Zucchini Stuffed With Pork and Barley

Stuffed Zucchini (500x334) Zucchini proves a cook’s creativity and resourcefulness. For some reason, this vegetable, more than anything else in the garden, starts to exponentially multiply and before you know it, you have so much zucchini, you don’t know what to do with it. If you don’t have a garden, you probably notice grocery stores have great prices this time of year for zucchini. Right about now, most people are racking their brains and search engines with ways to use up the zucchini. Let’s take advantage of the bountiful summer harvest.

Zucchini happens to be one of my favorite vegetables. I love adding it to stir fries, making salads or simply sauteing it with some tomatoes, herbs and cheese. I thought it would be great to come up with a recipe to use zucchini for a one dish dinner option. Stuffing the zucchini with meat and barley gave this dish heartiness but still kept it light. I used onions, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, more zucchini to pack the zucchini with lots of aromatic and scrumptious flavors. Topping the whole thing with some crisp and golden cheese put the finishing touch on these beauties. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pearl barley, cooked (about 1 1/2 cups when cooked)

3 large zucchini, sliced in half

2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 – 1/2 lbs lean ground pork

salt, pepper

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 large onion, minced

2 carrots, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small zucchini, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 seeded tomatoes, chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 Tablespoon parsley, minced

1 egg

1 -1 1/2 cups cheese, grated (Mozzarella, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Provolone, etc.)

Cook the pearl barley according to the package instructions. For the barley that I used, I cooked 1/2 cup of pearl barley in 1 1/4 cups of salted water, for about 35 minutes. You should have approximately 1 1/2 cups of cooked barley.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Slice the large zucchini in half. Scoop out the center from the zucchini, using a spoon. IMG_6153 (500x334) Season with salt, pepper and rub all the zucchini halves with 1 Tablespoon of oil. IMG_6157 (500x334) Place the zucchini upside down on the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 10- 15 minutes.

IMG_6159 (500x334)

IMG_6163 (500x334) Meanwhile, heat another Tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the ground pork, salt, pepper, coriander and paprika.

You can use any ground meat that you like, beef, chicken, turkey, sausage, etc.

IMG_6131 (500x334) Cook until the meat is no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped onion, shredded carrots and minced garlic cloves. Mix to combine and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. IMG_6135 (500x334) Place the meat into a large bowl. IMG_6139 (500x334) In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of oil. Add the chopped zucchini and the chopped tomatoes.

You can use any small zucchini for this, or even use the scooped out zucchini from earlier.

Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. IMG_6143 (500x334)

IMG_6148 (500x334) Place it into the bowl with the meat.

Add the cooked barley, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and egg. IMG_6149 (500x334) Mix to combine. IMG_6150 (500x334) Divide the stuffing among the prepped zucchini.  Top each zucchini half with grated cheese.  IMG_6165 (500x334)

IMG_6167 (500x334) You can also stuff small zucchini, like these cute patty pan zucchini.

Roast the stuffed zucchini in the preheated oven for 25 minutes and broil for about 3 minutes to crisp up the cheese.  Stuffed Zucchini With Pork and Barley (500x329)

Zucchini Stuffed With Pork and Barley
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ cup barley, cooked (about 1½ cups when cooked)
  • 3 large zucchini, sliced in half
  • 2½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 - 1½ lbs lean ground pork
  • salt, pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 seeded tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 -1½ cups cheese, grated (Mozzarella, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Provolone, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Cook the pearl barley according to the package instructions. For the barley that I used, I cooked ½ cup of pearl barley in 1¼ cups of salted water, for about 35 minutes. You should have approximately 1½ cups of cooked barley.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Slice the large zucchini in half. Scoop out the center from the zucchini, using a spoon. Season with salt, pepper and rub all the zucchini halves with 1 Tablespoon of oil.
  4. Place the zucchini upside down on the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 10- 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat another Tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the ground pork, salt, pepper, coriander and paprika. You can use any ground meat that you like, beef, chicken, turkey, sausage, etc.
  6. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add the chopped onion, shredded carrots and minced garlic cloves. Mix to combine and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Place the meat into a large bowl.
  8. In the same skillet, heat the remaining ½ Tablespoon of oil. Add the chopped zucchini and the chopped tomatoes. You can use any small zucchini for this, or even use the scooped out zucchini from earlier. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  9. Place it into the bowl with the meat. Add the cooked barley, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and egg. Mix to combine.
  10. Divide the stuffing among the prepped zucchini. You can also stuff small zucchini, like these cute patty pan zucchini.
  11. Top each zucchini half with grated cheese.
  12. Roast the stuffed zucchini in the preheated oven for 25 minutes and broil for about 3 minutes to crisp up the cheese.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Alla says

    My family doesent love zucchini but I am hoping they will like this recipe :)Do you think I can use summer squash instead?

  2. Tina says

    Ohhh my, what a great idea! I love zucchini and this is one fantastic way to prepare them. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!! :)

    • says

      Thanks, Nami! I really like zucchini too. It’s a great time of year to take advantage of this great veggie and make it into many yummy meals.

  3. Elena says

    Thanks for the great recipe!!!! I made my zucchini almost like your recipe but put cooked rice instead it was very good. thanks

  4. Anna says

    Hi Olga,
    This recipe looks great but I don’t like cheese. do you think I can top it with mayo to make it all gel together? any other suggestions? thanks!

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