This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Want a quick dinner that is healthy, delicious, and will be loved by everyone? Then make Stuffed Zucchini Boats! Fresh zucchini is stuffed with a simple-to-make meat sauce, topped with cheese, and then baked in the oven for the best low-carb, gluten-free, hearty dinner!
Stuffed Zucchini Boats
We can’t get enough of these Stuffed Zucchini Boats in my house! They are fun and easy to eat, yet hearty, filling, and delicious. They are perfect to make in the summer when zucchini is so abundant, but also still accessible to make in the winter when you want a delicious and lightened-up dinner! These low-carb stuffed zucchinis are perfect for a weeknight dinner and while you can serve it with a side, feel hearty enough to serve on their own.
Here is what you need to make them:
- Ground Beef
- Baby Spinach (optional)
- Diced Tomato + Tomato Paste
- Olive Oil
- Onion + Garlic
- Herbs + Spices
- Mozzarella Cheese (this is optional)
Steps to Make Zucchini Boats
There are a few steps to making these Italian stuffed zucchini boats!
- It starts with preparing the zucchini! Of course, they should be washed and dried first, and then sliced in half lengthwise. Using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out some of the flesh from the center to make a boat. Set aside for another use or discard. Then they are parbaked while you make the tomato sauce!
- Making the tomato sauce is simple! First, some aromatics are cooked up, then the meat is added, before the final addition of tomatoes and herbs. It is simmered for a bit.
- Then it’s time to stuff the boats!
- Finally, add cheese, if using and bake!
Save that Zucchini!
In an effort to reduce waste, don’t throw out that perfect edible zucchini flesh that is removed to make the boats! You can freeze it and add it to smoothies or soups!
What to serve with Zucchini Boats
On their own, these zucchini boats are pretty hearty! But if you wanted to serve it with something else, a nice salad would pair perfectly. Here are a few options:
- Easy Cucumber Salad with Lots of Herbs!
- Easy Edamame Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Greek Three Bean Salad
Watch the video here:
If you like this zucchini recipe, check out these others:
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries
- Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 4 medium to large zucchini washed and dried
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3 large carrots peeled and finely diced
- 1 pound grass-fed beef or ground turkey
- 1- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes more to taste
- 1 teaspoon sea salt more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper more to taste
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach optional
- ¼ cup fresh basil minced
- ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella optional
- Preheat oven to 400ºF
- Cut zucchinis in half down the middle so you have two pieces. Using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out some of the flesh from the center to make a boat. Set aside for another use or discard.
- Place zucchini on a rimmed baking sheet and lightly brush with olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling: In a large high-sided saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and carrots. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until onions are translucent and the carrots begin to soften.
- Add ground beef to the pan and cook until no pink remains, about 5 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and salt.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and let rapidly simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach, if using, and the fresh basil. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Add filling to each zucchini boat, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, if using.
- Place back into the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until you can easily pierce zucchini with a knife and the cheese is melty.