Vegetarian Zucchini Filled With Mexican Flavors With Brown Rice, Black Beans, Chili, Cheddar Cheese And Cotija Cheese! You can substitute the rice with cooked cauliflower rice if you want a low-carb version of this recipe.
I recently left out some Cotija cheese from a dish my brother Rand made when he was visiting and that’s what inspired me to go with the Mexican flavor mix for this Vegetable stuffed zucchini. Cotija made a nice flavor to stuffed zucchini, but if you don’t have that you can use Parmesan and feta or even a little of the cheese blend used for the stuffing.
Besides delicious Mexican Cotija cheese, we used brown rice, black beans, green peppers, sour cream, and a Mexican cheese blend to give our stuffed zucchini plenty of flavor. But only replace the rice with cooked cauliflower rice if you want a low-carb option.
The first time I made the recipe, the cheese got too brown and the zucchini wasn’t as tender as I wanted it to be, so Jake and I tried to cook the stuffed zucchini covered for the first 20 minutes and then remove the tin foil for another 30 minutes of cooking time. At the time we thought it was perfect, and this was absolutely delicious for a meatless meal using zucchini!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- 8 zucchini balls (or use larger long zucchini, cut 3 inches long and hollowed out to make zucchini “cups”)
- Cotija cheese (or other grated cheese of your choice)
- canned black beans
- green onion
- green pepper cubes
- brown rice cooked like Rice Uncle Ben Brown (affiliate link)
- sour cream
- Mix 4 mexican cheese
- Green Tabasco sauce (referral link), optional; Taste the filling and see if you want more heat
What if you don’t have round zucchini for this meatless stuffed zucchini?
I used small, round 8-ball zucchini that I love so much for this recipe, but if you don’t have round zucchini, use larger zucchini cut into pieces and scoop out to make zucchini cups. (You can see an example of this in the recipe process photos below.)
What is Cotija cheese?
Cotija is a firm, firm cow’s milk cheese from Mexico. Here is more about How to use Cotija From Bon Appetit.
How can you make veggie-stuffed zucchini lower in carbohydrates?
If you want to keep the Mexican flavors but are making low-carb stuffed zucchini, just replace the brown rice with two cups of lightly cooked cauliflower rice. For best results, I would briefly cook the cauliflower rice in a very hot skillet with a little oil to evaporate some of the liquid.
Want more ideas for zucchini?
you can use zucchini recipes See all recipes for zucchini and summer squash on my site. And if you have a lot of zucchini, you may also want to check out 50 amazing zucchini recipesAnd the Top ten low carb zucchini recipesAnd the Low carb and keto grilled zucchini recipesAnd the Amazing salads with zucchiniAnd the Extra large zucchini recipes. As you can tell, I’ve been a huge zucchini fan for many years!
How to make vegetable stuffed zucchini:
(Scroll down for a full, printable recipe with nutritional information.)
- Drain a can of black beans in a colander, rinse with cold water, and let dry while preparing the zucchini.
- I used half an 8-ball zucchini (right) and half a large zucchini cut into 3-inch pieces (left).
- Use a sharp teaspoon or melon ball to extract the zucchini flesh, leaving a thin layer of the zucchini flesh next to the peel. (I didn’t use the zucchini pulp I took out, but you can use it to replace some of the rice.)
- Thinly slice green onions to make 1 cup, and drain 1 can of diced green peppers.
- To make the filling, combine cooked brown rice (or cauliflower rice), sour cream, sliced green onions, black beans, Mexican cheese mixture, and green peppers. You can add a little Green Tabasco sauce (Referral link) If you want to make it spicier. (We did.)
- Use a spoon to fill the zucchini with the stuffing mixture, and press it down until the zucchini is tightly filled inside.
- Cover the dish and bake the stuffed zucchini for 20 minutes at 350°F/180°C.
- Then remove the foil and use a spoon to press a few teaspoons of Cotija cheese (or another cheese of your choice) onto the top of the zucchini.
- Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until filling is hot and cheese is well browned.
- Serve hot, with more green Tabasco sauce to add to the table if desired.
More vegan zucchini recipes to try:
6 medium zucchini 8 balls (or use a larger long zucchini, cut 3 inches long and hollowed out to make zucchini “cups”)
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese (or another grated cheese of your choice)
One 15 oz. 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup finely chopped green onion
One 4 oz. Green pepper can be cut into cubes, and drained (see notes)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mix 4 Mexican cheese
1 ton green Tabasco sauce (optional; taste the filling and see if you like a little more heat)
- Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Spray a baking dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. (Use a plate containing zucchini without letting them move around too much if you can.)
- Drain the black beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse them with cold water until the foam disappears.
- Let the beans dry while you prepare the zucchini.
- If you don’t have enough 8-ball zucchini, cut large long zucchini into 3-inch lengths.
- Then use a melon spoon or a sharp spoon to scoop out the inside of the zucchini, leaving a thin layer of flesh next to the peel.
- Cut the green onions into slices and drain the can of green peppers cut into cubes.
- Dry the beans with paper towels if they are still wet.
- In a medium bowl, combine black beans, sliced green onions, green pepper cubes, cooked rice, sour cream, and low-fat cheese.
- Mix gently, then taste the mixture and note if you want to add the optional Green Tabasco sauce (Referral link). We did, but we weren’t making it for the kids.
- Arrange the zucchini in the oven tray.
- Use a spoon to fill each zucchini ball or cup with the filling mixture, pressing it down so the inside of the zucchini is tightly packed with the filling.
- Cover the dish and bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the zucchini from the oven, remove the foil, and use the spatula to carefully press down about 2 teaspoons. Shredded Cotija cheese (or another cheese of your choice) on top of each zucchini.
- Place the zucchini back in the oven and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the zucchini is cooked through, the filling is heated through, and the cheese on top is nicely browned.
- Serve hot. They will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two and can be reheated in the microwave or in a toaster oven.
Use brown rice or Uncle Ben Al Mohawil’s rice (Affiliate link) The South Beach Diet. You can replace the rice with cooked cauliflower rice for a low-carb version. I used Anaheim chiles, not jalapenos!
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount per service:
Calories: 525Total fat: 30 gramsSaturated fat: 17 gramsUnsaturated fats: 0 gramsUnsaturated fats: 9.5 gramsCholesterol: 92 mgsodium: 744 mgCarbohydrates: 38 gramsthe basic: 19 gramssugar: 6.8 gramsprotein: 29 grams
Nutrition information is calculated automatically by the Recipe Plug-In I’m using. I am not a dietitian and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, as many variables affect these calculations.
Low Carb Diet / Low Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Zucchini stuffed with rice and beans would be very high in carbs for a low-carb diet, but you can make a low-carb version by substituting brown rice for cooked cauliflower rice. As long as you use brown rice or Uncle Ben Al Mohawil’s riceLight sour cream, and low-fat cheese, this vegan-stuffed zucchini will be approved for stage 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet.
Find more recipes like these:
Uses zucchini recipes or Oven dinner For more ideas on using zucchini! use the Diet type indicator To find more recipes suitable for a particular eating plan. You may also like to check out Kalyn’s Kitchen on PinterestAnd the in FacebookAnd the on instagramor in Youtube To see all the good recipes I share there.
Historical notes for this recipe:
This recipe was first published in 2012 when I had 8 little balls growing in my garden! It was last updated with more information in 2022.
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