Ham and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

Our Ham and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini recipe is made with a blend of diced ham, creamy cheeses, and summer squash. This zucchini dish is incredibly easy to prepare, making it great for any day of the week. Plus, it’s a great way to use up all that extra zucchini from your garden.

Stuffed squash in a casserole dish.

Life story alert!! Just wanted to give that disclaimer up front. When I was a kid, my family lived next door to a man named Wilson Teague. Mr. Teague had a huge garden, and he often gave me big paper bags filled with fresh vegetables.

Those bags were full of ears of corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, okra, and plenty of yellow squash and zucchini. It was so generous of him to share part of his crops each summer. In fact, this was commonplace where I grew up.

That’s why I share a lot vegetable based recipes, “grandma recipes,” and reinvented vintage recipes on both our sites. Growing up with an abundance of fresh food was such a blessing, and I love sharing those recipes with you all.

Now, back to this ham and cheese stuffed zucchini recipe. This recipe was available way back in the 1980s when I lived next to Mr. Teague and we were getting all that squash. I just didn’t know it was around. A few years ago, I found it in an old cookbook from 1979, so it’s not one of my original recipes.

This stuffed zucchini takes a little bit of prep, but it’s not complicated at all. You’re actually making the squash into zucchini “boats” by filling the halves with ham, cottage cheese, rice, an egg as a binder, some onion, and seasonings. Then add some American cheese for a super melty finish.

It’s a great budget-friendly meal idea, especially if you have a zucchini garden or know someone that does. The rest of the ingredients are mostly pantry staples, so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to make it.

Serve with some sautéed green beans, a side side, or some garlic mashed potatoes for a complete meal.

Stuffed zucchini on a gray plate.

Tips for the Perfect Ham and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

Tips

Choose the Best Zucchini: Pick medium-sized zucchini that are firm and roughly the same size.

Precook Some Ingredients: Sauté ingredients like onions, garlic, and mushrooms (if using) before stuffing to remove excess moisture.

Add Seasonings: Season your filling with herbs, salt, and pepper. Do keep in mind that ham and cheese both contain salt. If you’re sodium sensitive, watch how much salt you add.

Use a Blend of Cheeses: Try cottage cheese for creaminess and American cheese for meltiness (not a word, but I like it!). Other cheeses to try are mozzarella, gouda, or parmesan.

Don’t Overstuff: While it’s tempting to add as much ham filling as possible, too much can cause the zucchini to tear. Fill just enough to allow the top to slightly heap.

Try Different Variations: Swap out the cheeses or add different vegetables into the mix, like bell peppers or mushrooms.

Top down view of cheesy zucchini boats in a dish.

Storage Information

Refrigerator: Place leftovers into an airtight container and they’ll keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezer: This dish is super freezer-friendly, too. Wrap individual zucchini boats in plastic wrap followed by foil, and drop them into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. They’ll stay good for 1-2 months.

Reheating: Reheat leftovers in the oven at 350°F until warmed through. If frozen, thaw briefly before reheating. The zucchini will be soft once it’s been frozen and reheated.

Top down view of ham and cheese stuffed zucchini on a white plate.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup finely diced white onions
  • 1 cup cooked and diced ham
  • ¾ cup small curd cottage cheese
  • cup cooked rice, any variety
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 slices American cheese

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Leave the zucchini whole, and cook for 10 minutes or until tender but still firm. Remove from the water, and allow to cool until it’s easy to handle.
    3 medium zucchini
  • Meanwhile in a small skillet over low heat, melt the butter and saute the onions until softened.
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    ¼ cup finely diced white onions
  • In a large bowl, combine the sauteed onions, ham, cottage cheese, rice, egg, parsley, salt if using, and basil.
    1 cup cooked and diced ham
    ¾ cup small curd cottage cheese
    ⅔ cup cooked rice
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon fresh parsley
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil.
  • Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, and carefully scoop out the pulp making sure not to break through the outer skin.
  • Fill the zucchini “boats” with the ham mixture and place into the prepared pan, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Just before the time is up, cut each piece of cheese into 8 strips.
    3 slices American cheese
  • After 25 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, uncover, and lay 4 strips of cheese onto each zucchini boat. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 zucchini boat. Actual calories will vary.
 
*Recipe serves 6 (makes 6 zucchini boats). There is enough filling for 3 medium zucchini or 2-3 large zucchini.
*Skip to Tips.
*Skip to Storage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1zucchini boatCalories: 155kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 11gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 622mgPotassium: 328mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 486IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 157mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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