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Healthy Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats Vegetarian Recipe

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Tender baked vegetarian zucchini boats recipe with a delicious Italian stuffing.

Italian stuffed zucchini boats vegetarian recipe

This simple vegetarian zucchini recipe makes a healthy side dish, or light meal. Perfect for zucchini season.

Lately, copious amounts of zucchini are stacked throughout my kitchen. On my counters. Bulging my refrigerator door. Imagine me. Arms out fighting the door closed.

Delicious Garden Harvest Pie uses Zucchini and tomatoes.
Zucchini squash putting out zucchini. Now the fun begins!

Summer in the garden means zucchini at our house. We LOVE them. But it’s hard to control this heavy producer.

If you grow zucchini, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Time for solutions. No wasting allowed.

Here is a guide on freezing zucchini so you can put it by for the winter. Let’s get more ideas on how to use our favorite summer squash.

Garden Fresh Zucchini
Garden Fresh Zucchini. Tender and delicious.

More Ways to Enjoy Zucchini:

Fortunately Zucchini is a tremendously versatile vegetable. If you search zucchini on this blog you will find LOTS of recipes to enjoy this delicious summer squash. Here are a few to get you started….

There is really no end to what you can do with them. 

Garden fresh vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats-pin image
Our vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats make the perfect healthy weeknight dinner. They are easy to make and very versatile. Keep them vegetarian or add a meat filling for a tasty low carb meal.

Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe:

This is a beautiful, simple vegetarian recipe for baked stuffed zucchini boats. Use it as a side dish or light entrèe for dinner, lunch or potluck.

This is such a great harvest recipe. Use up your homegrown peppers, garlic and tomatoes too.

ingredients for stuffed zucchini boats vegetarian recipe Italian style

Zucchini Tips:

Use large TENDER zucchini. Huge hard zucchinis will make you hate this vegetable. That would be a shame. They are loaded with nutrients.

Harvest zucchini young. Compost the old tigers that fight you when cut them. The flavor of younger summer squash will also be much better.

Ingredients, Variations and Substitutions:

If you want more vegetarian protein add cooked quinoa, extra cheese or tofu.

Meat version:

If you want to add meat to this recipe use 1/2 lb. Good meat choices are:

  • Ground turkey
  • browned Italian sausage
  • Ground beef can work if you brown it with garlic and Italian seasonings to give it Italian flavor. The marinara sauce variation is great with ground beef.

For the meat variations: Brown and season the meat before layering it into the stuffed zucchini.

Substitutions and make blends with Mozzarella cheese:

The stronger flavored cheeses listed below can also be blended in with the mozarella for more flavor. Shredded Monterey Jack or pepper Jack are good replacements.

  • Asiago
  • Parmesan
  • Jarlsberg
  • monterey Jack
  • Pepper jack
Baked Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

More Ideas on variations for this recipe:

  • To make a saucy version of these zucchini boats pour a cup of your favorite Marinara sauce over the vegetables.
  • You can replace the croutons for bread crumbs. However, I use these focaccia style croutons for the added Italian flavor they offer. So you may need to add Italian spices if you omit them.
  • Substitute olive oil or avocado oil for the coconut oil if you want to avoid the saturated fats.
  • Choose a higher heat pepper or red pepper flakes if you like more zing. Bell peppers are a good choice if you prefer no heat at all.
cut zucchini ready to serve
Baked zucchini boats cut into serving sections.

Visual Walkthrough:

The process of making these is very simple.

cross section of a stuffed zucchini
These Italian zucchini boats are Healthy, Tender and full of Italian flavors.

Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats Vegetarian Printable Recipe Card:

Italian stuffed zucchini boats vegetarian recipe
Yield: 10

Vegetarian Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Tender and delicious, baked Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats. Stuff them with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, garlic and Italian seasonings. Sprinkle focaccia croutons crushed over the top. Delicately browned, Italian stuffed zucchini boats vegetarian recipe makes a delicious side dish, light lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini (large tender zucchini)
  • 1 1/2 Cups tomatoes-chopped
  • 1/2 Cup pepper (sweet or hot) cut into small strips
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic-chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil (or avocado, olive or other healthy oil)
  • 1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese-(more to taste)
  • 1 Cup focaccia croutons-crushed ( put some in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin)
  • 2 Tsp. Italian seasonings

Instructions

PREP:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Oil a baking dish (I used a 9 x 13 baking dish)
  3. Cut a zucchini in half lengthwise.
  4. Chop the tomatoes, garlic and peppers.
  5. Scoop out the seeds with an ice cream scoop and form a trough almost the length of the zucchini half.


Assembling the Zucchini Boats:

  1. Brush the surface with a mixture of the crushed garlic and coconut oil,
  2. Sprinkle the whole length of the zucchinis with Italian seasonings.
  3. Cut and arrange tomatoes and peppers into the zucchini troughs.
  4. Layer the shredded cheese over the vegetables.
  5. Crush the croutons in a ziplock bag.
  6. Sprinkle with crushed croutons lightly over top.


Baking Instructions:

  1. bake uncovered 30 minutes, until the zucchini is firmly tender when poked with a fork.
  2. Remove from oven and cut into serving slices.

Notes

Animal and Plant based Vegetarian proteins:

If you want more vegetarian protein add around 1 Cup cooked quinoa, extra cheese, meat substitute or tofu cubes.

Substitutions and blends with Mozzarella cheese:

The stronger flavored cheeses listed below can also be blended in with the mozarella for more flavor. Shredded Monterey Jack or pepper Jack are good replacements.

  • Asiago
  • Feta
  • Parmesan
  • Jarlsberg
  • monterey Jack
  • Pepper jack

MORE Substitutions and variation Ideas:

  • For a spicier dish use higher heat peppers or red pepper flakes to taste. For no heat choose bell peppers.
  • Choose your favorite Italian flavored croutons or breadcrumbs it you can't find focaccia style.
  • Add a layer of your favorite marinara sauce. Pour a cup on top of the vegetables.

Meat version:


If you want to add meat to this recipe use 1/2 lb. and brown and season the meat if necessary before laying it in with the vegetables.

Good meat choices are:

  • Ground turkey
  • browned Italian sausage
  • Ground beef can work if you brown it with garlic and Italian seasonings to give it Italian flavor. The marinara sauce variation is great with ground beef.

Nutrition Information

Yield

10

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 122Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 7mgSodium 236mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 6g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats-pin image
Tender baked vegetarian zucchini boats recipe with a delicious Italian stuffing. This simple vegetarian zucchini recipe makes a healthy side dish, or light meal. Perfect for zucchini season.

Adapted from: prouditaliancook.blogspot.com

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Rebecca Routon

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

I made your Unstuffed Cabbage Low Carb meal, and I ran into a problem. The recipe called for 1 14oz. can fire roasted tomatoes, but I found nowhere in the instructions to put them in the dish! Also, the whole bottom of the dish was burned! I cooked it exactly as the recipe said, then put the Cabbage on with a lid to let it cook for 15 minutes, then 5 more minutes for the cheese. What did I do wrong? The taste (otherthan the burned part) was very good and I'd like to make it again.

Diane

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

Hi Rebecca, Thank you for pointing out the error in the recipe. I have updated it to include the tomatoes. I'm sorry your dinner burned. Here's a few tips. -Turn your burner down to medium low. -Your skillet may be different than ours and so you may have to use more oil or stir the dinner to see if it sticks. A deep non stick skillet with a lid would be just right for this recipe. -Also the goal is to just cook the cabbage until it is wilted and tender. -No need to use the whole 15 minutes if your stove is a bit fast. I hope this helps. All the best!

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