Pesto Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

This morning I decided to run outside on a nearby trail. I was hoping to complete a 5k distance in 31 minutes, or at least in less time than my last outdoor run, but I was not feeling great at the end and just had to take a walk break.

It wasn’t too bad – about the same pace as last time with 11 minute miles. I think if I really work at it I can run a 5k in 31 minutes – we’ll see!

I currently have the Boston Marathon coverage playing in the background. I still can’t believe of all days, the weather decided to reach record high temperatures today! I’m only an hour north of Boston and it’s supposed to reach 91 today – feels like home! (I’m from Houston.) Apparently 16% of the runners dropped out of the race and deferred to 2013 due to the heat. I can’t imagine running a marathon in the first place, but I really can’t imagine how much it would suck to put in all the training and then have to wait another whole year to race!

Maybe the heat is why I had a “bad run” today – except it was only 70 when I went running… maybe not :).

If you’re looking for a healthy dinner side to help fuel your runs, I’ve got one for ya – Pesto Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini!

I wanted to find a new way to use the Kale Walnut Pesto that I made last week. I’ve been wanting to make stuffed zucchini for a while and I came across a recipe for quinoa stuffed zucchini. What better way to amp up the flavor of that dish than by using kale pesto quinoa!

Since this was kind of an experimental dish, I wasn’t sure if it would turn out, but it was delicious! And it may sound like a complicated dish, but it was pretty easy to make.

Just dice an onion.

Then cook your quinoa according to package directions (you can use water or chicken broth).

While the quinoa is cooking, begin cooking the onions in an oiled pan over medium heat. Cook them until they are soft and translucent (about 15 minutes).

Also scoop out the inside of the zucchini with a spoon. At this point, preheat your oven to 425.

When the onions are cooked, add the zucchini flesh (that you scooped out) and the garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes until the zucchini is tender.

When the onion/zucchini mixture is cooked, add it to the cooked quinoa.

Then add the pesto, salt and breadcrumbs and stir to combine.

Put your zucchini in a greased baking pan and add the stuffing to the zucchini. Top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese (optional). Bake at 425 for about 45 minutes, until zucchini is tender.

Allow them to cool for a couple minutes.

And enjoy!

Pesto Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

Adapted from Green Lite Bites

Makes 4 stuffed zucchini – serves 2-4.


  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dry)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp Kale Walnut Pesto, add more or less to taste (can use another pesto too)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs, add more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt, add more or less to taste


  1. Dice your onion.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  3. In the meantime, cook your onion over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until soft and translucent.
  4. Also scoop out the flesh of the zucchini and chop it up.
  5. Preheat your oven to 425.
  6. When onion is cooked, add the zucchini flesh and garlic to the onions and cook for another 5 minutes, until zucchini is tender.
  7. When onion/zucchini mixture is cooked, add it to the cooked quinoa and stir to combine.
  8. Then add the pesto, breadcrumbs and salt to the quinoa and stir to combine. I would start off with a little of each and add more to taste.
  9. Place your zucchini in a greased baking dish and add the quinoa mixture to the zucchini. Top with a little parmesan cheese (optional). *We did have some leftover quinoa.
  10. Bake at 425 for about 45 minutes, until zucchini is tender.
  11. Let cool for a couple minutes and enjoy!
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7 Responses to Pesto Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

  1. You can totally hit 31 miles. The trail can also slow ya down – but I’m jealous you have one near you! Those are so fun and they go by so quickly mentally.

  2. This looks delicious! I love pairing zucchini with pesto — especially when making zucchini pasta 🙂
    Aylin @ Glow Kitchen recently posted..Banana Mint Chocolate BitesMy Profile

  3. Haha, good point about how much that must suck to train and then defer your registry to the following year. When I trained for my first (and only) marathon, I was so dead by the time the day arrived I couldnt IMAGINE putting myself through the long-run-misery much longer haha. Needless to say, I discovered that 26.2 miles was a tadddd past my comfort zone
    Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance recently posted..Welcome Home HibachiMy Profile

  4. Pingback: Zucchine ripiene vegan - Naturopatika

  5. Terry says:

    This recipe is divine. Thank you so much!

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