HOW TO MAKE EASY GARDEN-STUFFED ITALIAN ZUCCHINI BOATS

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Use your favorite farmers’ market fresh ingredients to make these easy garden-stuffed Italian Zucchini Boats as a quick weeknight meal for your family.

GARDEN-STUFFED ITALIAN ZUCCHINI BOATS - the perfect easy weeknight dinner to make for your family

Do you feel like you’re making the same meals for dinner every single week? I swear, it’s the same 5 meals on the table every week. Plus a leftover night. Plus a pizza night. 

Oh . my . goodness.

So freakin’ boring right?

And I remember when I very first decided I was going to stop eating meat and animal products, it was even harder! What the hell was I going to eat? I mean, I knew I wanted this lifestyle, but the reality was that I had no clue what to eat outside of salads… and Oreos, since I learned early on those were vegan…

Thing is, I really wanted to get my family on board. But I wanted to do it in a way that was just a teeny bit sneaky. I didn’t want to tell my spouse to go vegan with me… but maybe if I showed her just how delicious the food could be without all the animal products, it would be a no-brainer.

But I just didn’t know how to do it.

I started thinking about some of our favorite recipes and how I could make them plant-based yet family friendly.

Garden Fresh Zucchini

With this recipe, I was inspired by the times my family and I would go to the Farmers’ Market and buy ingredients to build our own pizzas. That’s one of my favorite things to do together.

But of course, pizza night can’t be every night. So I put a spin on it with these Italian Zucchini Boats that are filled to the max with our favorite pizza toppings. 

And hey! If you have a favorite topping you don’t see here – be my guest and add it on in. Or feel free to omit an ingredient if you’re not a fan. This is all about you and your family. That’s what this whole journey is about. Finding ways to make your family love the food they’re eating so they’ll keep wanting to come back to the table time and time again.

So it won’t be a battle every night.

So you won’t worry about having to cook multiple meals.

So everyone’s happy!

Let’s get right to it. 

First of all though, what are zucchini boats? Basically, it’s just a zucchini that’s cut in half with the innards scooped out so you can fill it with whatever goodness you want. Then you generally bake them. I’ve seen an enchilada zucchini boat spin, and I know for a fact that those are bomb! 

I’d love to show you How to Make Garden-Stuffed Italian Zucchini Boats

  1. First thing’s first. You’ll need to preheat the oven to 350. Lightly drizzle a 9×13 pan with olive oil.
  2. In case you’re wondering how to cut zucchini boats, don’t worry, that’s a common question, and I was sure to include a picture below to make sure it made sense. You’ll cut each zucchini in half length-wise and carefully scoop out the insides so you’re left with a boat of zucchini that’s around 1/4″ thick on all sides. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and set in prepared pan. This will draw out the moisture so you don’t have soggy zucchini boats.
  3. Zucchini scooped out into little boats ready to be stuffed with garden-fresh italian ingredients
  4. In a large skillet set to medium, heat olive oil. Once hot, sauce onions and peppers for about 10 minutes or until onions begin to brown and caramelize. Season with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and stir. Cook until liquids release, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  6. With a paper towel or napkin, wipe out salt and water from zucchini boats.
  7. Assemble boats by spreading about 2 Tablespoons of your favorite pasta sauce in the bottom of each zucchini. Then add 2 Tablespoons of the pepper and mushroom mix into the boats. Top with tomato halves, olives, and pepperoncinis.
  8. ITALIAN ZUCCHINI BOATS READY TO GO IN THE OVEN
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until warmed through and tomatoes have burst.
  10. Top with freshly chopped basil.
  11. Enjoy!
GARDEN-STUFFED ITALIAN ZUCCHINI BOATS

Now, I pretty much already know what you’re thinking, and I just want you to know that I have you covered.

Your brain is going something like this:

“Zucchini boats. Those are vegetables. They’re filled with mushrooms and onions and peppers and tomatoes… and well, those are vegetables too. So… am I even gonna be full? Like where’s the rest?”

First, the only reason I know you’re thinking that is cause I thought the same thing, and I want to answer you by telling you that I was full after two. But I know you’re not going to believe me, and that’s totally cool I get it. 

Plus, I know you gotta answer to your Boo, and he’s gotta eat, so I’m gonna hook you up with what to serve on the side. Yes, some of it’s salad, but ya know – that’s what us vegans do.

What to serve with Zucchini Boats

Honestly, if it was me tryin’ to impress, I’d probably start out with these Spinach “Cheese” Pizza Rolls (and possibly not share…).

If I was dead-set on making a salad, I’d pick my Spiced Chickpea Kale Salad for a heartier option or a Mediterranean Cucumber Salad.

And I know you’re not just stopping at dinner – what dessert goes good with zucchini boats, you ask?

Personally, I’m a sucker for fondue, so my vegan dark chocolate fondue (that doesn’t taste vegan at all) would be my first choice, with my Rainbow Fruit Nachos a close second.

EASY TO SERVE ZUCCHINI BOATS FOR YOUR FAMILY

The best thing about a recipe like these zucchini boats that it totally works out for leftovers, and my goodness, we would be lost without leftovers for lunches. Like everything though, they’re better fresh, but they do still taste great the next day, or even up to 5 days later! I promise!

How to reheat zucchini boats.

Place zucchini boats on a microwaveable plate. Microwave on high for about 40-60 seconds. Check to see if it’s heated through and be careful for hot spots. Sometimes I cut the zucchini in half before microwaving to ensure I get a more even heat. 

ZUCCHINI BOATS

I really hope this helped you get an easy, healthy, and delicious dinner on the table for you and your family to enjoy together. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you tried it out – leave a comment below!

NOW THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE THESE GARDEN-STUFFED ITALIAN ZUCCHINI BOATS, IT’S TIME TO SNAP A PIC AND LOAD IT ONTO INSTAGRAM (TAGGING ME OF COURSE @HAPPYFOODHOLLY) SO I CAN SHARE YOUR CREATION!

HOW TO MAKE EASY GARDEN-STUFFED ITALIAN ZUCCHINI BOATS

GARDEN-STUFFED ITALIAN ZUCCHINI BOATS - the perfect easy weeknight dinner to make for your family
Use your favorite farmers’ market fresh ingredients to make these easy garden-stuffed Italian Zucchini Boats as a quick weeknight meal for your family.
Holly Waterfall
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 zucchinis
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion sliced into half moons
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper diced
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms chopped small
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 2/3 cup pasta sauce I used a tomato basil sauce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup black olives sliced
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncinis sliced
  • 4-5 basil leaves chopped for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Lightly drizzle a 9×13 pan with olive oil.
  • Cut zucchinis in half length-wise and carefully scoop out the insides so you’re left with a boat of zucchini that’s around 1/4″ thick on all sides. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and set in prepared pan. This will draw out the moisture so you don’t have soggy zucchini boats.
  • In a large skillet set to medium, heat olive oil. Once hot, sauce onions and peppers for about 10 minutes or until onions begin to brown and caramelize. Season with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and stir. Cook until liquids release, about 4 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  • With a paper towel or napkin, wipe out salt and water from zucchini boats.
  • Assemble boats by spreading about 2 Tablespoons of your favorite pasta sauce in the bottom of each zucchini. Then add 2 Tablespoons of the pepper and mushroom mix into the boats. Top with tomato halves, olives, and pepperoncinis.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until warmed through and tomatoes have burst.
  • Top with freshly chopped basil.
  • Enjoy!

Now that you have dinner figured out for tonight, let me help you with tomorrow!

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GARDEN-STUFFED ITALIAN ZUCCHINI BOATS - the perfect easy weeknight dinner to make for your family

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