Caprese Quinoa Grilled Zucchini Boats
All the summer flavors stuffed and grilled and cheesed!
It’s a struggle for me not to make a caprese version of every type of food. Tomatoes (especially this time of year), are like candy to me, basil has a special place in my heart (read more about that here – hi Ryan!), and fresh mozzarella may be the most perfect cheese of all time.
Except for possibly burrata, which is mozzarella stuffed with cream and mozzarella. So still, mozzarella just wins, especially in the summer.
The ease of this meal surprised me as I threw it together – sauté onions and garlic, toast quinoa, then throw in the broth and flavor bombs of fresh cherry tomatoes and sundried tomatoes to cook with the quinoa. As that magic happens, grill half of your zucchini (with the insides scooped out) until nice and charred. When the quinoa is done, stir in fresh basil, stuff into zucchini, top with mozzarella, and grill for a few more minutes until the cheese melts.
And then DIG. IN. I took these photos quickly because I could not wait to get to that creamy caprese quinoa goodness.
As if this meal didn’t have enough going for it, you also get a huge serving of two halves of zucchini! You could eat just one half and have a salad on the side if you’re responsible and balanced and feeding a larger crowd, but if you do that you have more self control than me. If melted cheesy tomato-y goodness is staring me in the face, things are going to happen.
It’s also surprisingly high protein, with the quinoa and mozzarella. This is all according to calorie count, and I’m no nutritionist, but I double checked everything per usual and those stats seem legit. Go protein!
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram – it truly makes my day.
Caprese Quinoa Grilled Zucchini Boats
Lightly-charred zucchini boats stuffed with easy and flavorful caprese quinoa, topped with melty mozzarella!
Yield: 4-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 clove garlic, chopped
- ½ of one small red onion, chopped
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (jarred in oil)
- ½ cup fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 4 zucchini
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the red onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes - it should smell a little nutty as it becomes toasted.
- Pour in the broth, cherry tomatoes, and sundried tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed.
- While the quinoa is cooking, set your grill to medium heat. Cut the zucchini in half, then use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Brush the zucchini with oil on both sides, then sprinkle with a little salt. Grill the zucchini cut-side down until lightly charred, about 5 minutes (check after 3 to see how they’re doing). Remove the zucchini from the grill, then set the grill to medium-low.
- When the quinoa is ready, remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Divide the quinoa across the 8 zucchini halves. Carefully transfer the stuffed zucchini to the grill, and top each half with 1 ounce of sliced fresh mozzarella. Close the cover to the grill and let cook for another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately, or store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, and reheat in the microwave.
Recipe makes 4 large servings, or 8 smaller servings. I always ate two halves, but I'm perpetually hungry.
Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe (two halves), Calories: 467, Total Fat: 22.2g, Saturated Fat: 7.8g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 897mg, Potassium: 1200mg, Total Carbohydrates: 42.3g, Dietary Fiber: 6.7g, Sugars: 7.4g, Protein: 28.4g