These stuffed zucchini boats are the perfect way to enjoy a delicious and fresh zucchini recipe. Zucchini boats are filled with a tasty beef sauce covered in mozzarella cheese. This recipe has Italian flavors, the zucchini is tender, and the meat is extremely flavorful.
My grandmother gifted me plenty of zucchini this year. I’m trying to use them in any possible until they go bad. I love making zucchini noodles and my loaf of Keto Zucchini Bread that’s moist, sweet, and delicious. Some of the zucchini goes straight to my freezer, and it’s perfect for pasta sauces.
I love zucchini because it’s such a versatile vegetable and packed with tons of nutrients and fiber. My digestion has drastically improved since I’m eating zucchini almost every day.
Reasons This Recipe Works
- Super nutritious: Zucchini is low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.
- Versatile: Zucchini boats can be filled with a variety of ingredients, but using beef sauce adds a rich and savory flavor.
- Easy to Make: Zucchini boats are super simple to prepare, even for a busy weeknight dinner.
- Perfect for meal prep: Zucchini boats can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, making them an excellent option for meal prep or leftovers.
- Family-friendly: This recipe is always a hit among all the members of my family and even kids love it.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats Ingredients
This stuffed zucchini recipe is a classic dish perfect for summertime when zucchini are in season. I love that this recipe is incredibly customizable and ready in less than 30 minutes.
Here’s a note on the ingredients:
- Zucchini – Use medium zucchini that are similar in size to ensure even cooking. I choose zucchini that weigh around 8 ounces each, so they have enough space to add the stuffing without overcrowding.
- Ground beef – lean ground beef is delicious, but you can use Italian sausage, ground turkey, or ground chicken.
- Bell pepper – for some extra crunch and flavor.
- Dried herbs – oregano, rosemary, and thyme.
- Onion – finely chopped yellow onion.
- Garlic – fresh garlic adds the best flavor, but you can replace it with garlic powder.
- Olive oil – to cook the onion and garlic until fragrant. Use butter or avocado oil instead.
- Marinara sauce – or any tomato sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese – Shredded mozzarella cheese is a classic choice for topping the zucchini boats. However, you can use your favorite shredded cheese to add a gooey and melty finish to the dish.
- Fresh parsley – basil is also a good option.
How to Make Stuffed Zucchini Boats?
Preparing The Zucchini
Cut the zucchini boats. Slice each zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the flesh creating a shell for the meat sauce.
Season the zucchini with a blend of dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, and salt. You can also use Italian Seasoning instead. Place the zucchini in the prepared baking pan.
Make A Quick Beef Sauce
Prepare the simple meat sauce by cooking the ground beef along with the onion, red pepper, and garlic. Season well and add marinara sauce. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Assemble and Bake
Assemble the zucchini boats by filling them with a few spoonfuls of the delicious beef mixture and top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake the stuffed zucchini boats in the preheated oven until perfection. The zucchini should be soft but still crisp, and the cheese melty and bubbly. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs, and enjoy!
How To Serve Stuffed Zucchini Boats
I love to serve these stuffed zucchini boats on their own as a main meal or with a side dish. Here are some of the best ways to serve:
Tips and Variations
- Try not to scoop up too much flesh so the zucchini can hold the filling.
- Use mild or hot Italian sausage, ground pork, turkey, or even ground chicken.
- Make this recipe with yellow zucchini or eggplants.
- Feel free to use your favorite cheese, such as parmesan, fontina, gruyere, or cream cheese.
- If you like spicy meals, add some crushed red pepper flakes to the mixture.
- You can use leftover bolognese sauce or chili instead of the beef sauce in this recipe.
- Refrigerator: These baked zucchini boats can be stored for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
- Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing stuffed zucchini as they get super soggy when thawed. However, you can make the filling ahead and freeze it until ready to stuff your zucchini.
- Reheating – Place the zucchini boats in the oven or the air fryer and reheat until warm.
Other Delicious Zucchini Recipes:
- Sauteed Zucchini And Tomatoes
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Crispy Parmesan Baked Zucchini Fries
- Healthy Low Carb Keto Zucchini Fritters
- The Best Zucchini Lasagna
- Best Zucchini Casserole
- Easy Baked Zucchini with Parmesan
- The Best Zucchini Slice
Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Preheat the oven to 400F and grease a large baking dish with cooking spray. Coat a large rectangular baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Half the zucchini lengthwise and carefully scoop out the pulp. Arrange the zucchini in the baking dish and sprinkle with salt, oregano, and rosemary. Alternatively, you can use Italian seasoning.
- In a large pan over medium-high heat add the oil and brown the ground beef, onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Drain the excess fat and stir in marinara sauce. Season the beef sauce with salt and pepper. Cover and let it simmer at a lower temperature for 10 minutes.
- Fill each zucchini shell with the beef filling, then top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until zucchini is soft and cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley, and enjoy.
How do we calculate the nutrition info?
These nutrition facts listed are determined using nutrition information from the USDA Food Database. Our nutrition facts are accurate, but if you are using different products, please make your calculations. Net carb count is calculated by subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohols because they don’t raise blood sugar.