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Zucchini Boats

5 from 5 votes

posted: 07/31/21

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Zucchini Boats are a delicious dinner that you will fall in love with. Full of flavor and made with a homemade sauce, this stuffed zucchini recipe can’t be beat.

four zucchini boats on a plate

With zucchini season in full swing, I wanted to make sure to give you another recipe to add to your collection. Stuffed Zucchini is a great all in one meal.

This recipe is a twist on my grandmother’s amazing Stuffed Eggplant. With a spicy sausage filling made with the zucchini itself, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese and then a homemade tomato sauce on top, the depth of flavor will leave you wanting seconds.


I made the Zucchini Boats for dinner tonight. They were WONDERFUL!! My husband couldn’t stop making yummy sounds!! This will definitely be put in the regular rotation, thanks!

How to Make Zucchini Boats

  1. Prepare the zucchini. Please see our notes in the section below on this.
  2. Make the filling. Combine sausage, half the chopped up zucchini, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, fresh parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff the zucchini. Add the filling to the hollowed out zucchini. You may have left over filling. Or you may want to grab another zucchini from your garden to stuff.
  4. Bake the stuffed zucchini.
  5. Make the sauce. While the zucchini is baking, simmer crushed tomatoes and seasonings on the stove for an easy homemade sauce.
  6. Finish them off. Top the zucchini with sauce, cheese, and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes.
overhead of a zucchini that have been hollowed out for zucchini boats

Preparing Zucchini for Stuffed Zucchini

You can see how the zucchini looks hollowed out in the picture above. I used a melon baller. If you don’t have one of those, I suggest cutting a border with a knife and then scooping out the insides with a spoon.

Once you have scooped out the zucchini, you will want to roughly chop the insides into small pieces. You will want to use only half of the zucchini you have scooped out for the filling. You could shred the remaining zucchini in a food processor and use it in Zucchini Banana Bread or Zucchini Muffins.

overhead of a bowl of ingredients for zucchini boats

Using Ground Turkey or Beef

If your family doesn’t use pork, you can most definitely replace the pork in this recipe with ground turkey or beef. There is even Italian seasoned ground turkey that would work fantastic in this recipe.

Please note that the meat, whichever you use, goes into this zucchini boat recipe raw.

overhead of stuffed zucchini boats, uncooked on a rimmed baking sheet

Making Zucchini Boats In Advance

This is a great recipe to make ahead of time. Simply make the stuffed zucchini boats up to the point that you are going to put them in the oven. Then cover them and put them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. (See instructions for freezing them below.)

When you are ready to bake these, take them out of the refrigerator and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Top with spaghetti sauce and top with cheese.

Freezing Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

  1. Follow the recipe up to the point of putting them in the oven.
  2. Instead, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 4 hours.
  3. Transfer the flash frozen zucchini to an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
  4. When you are ready to bake, the zucchini can be placed (still frozen) on a rimmed baking sheet and baked.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.
  6. Top with sauce and cheese and bake for 15 more minutes.
overhead of stuffed zucchini recipes on a plate

Keto Zucchini Boats

You can easily turn this into a keto friendly recipe by swapping the bread crumbs for pork rinds. Then add in 2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning. I love it when easy swaps make recipes accessible for those with speciality diets.


Are zucchini boats healthy?

This is tricky because “healthy” is a relative term. That being said, of your dinner options, finding one with 356 calories per serving is great. These are a little high on fat because of the pork, but you could swap that out for lean ground turkey to make them lighter. You could also make them low carb. See our note right above.

How many zucchini do you need?

There is a range in this recipe because zucchini are all different sizes. I was using 4 zucchini and some were on the smaller side. I ended up with left over filling. Four medium zucchini would be perfect, 3 large zucchini, or 2 very large zucchini are your best bets for this recipe.

How do you reheat zucchini boats?

Put these in a 350 degree oven in a covered baking dish for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are heated through.

zucchini boats recipes on a rimmed baking sheet

Other Savory Zucchini Recipes

If you make these Zucchini Boats, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

four zucchini boats on a plate
5 from 5 votes

Zucchini Boats

Serves: 8 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Zucchini Boats are a delicious dinner that you will fall in love with. Full of flavor and made with a homemade sauce, this stuffed zucchini recipe can't be beat.


  • 3 to 4 medium zucchini cut in half
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (read how to make these keto friendly)
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage if you are using links, remove the casings (see our note in the post about using turkey)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cloves garlic minced (divided – some for the filling, some for the sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried sweet basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)
  • 1 cup mozzarella shredded


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop out the insides of the zucchini with a spoon or melon baller, leaving about 1/4 inch around the outside of the zucchini. Chop up the zucchini that you pulled out.
  • Combine half the chopped zucchini (see note), bread crumbs, sausage (raw), cheese, eggs, parsley, 2 minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Fill the zucchini with the mixture, place onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes.
  • While the zucchini cooks, make a sauce. Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and sauté for about 30 seconds. Then add in the crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Add in the basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue simmering for 15 minutes. At the end of the simmering time, taste the sauce. If it seems a little tart, add a teaspoon of sugar. This will even out the acidity of the canned tomatoes without making the sauce sweet.
  • After 40 minutes, top the zucchini with the sauce and mozzarella cheese. Put it all back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.


The filling only requires half of the chopped zucchini. You could add the rest to a food processor to chop fine and use it in our zucchini muffins.
Serving: 1zucchini boat Calories: 356kcal (18%) Carbohydrates: 23g (8%) Protein: 21g (42%) Fat: 21g (32%) Saturated Fat: 8g (50%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 93mg (31%) Sodium: 1153mg (50%) Potassium: 555mg (16%) Fiber: 4g (17%) Sugar: 8g (9%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
four zucchini boats on a plate

did you make this

Zucchini Boats

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!
four zucchini boats on a plate
5 from 4 votes

Zucchini Boats

(tap # to scale)
Author: Lisa Longley
four zucchini boats on a plate

did you make this

Zucchini Boats

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Sandra says

    5 stars
    Is there a way to learn the number of grams of fiber in your recipes? I loved this re I’ve but worried at the total carbs for a keto diet. Thank you.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Sandra! If you click the little down arrow at the bottom of the recipe card it will give you all the nutritional information, including fiber.

  2. Mary says

    I made the Zucchini Boats for dinner tonight. They were WONDERFUL!!!!! My husband couldn’t stop making yummy sounds!!!! I have to say. I was concerned about the sausage being cooked through. It was!!!! This will definitely be put in the regular rotation!!!! Thanks 😊

  3. Mary Wegner says

    5 stars
    So sorry. Commented yesterday about the Zucchini Boats but forgot to rate. Wonderful!!!! 😋😋

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave these comments!

  4. Jean says

    5 stars
    These were excellent and so easy to make.
    I will definitely make these again. Thank you for all you wonderful recipes.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked them!

  5. Jean says

    Forgot to rate them but definitely a ten.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners