from nixing the sausage. We also had to substitute Quinoa for the Couscous because I couldn’t find it in the store, and it came out amazing! I did give them a little drizzle of Olive Oil in the oven just to give them a fat for flavor and to keep them moist while they cook. Awesome recipe!!


Amy October 26, 2011 at 8:23 am

Greetings Jen – that’s one of the great things about cooking…taking inspired recipes and altering them to fit your own tastes/needs. You made it your own and your vegetarian version sounds fantastic!


Mom September 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

I made this last night but had a few glitches. I forgot to season the zucchini before stuffing and they were so firm it took an extra 15 minutes to cook.
The larger pieces could have used more time. However, it was very tasty and Dad said “This is pretty good,” So I take that as a success.


Amy September 14, 2011 at 9:55 am

An additional 15 minutes, really? Wow. I’ve made this dish many many times and they’re always tender in 20 flat. My guess is maybe…maybe…your zucchini were huge? Or you didn’t scrape out enough of the seeds/meat?


Stephanie September 14, 2011 at 6:47 am

Please ignore my tardiness in commenting on this post. :P

These look delish — summer, fall, winter, who cares! I really love stuffing anything with couscous or quinoa or some other grain…it always picks up tons of flavor and adds a good sustenance to the dish.


Kim September 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

I don’t normally cook, but I made this and everyone LOVED it. It’s simple and straightforward and DELICIOUS! I came to this site because a friend posted the ridiculous Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies recipe on Facebook and I poked around. I then added this blog to my feed and when this recipe was posted I had to try because I actually had some home grown squash to use. I am so glad I did.


Sippitysup September 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm

White may be the new black but zucchini is timeless. GREG


Lauren at Keep It Sweet September 8, 2011 at 3:23 am

I love that this looks so delicious with a huge dose of veggies! Great recipe.


Jenna September 7, 2011 at 8:12 am

Oh Amy . . . how I love your recipes. Yum.


Amy September 7, 2011 at 8:37 am

Heeee :D. Thanks, Jenna!


Mom September 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I will be looking for some large zucchini and spicy sausage. My mouth is watering at this very moment!


Amy September 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

And Dad commented earlier how he likes zucchini…who knew?! You definitely need to make this.


Jay September 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Looks delicious. Since it’s still in the upper 90s here in Sacramento, I’m betting this would be KILLER cooked on the grill!


Amy September 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Ooooh, good call Jay. Yes, grilled veggies. Mmmm.


Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary September 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I won’t tell you that it’s a chilly 60 degrees here today.

Nope I won’t. :)


Amy September 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Is that a good thing? I like the heat and don’t want the summer to end. Waaa.


Cathy September 6, 2011 at 11:09 am

I loved how you tied the white clothes into the white apron and being rebels together. I think a veggie version of this would work well, too?


Amy September 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

Yes, absolutely! Use veggie stock instead of chicken, and the sausage part can easily be omitted. Just add a touch more seasoning to the couscous mixture.


Dad September 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

Your fashion sense is fine. Coveralls work any time of year.

I think you should calls this stuffed zucchini. Drop the “squash.” You know I hate squash, but stuffed zucchini looks goooood. And put some toothpicks or swizzle sticks in the sides to make them look like a dugout canoes.

P.S. Summer doesn’t end until September 21.


Amy September 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

Ha. As if you’re my only reader! Much to your disgust, a lot of people like yellow summer squash and they could sub that for the zucchini, or use both. (Maybe next time, I’ll use the toothpicks…kids might think it looks like a caterpillar and be more willing to eat it.)


Mike September 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

Mmmm… that one looks tasty!


Jen September 6, 2011 at 9:55 am

This looks super yummy! I’m printing it to make very soon! Do you serve it as dinner or as a side? I’m certain I could make a meal out of it…just not sure about Jay.


Amy September 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

Jen, you’d really like it. It makes 6 as a meal, or 12 as an app. I serve it as a main. If Jay likes zucchini, you could totally get away with making this w/out anything else…the stuffing with the squash is very filling.


Joanne September 6, 2011 at 9:17 am

Unfortunately my CSA bit the dust after Hurricane Irene flooded the farm, so I’ve had to fend for myself when it comes to acquiring zucchini. Thankfully they are practically giving them away at the farmer’s markets…and you can bet I’m taking them! This stuffing looks delicious! I wonder if I could get my brother to eat zucchini with all this sausage inside it…


Sandi Benoit September 6, 2011 at 8:00 am

My zucchini now have a purpose!!! We’re beginning to tire of zucchini bread (if that’s at all possible!)


Bev Weidner September 6, 2011 at 7:56 am

All I know is that I could grab some paddles and go canoeing in those babies. YUM.


Amy September 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

Lol. My father suggested I put toothpicks in the sides as oars. Great minds think alike :D Thanks for coming by, Bev!


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