Stuffed Zucchini – Basil Panko Parmesan

Zucchini, Basil, Panko Parmesan Cheese Midlife Snowbird
Zucchini from my garden (pictured in the background), sliced into boats and stuffed with panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil

Snowbird Recipe:

Stuffed Zucchini

Basil, Panko, Parmesan Cheese

This is a newly found, tasty, go-to recipe for baked zucchini. Garden squash combined with fragrant, fresh basil, panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese become a quick, easy recipe for a delicious baked side or meatless main dish. The secret is flavorful

Zucchini Coins with Parm, Panko, Basil, Midlife Snowbird
Bite-sized zucchini coins topped with sausage crumbles, basil, Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs

herbed seasonings for a crispy crumb crust to stuff into zucchini boats or pile onto bite-sized coins for a starter or hors d'oeuvres. Any summer squash with thin skin such as zucchini or yellow squash works well. Sauteed ground beef or sausage crumbles can be added to the topping as a variation. 

I use a herb and chive spice blend that is produced by Fresco Spice Blends® in the same city as my Northern home. It is made of the best quality authentic, natural ingredients, 100% free of preservatives and additives and most of all, created and hand-packed in the Midwest. Seasoned panko crumbs are another option or create your own blend of herbs and spices.

My recipe is inspired by Parmesan Roasted Zucchini on page 134 of "Cooking for Jeffrey" by Ina Garten. 

Snowbird meals tend to be much simpler, using fewer ingredients and a very limited selection of appliances and gadgets to prepare them. Choose the freshest, highest quality ingredients and find alternate ways to make your favorite recipes. Forget about what you don't have to cook with, instead focus on what you can accomplish with what you do have. - Midlife Snowbird


One 10 to 12" long zucchini for two boats OR two small zucchini for coins

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup panko crumbs

6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons

4 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 t. herbs and chives seasoning blend

1/4 t. garlic salt or to taste

1/4 t. kosher salt

1/4 t. fresh cracked pepper


Optional: approx. 2/3 cup ground beef or sausage, browned/drained


Suggested Brands: Fresco Spice Blend® Herbs and Chives Seasoning; Kikkoman® Panko Japanese Style Bread Crumbs


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Rinse and dry zucchini, trim ends

Cut zucchini lengthwise in half or into round coins approximately .25" thick

Scoop out the seeds of the boats, discard

Brush olive oil on both sides of the boats or coins

Place zucchini coins in a single layer on a sheet pan with edges touching (coins) OR a single layer with skin side up (boats)

Sprinkle with kosher salt

Bake boats for about 12 minutes or until tender OR bake coins about 7 - 8 minutes or until tender

While zucchini is baking, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, herb and chives seasoning, 2 T. olive oil half of the fresh basil ribbons, garlic salt and pepper. Optional: add drained browned ground beef or sausage.

Remove zucchini from oven

Turn boats cut-side up

Stuff boats or top coins with crumb mixture. Bake an additional 7 to 8 minutes until browned and crispy.

Sprinkle with fresh ribbons of basil just before serving

Slice boats into strips approximately 1" to 2" wide.

Serve warm or at room temperature



Approximately two 10" to 12" boats or 12 to 13 coins per small zucchini

Serving Suggestion:

--As a starter, snack or appetizer

--As a side or main dish

Equipment List:

--mixing bowl

--knife and cutting board

--measuring utensils

--sheet pan






Share your own recipe...

What are your favorite seafood recipes? Side dishes? Desserts? Go-to party recipes?