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  • Brittany Sparks

Turkey & Quinoa Stuffed Summer Squash

Summer squash season may be coming to an end but luckily this vegetable can be found year round in most grocery stores. I came up with this recipe when I had an abundance of summer squash. This recipe is great for when you find that one huge squash hiding under the leaves that you forgot to pick. Change up your weeknight meals with this healthy and tasty recipe.

When I find the time to cook I often cook large batches so I can have leftovers for lunches during the week or to place in the freezer for an easy to make dinner for later on. This makes 12 servings that are usually used up during the busy workday week. If you have leftover filling they make for a great burrito or quesadilla filling.

The whole squash is used in this recipe making for a more nutritious dish and cutting back on food waste. The squash that you scoop out is incorporated into the filling.

For the filling you can either use lean ground meat or make it vegetarian by using tofu. I have made it both ways and like them both. To make vegetarian use one 14 ounce block of firm tofu. Make sure to wrap it in paper towels or a tea towel about 30 minutes prior to using to get as much liquid out as possible. This will help the tofu better absorb all the flavor from the spices used and get out excess liquid.

Top off the zucchini with a sprinkle of cheese and chopped fresh herbs prior to placing in the oven.

This is a great recipe to have your kids help you out with. My son likes to sprinkle on the cheese and herbs at the end. I find involving kids in the cooking session gets them more excited to eat the dish and try out new food items.

Summer squash comes in a variety of colors shapes and sizes. Most squash varieties will work for this recipe but the larger squash work the best. Squash is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and is a good source of fiber. Summer squash is also very low in calories with only about 18 calories per 1 cup of squash. When cooking squash try not to use too much fat when cooking this vegetable as the squash will easily soak up any fat used when cooking.

So when you find yourself with an abundance of squash try out this nutritious, tasty and family fun recipe.


Turkey & Quinoa Stuffed Summer Squash

Author: Brittany Sparks

Makes 12 Servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Total Time: 45 min


  • 1 lb 93% Lean Ground Turkey

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • 1 (15oz) Can No Added Salt Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed

  • 1 Small Onion, Diced

  • 6 Large Zucchini or Summer Squash

  • 1 Small Ear of Corn (1/2 Cup)

  • 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper, Diced

  • 1 Jalapeno, Diced

  • 1 Tsp Salt

  • ½ Tsp Pepper

  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Cumin

  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder

  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder

  • 2 Tsp Cornstarch

  • 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa (About ½ cup raw)

  • ½ Cup Low Fat Shredded Cheese


  • Chopped parsley or cilantro


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.

  2. Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon carefully scoop out the insides of the squash. Roughly chop the squash insides and set aside.

  3. Place the squash boats on a plate and microwave for about 7 minutes until the squash is tender, set aside.

  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  5. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the onion, jalapeno and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the meat and cook until no longer pink, about 6 to 7 minutes.

  6. Next add the chopped squash and corn and cook for an additional 4 minutes until the squash softens.

  7. Add in the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and cornstarch and stir to combine. Mix in the 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Remove from heat.

  8. Place the squash boats in an oven proof baking dish or baking sheet lined with foil. Add the stuffing mixture into the squash boats. Top with cheese and place in a 375 degree oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted.Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs and serve warm.


  • Vegetarian Version: Use 14 ounces of firm tofu in replace of the meat. Make sure to drain prior to using with paper towels or a tea towel to remove as much liquid as possible. This will help the tofu better absorb the flavors of the spices. Crumble the tofu and add to the pan with the veggies and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size (1 Zucchini Boat/half of a zucchini):

Calories 163, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1.7 g, Monounsaturated Fat 2.3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g, Sodium 263 mg, Total Carbohydrate 16 g, Dietary Fiber 4.3 g, Protein 12.9 g, Potassium 677 mg, Phosphorous 222 mg


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