Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchini


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ cups arugula
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup California Black Ripe Olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup peperoncinis, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Optional Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small pot, combine quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 18 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, prepare the zucchini, make the arugula pesto, and prepare the breadcrumb topping. To prepare the zucchini, cut off the ends and  slice in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the inside leaving about 1/4 inch rim of zucchini flesh. Place zucchini on a lined baking sheet.  Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. To make the arugula pesto, pulse arugula, garlic, and pine nuts together in a food processor until finely chopped. With the food processor running, gradually pour in olive oil and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. To make the optional breadcrumb topping, combine breadcrumbs and olive oil in a small bowl and mix until breadcrumbs are coated in olive oil.
  5. When the quinoa is done cooking, combine quinoa, olives, peperoncinis, chickpeas, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, if using, and arugula pesto to taste, I used about 1/4 cup.
  6. Spoon filling into zucchini. Cover baking sheet with foil and bake for 30 minutes, covered. After 30 minutes, uncover, add breadcrumb topping to the top of zucchini, if using, and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes, uncovered.