Stuffed zucchini takes on a whole new look when it’s cut hasselback-style then stuffed with pepperoni pizza fixins’ for an easy, healthy, all-in-one 6-ingredient meal or pull-apart appetizer.
For most every backyard farmers the question isn’t how to grow zucchini, it’s what to do with it all once the harvest begins. These guys are prolific!
So what are some ways to use up all that zucchini? Stuffed zucchini is likely one of the first recipes on your idea list.
But how about this…how about we make the method even simpler and forgo the scoop and hollow method and simply slice these bad boys hasselback-style instead?
They’re ripe for the stuffing, so let’s get slicing.
What Does Hasselback Mean In Cooking?
While this method dates back to a Swedish restaurant back in the 1700s, thanks to Pinterest, the Hasselback potato has become a popular way to prepare the spud for cooking. But why save this simple method merely for potatoes when any elongated veggie will work too.
This method doesn’t require any peeling, and is basically an accordian-style cut, but not all the way through the vegetable so it all hangs together still in one piece.
The Hasselback-prepped method cuts down on the cooking time and makes perfect nooks for stuffing most anything, but especially when we’re talking pizza.
see more: 55 Healthy Zucchini Recipes to Make Now
Inspiralized and Beyond
I can’t take credit for this recipe because it comes from the creative mind of Ali Maffucci of the food blog Inspiralized. In her third cookbook, Inspiralized and Beyond: Spiralize, Chop, Rice, and Mash Your Vegetables into Creative, Craveable Meals, Ali creates clever recipes that inspire the rest of us to get more healthy veggies into our diet.
This time around, Ali delivers recipes that use my favorite healthy eating kitchen gadget, the Inspiralizer, and also recipes that feature simple techniques to make healthier choices every day of the week like swapping out sweet potato slices for bread in her avocado toast, or broccoli to create nutrient-dense tots.
see more: 20 Inspiring Spiralized Recipes
Thanks to Ali and her Inspiralizer, inspiralizing zucchini into zoodles (zucchini noodles) has become one of the most popular ways to prepare zucchini.
But true to form, Ali is now delivering another unique way to enjoy this wholesome fruit aka vegetable: hasselback style.
see more: Spinach Salad with Turkey and Spiralized Apples and Butternut Squash
How to Cut Hasselback Zucchini
The method for slicing a hasselback zucchini is the same as preparing a hasselback potato and is supremely easy to do.
- Simply place the veggie on a cutting board then place two chopsticks on either side of the vegetable.
- Then, use a sharp knife to make slices that stop as the knife hits the chopsticks so it doesn’t cut all the way through, This creates accordian-style cuts that fan slightly when stuffed.
- tip: To get even slices, I make my first cut in the middle of the zucchini, then cut those two sections in halves again, then repeat the divide and conquer technique until my zucchini are evenly sliced.
see more: Caprese Zucchini Salad
How to Stuff Zucchini
Zucchini are relatively quick cooking veggies making them a great solution for a fast dinner idea. That’s why before stuffing, these hasselback zucchini are baked for about 15 minutes in the oven to soften, cooled just enough to handle.
Then the pizza stuffing begins.
I followed Ali’s suggestion of using turkey pepperoni to keep things in the healthier, less greasy realm. I also doubled up the amount of pepperoni because it’s my family’s favorite part.
But the stuffing options don’t end there. You could also try any of your favorite pizza toppings::
- Ground or sliced Italian sausage (if ground, cook it thoroughly first)
- Canadian bacon
- Cooked bacon slices
- Cooked hamburger
- Sliced mushrooms
- Sliced olives
- Chopped onion
- Chopped bell pepper
see more: 30 Dinners to Make When There’s No Time to Cook
Cheese Is the Word
And just like any pizza, cheese is the glue that brings this dish together.
Slices of mozzarella are alternately stuffed with the turkey pepperoni and is naturally my favorite part.
But what really adds a delicious accent to each bite is the sprinkling of Italian seasoning. I was surprised it added so much flavor but it really is the key to giving these stuffed zucchini that pizza-ish bite.
Serve these zucchini drizzled with store-bought marinara sauce or make your own (this is my go-to easiest recipe) for dipping. A sprinkling of grated Parmesan simply seals the pizza deal.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Stuffed Zucchini Hasselback Pepperoni Pizza Style
- 4 medium zucchini or yellow squash ends trimmed
- 6 ounces mozzarella cheese cut into 32 slices
- 64 slices turkey pepperoni
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup prepared marinara sauce for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place a pair of chopsticks on either side of the zucchini and use a sharp knife to make 16 evenly spaced slits along the length of the zucchini. Your knife should hit the chopsticks before they slice all the way through.
- Place the zucchini on the prepared baking sheet and bake until softened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool slightly, but keep the oven on.
- When the zucchini are cool enough to handle, stuff the slits with the mozzarella and pepperoni, alternating them as you go. Sprinkle each zucchini with ¼ teaspoon of the Italian seasoning and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Pop back into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the pepperoni is crispy, about 8 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, warm the marinara on the stovetop or in the microwave. Serve the zucchini drizzled with the marinara or serve as a dipping sauce.
More Zucchini Recipes to Try Now
- Spiralized Zucchini, Quinoa and Turkey Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- Easy 5-Minute Parmesan Zucchini
- Baked Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
- One-Pot Mexican Shrimp with Orzo and Zucchini
- Linguine and Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp
- Thai Zucchini Noodle and Quinoa Salad
See more of Ali and her Inspiralized recipes here and purchase your own copy of Inspiralized and Beyond here.
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Thanks a lot for your wonderful content! I truly enjoyed it. I surely will bookmark your blog.Have an awesome day!
Thank you so much for sharing wonderful article with us.
great recipe to make use of all of the extra zucchini I seem to get stuck with, this time of year, thank you!
Thank you Sabrina, I hope you give this one a try. It’s so easily adaptable with different ingredients, too.
My “prolific zucchini” story: many years ago, we had a zucchini population explosion. Everyone I knew was either desperately searching for new ways to use them or new people to whom to give them! That autumn, I was regaling a friend, who’d been away all summer, with tales of monster zucchinis, how they grew so fast and what to do with them. He just looked at me and said “El, if you had so many, why didn’t you just pluck off some of the blossoms. You can cook those too, you know.” Um … ‘cuz I never thought of that??
Maybe it’s time for a blog on what to do with zucchini blossoms?!
Hi El! I hear what your friend is preaching! But then I get so paranoid that i won’t have any blooms after I pluck them all that I leave them be :) Anyone have a tip for making sure the blooms keep coming back?
Heidi – I think that the trick is to prune judiciously, rather than plucking off all of the blossoms. Thin them out so that one plant isn’t overburdened with blossoms and another plant has almost none. I tried that a few yrs later and it seemed to be working … until some varmints got into the garden and trashed most of the plants. :-(
I also tend to pick them at 4-6 inches in length – so sweet and tender and great raw or cooked at that size.
Ah! Great tip! Okay, that’s my plan for the rest of the year!! Than you El!
Heidi, I’ll share one of my favorite Zucchini Recipes
In a bowl:
2 zucchinis – grated on side angle
1 red onion
6 – 8 T flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 eggs – beaten
spoon into frying pan with oil & butter
fry and turn when bubbles appear
Thank you Don! Would you mind if I made this a blog post to share? It sounds delish!!