Stuffed Zucchini Pockets with Kale Pesto Beans recipe was made with a combination of zucchini from both the CSA I belong to and zucchini from my garden. I wish I could say it was all homegrown zucchini but I had a weird season with zucchini from my garden. They were either growing too large or too small! And very few were normal in shape. But no matter what the size, I made use of them!
Stuffed Zucchini Pockets are easy to make, but you need to use a Mandoline to slice the zucchini. If the slices are too thin, they will not be able to hold together with the stuffing. If they are too thick, they will break when bending to wrap around the filling. Hint: Practice with a couple of slices to ensure you have the proper thickness before slicing all of the zucchini!
You can also save a little time and use store-bought pesto, but I find making your own is worth the time. It can be used in so many recipes. It is especially delicious in my super healthy recipe Quinoa Buddha Bowl with Roasted Vegetables.
Once you have your slices, I recommend salting the zucchini slices to release some of the water content. You can make the bean mixture while the salt sits. When done, dab each slice dry and start wrapping!Print
Stuffed Zucchini Pockets with Kale Pesto Beans is a creative way to serve this combination of delicious ingredients. It presents beautifully on individual plates or even in a casserole dish. It is also a great "make ahead of time" dish for entertaining guests! Just pop it in the oven and serve when ready!
Kale Pesto Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups kale (Latino or green)
1 1/2 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
3/4 cup parmesan cheese (*use vegan parmesan cheese)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup vegetable broth
freshly ground pepper
Stuffed Zucchini Pocket Ingredients:
3 large zucchini
13.4-ounce container cannellini beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup chopped kale
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup red or yellow cherry tomatoes
8 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
2 cups tomato sauce
fresh basil leaves
- Make Kale Pesto ( *see Recipe for directions)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Strain and rinse beans. Add them to a large bowl and use a hand masher or fork to mash.
- Use a Mandoline Slicer to make lengthwise zucchini strips. Separate the strips and sprinkle each slice with salt to release moisture. Dab dry. (*See post for more detail)
- In a small sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and kale and cook until kale wilts.
- Combine with mashed beans: 1/2 cup of pesto and sauté ingredients. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- Cover the bottom of a large casserole dish with 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce. Set aside.
- Using 2 zucchini strips at a time, crosswise layer one on top of the other. Use an ice cream scooper or tablespoon and place a mound of bean mixture in the center. Cross over the zucchini edges layering over the bean mixture to form a pocket. Gently lift and place in the casserole dish nestled in the sauce. Continue to fill each zucchini pocket individually. Scatter tomatoes through the casserole dish.
- Season with salt & pepper. Cover with the extra 1/2 cup tomato sauce if desired. Place thyme sprigs on top—cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake additional 10 minutes.
- Remove thyme sprigs. Sprinkle with (vegan) parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serve immediately.
- Refrigerate the leftover Kale Pesto and make Quinoa Buddha Bowl Recipe another day!
Keywords: zucchini, stuffed zucchini, zucchini pockets, baked zucchini, vegan dinner