Bulgur Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Bulgur Stuffed Zucchini – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Vegan Recipe





Medium  |  Servings: 4  |  Ready In: 70 minutes |  Yield: 8 zucchini

Cracked wheat, aka Bulgur, makes for a light, nutritious stuffing in this summer-inspired dish.  You can use this wholegrain stuffing for other vegetables like bell peppers, Chinese eggplant, and yellow summer squash.  Packed with healthy fiber and protein, this vegan recipe leaves you satisfied.


  • 8 small zucchini
  • 1/4 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flake
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed (aka fennel seed)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Roma plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

How it’s Done

Preheat oven to 350 F

To soak the Bulgur:  Place the bulgur in a heat-safe container.  Bring the a cup of water to a boil.  Pour over the bulgur enough to cover it by 1 inch.  Let soak 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, fluff with a fork.

To prepare the Zucchini Boats: Trim off the stalk at the tip of the zucchini.
Cut the top 1/4-inch off the zucchini, lengthwise. Save the zucchini tops for later in the recipe.
Use a spoon to scrape out the insides of the zucchini boats into a bowl. Leave about 1/4-inch around the edge.
Place scooped out zucchini boats in a pan big enough to hold them. I usually use a 9×13 baking dish.

To make the Bulgur Stuffing: In a medium sauté pan, combine the onion, red chili flake, anise seed, and dried thyme. Cover and cook over medium heat, just until brown, 5-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice the reserved zucchini “tops” and the scraped out insides.
When the onion has started to turn golden on the edges, it is ready. You should smell the anise, red chile, and thyme.  Add the zucchini, stir, and cook another 3-5 minutes, until soft.
Once the zucchini has softened, add the bulgur and soaking liquid. Also add the minced garlic. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the liquid evaporates, just 3-5 minutes.
Prepare the remaining ingredients: Seed and dice the tomatoes. Roughly chop the capers and basil.
When the bulgur mixture is done cooking, remove from the heat.  Add the diced tomatoes, capers, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

To stuff and bake the Zucchini Boats: Fill each of the zucchini boats with the bulgur mixture. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes. Zucchini are ready when you can easily slide a knife in and out.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8 zucchini

Bulgur Stuffed Zucchini – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Vegan Recipe

Chef Katie’s Tips:

Hot Water Kettle Tip:  A hot water kettle is great for something like soaking bulgur.  Simply turn on your kettle.  Place the bulgur in a heat-safe container.  When your water is boiling, pour enough over to cover the bulgur by 1 inch.  You can prepare the remining ingredients while the bulgur soaks.

Gluten-Free Tip:  Bulgur is a cracked wheat, which means it contains gluten.  If you’re avoiding gluten, you can swap out the bulgur for a gluten-free grain like quinoa, short grain brown rice, or millet.  1/4 cup of raw grain equals about ½ cup cooked grains.  For a grain-free version, you can use Cauliflower Rice.

Want extra Plant-Based Protein?  Add in 1 cup of cooked brown lentils or crumbled tempeh to the filling.

Watch to Learn More:



Nutrition Info:

Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (2 zucchini).

Calories 90.94
Calories From Fat (10%) 9.16
% Daily Value

  • Total Fat 1.08g 2%
  • Saturated Fat 0.25g 1%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 289.15mg 12%
  • Potassium 805.88mg 23%
  • Total Carbohydrates 18.57g 6%
  • Fiber 5.09g 20%
  • Sugar 7.94g
  • Protein 4.85g 10%
  • Calcium 51.24mg 5%
  • Iron 59.97mg 333%
  • Vitamin A 912.22IU 18%
  • Vitamin C 1196.46mg 1994

Shopping and Gear List

  • Duru Fine Bulgur, 1000g, 2.2lb
  • Napoleon Nonpareil Capers, 8 Ounce
  • Frontier Natural Products Anise Seed, Og, Whole, 1.50 Ounce


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