Ever since I posted this recipe for Crab Stuffed Zucchini ‘boats’, I had a bunch of emails and requests on how to make these as appetizers.
I love, love, LOVE this dish. Like seriously for the past maybe 2-3 weeks I’ve eat zucchini in some fashion every day!
These are going to be the HOTTEST appetizer this summer! You will clearly ROCK the cookout this year if you serve these!
And if you make these and invite me over I am so your BFF for life! LOL
Now if you’re not a fan of crab, you can easily use shrimp, lobster or scallops in it. Just adjust the cooking time for those seafoods.
Now when making these, you can use any size zucchini (or even yellow squash) though I wouldn’t use the jumbo ones on account of the massive seeds.. They can be teeny ones if you use baby zucchini or larger (burger) sized ones though if you use the larger ones, you need to watch for the seeds.Print
Crab Stuffed Zucchini Appetizers with Gruyere Panko Crust
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- 2 zucchini, ~8” size
- 8 ounces jumbo lump crab, picked through
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 1/2 cups gruyere, shredded and divided
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon Panko OR Gluten Free Panko
- 3 teaspoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Line a baking pan with foil.
- Slice off the top and bottom of the zucchini (about 1/2″).
- Slice the zucchini in 2 1/2″ high pieces and scoop out the flesh using a melon baller leaving about 1/4-1/2″ thick side walls and bottom. Essentially you’ll have a hollowed out center that can hold a good sized scoop of mixture.
- Reserve the flesh and set aside.
- Drizzle the zucchini flesh side with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Place on the foil, hulled side down.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- While the zucchini is baking in a skillet add 2 teaspoon olive oil and heat over medium.
- Coarsely chop the zucchini flesh.
- Place the shallots in the pan with the zucchini flesh.
- Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until it begins to soften.
- Add in the garlic, remaining salt and pepper.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes until the zucchini is mixture is soft but not mushy.
- Add in the lemon juice and crab meat.
- Gently stir and cook for 30 seconds just to heat the crab.
- When the zucchini is done baking, remove from the oven and set aside leaving the oven on.
- Transfer the crab mixture to a bowl. Add in 1/3 cup of panko and 1 cup of gruyere.
- Gently combine. The mixture will be loose but will clump slightly if pressed together.
- Using tongs, gently flip the zucchini slices over so the hulled out portion is facing upwards.
- Evenly divide the crab mixture into the zucchini, mounding as needed.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of panko on top of each.
- Lightly mist the tops with olive oil and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the zucchini is easily pierced with a knife.
- Remove from the oven, turn on the broiler.
- Divide the remaining 1/2 cup gruyere and sprinkle on top.
- Broil for 1 minute or until the cheese is melted and slightly golden.
- Garnish with lemon.
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