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Polish Stuffed Zucchini Recipe – Cukinia Faszerowana

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Baked stuffed zucchini boats with minced chicken mushrooms and vegetables with cheese on a plate Copy space

A beloved dish in many Polish kitchens, Cukinia Faszerowana, Polish Stuffed Zucchini, is a time-honoured dish that reflects the country’s love for simple yet flavorful meals.

Tracing its roots back to a time when resourcefulness in the kitchen was essential, this recipe uses locally abundant ingredients to create a dish that has stood the test of time. Each region may infuse its own unique twist into the stuffing, showcasing the diverse culinary landscape of Poland. Carefully filled with a flavorful mix of minced meat, mushrooms, cheese and aromatic herbs, these stuffed zucchini are a meal that is both simple and satisfying.

Fun Fact!

Both zucchini and squash are elongated varieties of pumpkin. Some believe they are two different plants, while others consider them the same. In Polish cuisine, the term “squash (kabaczek)” was initially used. Interestingly, the word “zucchini” doesn’t even appear in Witold Doroszewski’s dictionary from the 1960s! The oldest recipes for this vegetable can be found in cookbooks from the early 20th century.

Step-by-step preparation of zucchini boats with minced meat, mushrooms and cheese, step 2 – preparation of zucchini for stuffing, selective focus, top view

Tips For Cooking Stuffed Zucchini

1. Experiment with Fillings

Stuffed zucchini is endlessly adaptable, so don’t be afraid to get creative with the fillings. Try adding grains like quinoa, buckwheat, or rice. You can also mix in different herbs and spices, add nuts for crunch, or even use a protein like lentils or chickpeas instead of ground meat (for a vegetarian version). The beauty of this dish is you can tailor it to your personal tastes and what you have on hand!

2. Freshness is Key

For a flavour-packed experience, opt for fresh zucchini. Use those that are firm and unblemished, with bright colour. Also, avoid frozen ones as they tend to have a milder taste and the essence of a successful stuffed zucchini lies in its vibrant flavours.

3. Repurpose Leftovers

Similar to how rosół soup forms the base for various Polish soups, leftover stuffed zucchinis can be repurposed creatively. Dice them into bite-sized pieces to toss into salads, add them to pasta dishes, or incorporate them into omelettes for a delicious and efficient way to enjoy your dish in different forms.

4. Cheese Matters

You can use different cheeses in the filling or as a topping. The most common are Feta, Parmesan, or Mozzarella. But of course, you can use any of your favourite cheeses, it’s all up to you and your creativity!

Polish Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Part I-Preheat the Oven

Start with preheating your oven to 355°F (180°C).

Part II – Fry the Mushrooms and Onion

Wash and finely chop the 250g of mushrooms and onion. Fry them for 5-10 minutes with a dash of oil.

Part III – Prepare the Zucchini

Wash the 2 zucchini then slice them lengthwise. Scrape out the core, creating a boat with about ½” of flesh on all sides. Be careful when scooping out the flesh, not to break the zucchini. 

Part IV – Cook the Meat 

Use 250g of any meat. Cut the meat if necessary. If you are using minced meat, fry it with a bit of oil. For the vegetarian version, just use mushrooms instead of meat. You can also add other ingredients like corn,  beans, or tofu to make it more nutritional.

Part V – Dice the Carrot

Make sure to use a cooked carrot. Be careful not to overcook it,  this might make the filling of the zucchini too soggy.

Part VI-Mix Everything Together

Mix the meat, mushrooms, carrot. Add 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of pepper. 

Part VII-Fill the Zucchini

Gently fill the zucchini boats with the stuffing. Top with 140g grated cheese of your choice.

Part VIII – Bake the Zucchini 

Place stuffed zucchini on the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 25 minutes. If you’re using cheese, bake until it’s nice and crispy!

What To Serve With Stuffed Zucchini?

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Make a refreshing cucumber yoghurt sauce by combining grated cucumber, Greek yoghurt, garlic, and a hint of dill. This light and tangy sauce complements the richness of stuffed zucchini.

Quinoa or Buckwheat Side

Serve stuffed zucchini with a side of cooked quinoa or buckwheat for a wholesome and satisfying meal. The grains absorb the flavorful juices from the zucchini.

Dipping Sauce

Melted garlic butter makes for a great dipping sauce. Infuse the butter with minced garlic and a pinch of herbs for added flavour.

Grilled Vegetables

Grill a medley of vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. The smoky char enhances the overall appeal of the stuffed zucchini.

Step-by-step preparation of zucchini boats with minced meat, mushrooms and cheese, step 5 – filling zucchini boats with minced meat, selective focus, top view

FAQ About the Polish Stuffed Zucchini

What kind of Zucchini Works Best?

Choose zucchinis that are medium to large. Smaller zucchinis may split when baked. Avoid overripe zucchinis that are very seedy.

What Herbs and Spices Complement Stuffed Zucchini?

Popular choices include dill, parsley, mint, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, paprika, cumin and chilli powder. Tailor the blend to your taste.

Should the Zucchini Boats Be Covered While Baking?

It’s best to leave them uncovered so the tops brown and any Cheese topping gets nice and crispy. Covering can make them soggy.

How Long is the Shelf Life for Baked Stuffed Zucchini?

Properly stored in the refrigerator, they will keep for 3-4 days. Reheat gently before serving. The stuffing may separate a bit from the zucchini over time.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Polish Stuffed Zucchini Recipe - Cukinia Faszerowana

Polish Stuffed Zucchini Recipe - Cukinia Faszerowana
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 average zucchinis
  • 9 oz (250g) of any cooked meat or minced meat
  • 9 oz (250g) of mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot (cooked)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of pepper
  • 5 oz (140g) of grated cheese
  • ketchup to serve (optionally)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C).
  2. Wash and finely chop the mushrooms and onion. Fry it for 5-10 minutes with a bit of oil.
  3. Wash zucchini then slice it lengthwise. Scrape out the core, creating a boat with about ½'' of flesh on all sides.
  4. Cut the meat if necessary. If you are using minced meat, fry it with a bit of oil.
  5. Dice the carrot.
  6. Mix meat, mushrooms, carrot, salt and pepper.
  7. Fill the zucchini boats with the stuffing. Top with grated cheese.
  8. Place stuffed zucchinis on the baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Notes

You can make this dish vegetarian, just use mushrooms instead of meat.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 932mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 36g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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