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Zucchini Boat Recipe

A zucchini boat is a great dinner option to get the family to eat more veggies. In fact, when I make this dish, my non-veggie-loving husband smiles.

Zucchini boat stuffed with ground beef and topped with salsa, olives, and jalapeños on a bed of lettuce with corn chips on the side

In addition to being delicious, it’s a budget-friendly family dinner. You can make it for a family of 4 for less than $10!

One of the keys to preparing a vegetable the family will love is to infuse lots of flavor. This version of my zucchini boat is basically a Mexican-flavored style.

I’ve also used Italian seasonings for a whole different taste sensation. And both versions of this zucchini boat recipe are delicious!

I like to buy zucchini when it’s on sale, since many of my favorite dishes are made with it. You can steam it, roast it, or make this delicious cheesy zucchini ham bake.

Zucchini Boats for an Easy Meal

Not only is this dish delicious, it’s super easy to make. As a matter of fast, you’ll spend very little time preparing a food that gets tons of kudos.

Another Name for Zucchini Boat

Some people call these stuffed zucchinis, but where is the fun in that? Regardless of the fact that they’re the exact same thing, I think zucchini boats taste better because the name sounds better.

Zucchini Boat Stuffing and Seasoning Options

You can stuff your zucchini with whatever you like. I’ve made them vegetarian (not vegan because I used cheese).

However, you can leave off the cheese and make them vegan, and I’m sure they’ll be wonderful.

Shredded mozzarella cheese in a clear glass bowl
Shredded Cheese

Since I always have a lot of vegetables in my fridge and freezer, I pick several. Then I steam, chop, and add them to the hollowed-out hull of the “boat.” There’s something satisfying about filling these little vessels of goodness.

They’re also good with seafood or shredded chicken, pork, or beef. If you use any shredded meat, you can season it with salsa, Italian sauce, barbecue, or any of your favorite marinades.

You can also make a vegetarian zucchini boat by filling it with veggies. For vegan, use a cheese substitute.

Additionally, I enjoy a variety of different seasonings with zucchini. Some of my favorites include Old Bay Seasoning, the organic seasoning blend I get from Costco, Italian seasoning, and chili powder.

Although I’ve never made zucchini boats with curry, I’m sure they would be delicious served with rice.

What to Serve with a Zucchini Boat

You can basically serve anything with zucchini boats. I like to base my side dishes on the seasonings and sauces I use in the main dish.

For example, when I flavor them with chili, I place them on a bed of lettuce. Then I top them with salsa and add jalapeños, olives, and corn chips.

An Italian flavored zucchini boat is delicious when served on pasta with a side salad. You can certainly add anything else that you think goes with it, such as garlic bread or another vegetable.

For a zucchini boat flavored with barbecue sauce, add a side of oven-roasted potatoes and some coleslaw. This will be especially good with a serving of Texas toast on the side.

If you’re the adventurous type, by all means, get crazy with the seasonings. You know what your family likes, so give it a try. Even folks who claim that they don’t like vegetables, might discover that they actually do.

How to Make Zucchini Boats

This is so easy you’ll probably want to put this on your regular meal rotation. Of course, you need zucchini. My recommendation is to have one zucchini per two people, and then add more. That way, you’ll have some for seconds or leftovers.

Whole fresh zucchini on a plate

The zucchini boat I’m showing here has a Mexican flavor, so you’ll also need some ground beef. Go ahead and brown the beef and drain it so it will be ready to mix in with the other ingredients.

After it’s done, put it in a medium-size mixing bowl. You may also add onions, but I didn’t add them this time.

Slice the zucchini lengthwise and hollow out the inside. Put the pulp in the mixing bowl with the ground beef.

Add your seasonings and some cheese. Next, stir the mixture and stuff it into the hollowed out zucchini shells.

Bake it for about 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, sprinkle more cheese on top, and return it to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until all of the cheese has melted.

Zucchini boat stuffed with ground beef and topped with cheese, salsa, jalapeños, and olives.

Serve with whatever side complements the seasonings you used. Don’t be surprised when your family asks for seconds.

The perfect dessert for this meal is a single-serving mug cake. That way, everyone can have whatever flavor they want, and it’s portion controlled.

Zucchini boat plate with chips, salsa, olives, and peppers with the name above it

More Delicious Recipes

Check out some of these other delicious zucchini recipes:

Zucchini Tomato Casserole with Cheese – This is a delicious side dish that will dress up any meal.

Salad with Zucchini and Squash – Serve this when you want as much nutrition as flavor.

Italian Chicken Zucchini Casserole – Be sure to make plenty for everyone to have seconds.

If you enjoy a variety of recipes, also check out the Pin Junkie Pin Party!

This recipe is also shared at Meal Plan Monday.

Yield: 4 servings

Zucchini Boat

Zucchini boat stuffed with ground beef, cheese, salsa, olives, and jalapeños on a bed of lettuce and served with corn chips

The versatile zucchini boat can be seasoned however you like and served with your favorite side dishes.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef
  • 2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/4 cup of salsa
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain the beef and put it in a medium-size mixing bowl.
  3. Wash the zucchinis and cut off the stems. 
  4. Slice the zucchinis lengthwise and hollow out the insides using a spoon or melon baller.
  5. Place the pulp in the bowl with the ground beef. Add the chili powder, salsa and half of the cheese. Fold all of the ingredients together.
  6. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Stuff the hollowed-out zucchinis with the ground beef mixture and place them on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake the stuffed zucchinis for 20 minutes. 
  9. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top of the stuffed zucchinis.
  10. Return to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1/2 stuffed zucchini

Amount Per Serving Calories 308Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 84mgSodium 436mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 25g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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More Flavorful Recipes

If you enjoy this zucchini boat recipe, you probably enjoy lots of flavor. If that’s the case, you’ll also like this chicken creole with rice and my delicious shrimp fettuccine.

Please feel free to share!

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