Bolognese Stuffed Zucchini with Pesto
Recipe type: Gluten free, Grain free, Whole30, Dinner, Beef
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
These bolognese stuffed zucchini with pesto are a satisfying and summery Whole30 meal made with organic tomato basil sauce, ground beef, and plenty of fresh pesto on top.
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 6-8 small zucchini and/or summer squash
  • Sea salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1½ cups Uncle Steve’s Organic Tomato Basil Sauce
  • ⅓ cup pesto*
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until beginning to brown.
  3. While the onion is cooking, halve the squash lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seedy pulp from the center, reserving it to use in the filling. Place the hollowed out zucchini boats on the baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Put them in the oven to roast while you continue to prepare the filling.
  4. Once the onion is a bit browned, push it to the edges of the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spatula, until no longer pink. Chop the reserved squash pulp and add it to the meat along with a few grinds of black pepper a few pinches of sea salt, the oregano, and the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the bolognese sauce and add salt and/or pepper if needed. Remove from the heat.
  5. Take the zucchini boats out of the oven. They should appear dry around the edges. If there is liquid in the center, carefully pour it out or blot it with paper towels.
  6. Spoon the bolognese sauce into the zucchini boats and bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and browned in spots.
  7. Use a long spatula to carefully transfer the boats to plates or a serving platter. If necessary, thin out your pesto with olive oil so it's a pourable consistency. Drizzle the zucchini boats with the pesto and serve hot.
  8. Leftovers reheat well on a baking sheet covered with foil in a 350° oven. If you know you won't be eating the stuffed zucchini right away, wait to add the pesto until you're ready to eat them.
*Use any dairy-free pesto to keep this recipe Whole30-compliant. I love my carrot top-kale pesto (pictured here is a version of that recipe with basil instead of carrot tops) or my everything pesto if I have a lot of different herbs on hand.
Recipe by A Calculated Whisk at