This vegetarian zucchini boats recipe is a delicious way to use zucchini from your garden as a main dish. It’s easy to make, and you can freeze fresh zucchini to make healthy zucchini dinners anytime throughout the year. Keep reading to discover how to make this easy vegetarian recipe as healthy meal for your family.
Healthy Vegetarian Zucchini Boats
In the summer, zucchini is often a side dish in my house. It’s a healthy food that is in abundant supply, and there are so many recipes that you can make with it. Most zucchini recipes are for desserts or side dishes, but I like to make a simple stuffed zucchini recipe as a main dish.
This vegetarian zucchini boats recipe is easy to prepare, even on busy evenings. Since it’s vegetarian, it’s a light dinner, which is perfect for hot summer days in the south. This recipe is easy to customize, so each person can make their own with different toppings.
I used tomato sauce, but you can also use fresh tomatoes if you have some fresh tomatoes from the garden. Customize your simple stuffed zucchini recipe with different cheeses and vegetables like onions or green peppers or add fresh mushrooms. If someone isn’t vegetarian, add cooked meat or even pepperoni on one while still making the rest a vegetarian zucchini boats recipe.
Other zucchini boat recipes call for scooping out more of the flesh and mixing it with the stuffing ingredients. However, that’s not necessary for these quick and easy zucchini boats. You can leave the zucchini flesh in the shell and save time prepping this vegetarian dinner recipe. To make this recipe for vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats, you simply remove the seeds from the zucchini.
Do You Eat the Skin on Zucchini Boats?
Yes, you can absolutely eat the skin on these quick and easy zucchini boats. The bright green color of the skin is a visual cue that that is the part of the zucchini with the most nutrients. As long as you clean the skin before making your vegetarian zucchini boats recipe, the skin is fine to eat.
Sometimes zucchini skin can get tough. This is more true for larger zucchini, and younger smaller plants will have a more tender skin. Try to use small to medium sizes zucchini for your vegetarian zucchini boats recipe. The skin and the flesh are more tender.
You can use a large zucchini, but be aware that you will have to scoop out more of the flesh. The seeds can get quite large as the zucchini grows. The seeds are edible, but they can have a bitter taste.
How Do You Hollow Out Zucchini?
You’ll need to hollow out the zucchini to make vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats. To hollow out the zucchini for this simple stuffed zucchini recipe, follow these directions:
- Wash the zucchini and then trim the ends off. Cut the zucchini lengthwise.
- Then use a spoon or a melon baller to scoop out the seeds. You want to remove all of the seeds and any strings that are in the center. The seeds are edible, so if you miss a few, it won’t harm anyone.
- Work from one side of the zucchini and press the spoon firmly into the zucchini and pull towards the other side. Be sure not to press too hard and remove all of the flesh.
Some recipes call for scooping out most of the flesh to add to the filling. However, you do not need to remove all of the flesh of the zucchini to make this vegetarian zucchini boats recipe. You will simply be adding toppings inside and on top of the zucchini rather than using the zucchini to create the topping.
Can You Freeze Zucchini Boats?
Yes, you can easily freeze this zucchini boats recipe to make later. After you hollow out your zucchini, blanch it in boiling water for one minute. Then remove from the hot water and let dry and cool completely. Freeze the zucchini in a single layer in an airtight container. They will freeze up to three months.
When you want to make a vegetarian zucchini boats recipe, place the zucchini boats in the fridge overnight to thaw. Then continue with this simple stuffed zucchini recipe as directed.
Note that zucchini can get watery if you freeze it and thaw it. It will still taste fine, but it might get mushy. Set it on a towel as it thaws to absorb some of the water.
Stuffed Zucchini Recipe Tips
Use these tips when you prepare your vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats:
- Before you slice the zucchini to hollow it out, cut a thin slice from opposite sides of the zucchini. This will stop your vegetarian stuffed zucchini from rolling as they bake.
- Don’t scoop out too much of the zucchini. You want to be able to eat it for its nutrition, and you need it to support your vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats.
- Top with fresh or dried herbs, cherry tomatoes or different kinds of cheeses to create variations on this simple stuffed zucchini recipe.
- Add breadcrumbs to the top before baking to change the texture and taste of this vegetarian zucchini boats recipe.
- You can also use pesto on top of this healthy zucchini boats recipe for extra flavor, if desired.
What to Serve With Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats
This vegetarian zucchini boats recipe makes a delicious and filling main meal. You can also serve it with side dishes if you’d like.
I like to serve it with something like a pasta salad, salad or even fruit.
Vegetarian Zucchini Boats Ingredients
To make these quick and easy zucchini boats, you will need the following ingredients:
- Medium sized zucchini
- Tomato sauce
- Garlic cloves
- Fine ground sea salt
- Dried oregano leaf (or try Mexican oregano for more robust flavor)
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
How to Make Zucchini Boats
Follow these steps to make simple stuffed zucchini recipe:
1. Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. While the oven preheats, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Alternately, you can also drizzle olive oil onto the pan.
3. Now prep the zucchinis. To do this, cut off the ends of each zucchini. Then cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise.
4. Use a small spoon or a melon baller to remove the seeds and strings from the inside of the zucchinis. Place the prepared zucchinis onto the baking pan.
5. Remove peel from garlic and cut into large slices. Then combine the tomato sauce, garlic, salt and oregano in a blender or small food processor. Blend the sauce until smooth.
6. Now spoon the seasoned tomato sauce into the hollowed out part of each zucchini. You do not need to overfill them.
7. Next, top these quick and easy zucchini boats with shredded mozzarella cheese, and any additional toppings, as desired.
8. Finally, bake the vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats for 25 minutes in the oven, or until the zucchini is tender and the mozzarella is browned.
- 4 medium zucchinis
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, fine ground
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or drizzle olive oil onto the pan.
- Remove the ends of the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise.
- Use a small spoon or a melon baller to remove the seeds and strings from the inside of the zucchini.
- To make the sauce, place tomato sauce, garlic cloves, salt and oregano in a blender or small food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Spoon the sauce into the hollowed out part of the zucchini. You do not need to overfill them.
- Top these quick and easy zucchini boats with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake your vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats for 25 minutes until zucchini is tender and the mozzarella is browned.
Serving Size:2.5 zucchini boats
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 1042mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 15g
More Zucchini Recipes
If you like my easy zucchini dinner idea for making vegetarian zucchini boats, then be sure to try these other zucchini recipes:
- Zucchini Ravioli Recipe
- Crispy Zucchini Chips
- Zucchini Egg Cups Recipe
- Vegan Zucchini Brownies Recipe
- Flank Steak Tacos with Zucchini