Eight-Ball Zucchini Stuffed with Rice, Basil, and Sun-dried Tomatoes

by on June 17, 2007
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When I saw 8-ball zucchini at the nearby farm stand, I snatched some up immediately, even though I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them. After all, who can resist squash the size and shape of a pool ball? Stuffing was the obvious option, because otherwise their cute shape would go to waste.

I stuff things a lot, at least when it comes to dishes that eventually wind up on this blog. After all, stuffed vegetables are cute, and when you’re going to be taking photos of a dish, a stuffed baby eggplant is more attractive than an unstuffed one, though not necessarily tastier.

Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini

When it comes to ordinary, not-on-the-blog meals, however, I’m not very fond of stuffing. For one thing, it takes a lot longer than just chopping up the vegetable and, say, roasting it or even making raw “noodles” out of it with a spiral cutter. And for another thing, my daughter E. has a inexplicable dislike of stuffed vegetables: Even when she likes the veggie in question and the ingredients of the stuffing, she will automatically hate the stuffed vegetable. So I tend not to go to the trouble too often.

But, as I said, 8-ball zucchini are just too perfectly suited for stuffing, and since E. was out of the house, I decided to fill these cuties with a simple herbed rice mixture similar to what I’ve used on regular zucchini. This time, however, my variegated basil is in full-force, so I let it be the star of this stuffing. Sun-dried tomatoes lend some depth, and a few Kalamata olives pack their usual punch, but the peppery-fresh taste of basil really makes these stuffed zucchini special.

Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen August 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Made this but left off the olives. Used red curry paste instead. season to your taste. WE LOVED IT


2 Lisa September 16, 2010 at 1:12 am

wowww I made this tonight and it was oh so good! I made 3 with the ‘ronde de nice’ squash, and 2 with ‘pattypans’ and wow! What a great recipe! Will definitely make again. And again!


3 Babette October 18, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I tried your recipe, but had to sub zucchini for “ronde de Nice” squash, and I also subbed the rice for quinoa. It was delicious! Thank you!

You can view a picture here :


4 Ursula October 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Here I was at the grocery store staring at these squash. I was like aww they look so cute. Now never had one. How does one cook one exactly. Then I saw gorgeous red Himalayan rice. Bought that as well. Well match made by accident. Now on to the stuffing since I have plenty of basil in the garden. I definitely will be using this recipe again and again. Thanks!


5 katherine September 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm

i made this tonight….it was really great. i also thought i might do a version of this in the fall in acorn squash with maybe walnuts and cranberries.


6 Jennifer August 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm

This recipe is Gluten Free too right? Where is the best place to pick up the eight-ball size? It looks yummy! Can’t wait to try.


7 Susan Voisin August 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I can only find them at the farmers’ market here, but you might be lucky enough to find them in your local grocery store.


8 Sarah August 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I just had to go and get those ball zucchinis I saw recently and did not really know what they where for. So I made my own style of stuffed zucchini…because I bought parsley instead of basil…next time I make a list…and I used normal rice. So I added some rosemary and mushrooms, thought that would go with it. And I must say, it was delicious. So I ate both of them all by myself plus all the left over stuffing…and am full now and happy :-)


9 Esther J July 11, 2014 at 9:04 am

My community garden’s zucchini crop runneth over, so I’m beginning a zuke kick, starting with this dish, which I made last night to great results. We didn’t have the 8-ball zukes, so I ended up taking a massive one from the garden and making the dish into a casserole of sorts. I doubled the olives and added a half cup of the tomatoes. I folded in one and a half cups of chickpeas, and also added a bit of balsamic vinegar for some acid. Finally, even though there is the rice, I served it over some creamy polenta. Yum!

Delicious, and very easy!

Thanks, Susan! :)


10 Esther J July 11, 2014 at 9:15 am

Oh, yeah, and I added an 8-oz pack of sliced mushrooms that needed to be used up.

Heaven in a bowl.


11 Robin Seeber June 17, 2015 at 8:28 pm

so cute, and look yummy, but couldn’t you just cut large sections from a regular zucchini and use those to stuff? that’s what I am gonna try, see if it works, or if the bottom gets too soft to hold in the stuffing..


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