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Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini with Harissa Butter

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini with Harissa Butter

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini with Harissa Butter will become a summertime favorite. Roasted zucchini boats are filled with coriander-spiced quinoa, pine nuts, and parsley, and finished with melted chili-infused butter. Fresh, flavorful, and nutritious!
Course Dinner, Main Entree
Cuisine Mediterranean
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 267kcal


  • Large baking sheet
  • Skillet with fitted lid


  • 4 medium (8 to 9 oz.) or 3 large (10 to 12 oz.) zucchinis
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 3 minced garlic cloves, divided
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth (sub water)
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. mild harissa paste (I use Mina brand)
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest


  • Slice zucchinis in half lengthwise. Use a small spoon to scoop the seeds out of the center, leaving a 1/4-inch thick border of flesh. Discard seeds, or save for another recipe. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. salt evenly all over the flesh, and let zucchini sit for 30 minutes. (This helps draw out moisture, which turns the zucchini from soggy to succulent after roasting. If you're short on time, you can skip this step, however it does improve the zucchini's texture.)
    After 30 minutes, use a paper towel to blot the water molecules off the flesh.
    Preheat oven to 450ºF. Spray zucchini flesh with cooking spray. and arrange flesh side-down on a large baking sheet. Roast for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the rim of the flesh is golden brown. 
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet with a fitted lid over medium heat. Once hot, add shallots; cook 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add 2 cloves of the minced garlic, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes; cook 1 more minute.
    Add dry quinoa to skillet and toast grains for about 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add vegetable broth, tomato (if using), and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid if absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Stir in pine nuts and keep covered until ready to use.
  • In a small bowl, combine softened butter and harissa paste; mix well to combine. In a separate bowl, combine chopped parsley, lemon zest, and remaining 1 clove minced garlic; mix to combine. 
  • Turn roasted zucchini boats around so that they're now skin side-down on the baking sheet. Divide the quinoa mixture evenly between each zucchini boat, and dollop Harissa Butter overtop. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the butter melts into the quinoa. Remove from the oven and scatter parsley mixture overtop before serving. 


Serving: 2zucchini boats | Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 29.5g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 700mg | Sugar: 68g