Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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Stuffed Zucchini Boats are the perfect way to enjoy your fresh summer zucchini!

Tender zucchini filled with a silky meat sauce, topped with cheese and baked until tender.

Serve this easy dish with a side salad and garlic bread for the perfect family meal!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats lined up in a casserole dish

Of all of the things that grow in my garden, the herbs and the zucchini have to be my absolute favorites (ok, and the tender baby carrots). There are a million different things you can do with zucchini from sweet (like Zucchini Brownies) to savory including this recipe.

With a garden FULL of delicious zucchini I often make a loaf of Pumpkin Zucchini Bread  since it is moist and delicious and freezes perfectly.  I also shred and freeze zucchini for future baking or even to add into homemade pasta sauces (it’s a great way to add bulk to a meal). I’ve got some great tips on How to Freeze Zucchini here.

As much as I love zucchini in baking, I also love to enjoy it fresh out of the garden for dinner.  I have been making stuffed zucchini boats for years, it’s easy and delicious and the perfect way to enjoy the bounty from my garden!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats during meal preparation

A quick and simple meat sauce spooned into zucchini boats and topped with a little bit of cheese.  These stuffed zucchini are baked until tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
More Ways to Enjoy Fresh Zucchini

  • Creamy Zucchini Noodles: Ready in 3 Minutes these easy zucchini noodles can be made with or without a spiralizer!
  • Crispy Oven Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries These easy parmesan zucchini fries are so good you’d never know they’re baked and not fried!
  • Parmesan Chicken Foil Packets: Zucchini is the perfect addition to these quick and easy foil packets.  We love to serve them over spaghetti!
  • Zucchini Brownies If you’ve never had zucchini brownies, you’ve been missing out! They’re so moist topped with a perfect 1 Minute Frosting!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats served over a bed of pastaI’ve included directions below for my quick stovetop meat sauce but  if you happen to have leftover meat sauce (or even some in the freezer) you can most certainly use that… leftover chili works too!

This recipe is easy to make and you can add any chopped veggies into the sauce that you’d like.  Once I scoop the middle out of the zucchini and chop up the core and add it to the beef while it’s cooking.

4.8 from 5 votes
Review Recipe

Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats are the perfect way to enjoy your fresh summer zucchini! Tender zucchini filled with a silky meat sauce, topped with cheese and baked until tender.


  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup pasta sauce or marinara divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese divided

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  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic until no pink remains. Drain any fat. Stir in 1/2 cup pasta sauce, tomato, bell pepper and Italian seasoning. Let simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 of the cheese.

  3. Slice zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the center to create a shell and place in a baking dish. Fill each zucchini with 1/4 of the beef mixture.

  4. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup pasta sauce over the zucchini boats and top with remaining cheese.

  5. Bake 25 minutes or until zucchini is soft and cheese is bubbly.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 444, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 102mg, Sodium: 582mg, Potassium: 898mg, Carbohydrates: 12g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 28g, Vitamin A: 1595%, Vitamin C: 62.1%, Calcium: 204%, Iron: 3.8%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword zucchini boats

Repin this Super Dinner Recipe

Stuffed Zucchini Boats are the perfect way to enjoy your fresh summer zucchini! Tender zucchini filled with a silky meat sauce, topped with cheese and baked until tender. #spendwithpennies #healthyrecipes #lowcarbrecipes #easydinners #stuffedrecipes

Stuffed Zucchini Boats are the perfect way to enjoy your fresh summer zucchini! Tender zucchini filled with a silky meat sauce, topped with cheese and baked until tender. #spendwithpennies #healthyrecipes #lowcarbrecipes #easydinners #stuffedrecipes

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Delicious zucchini boats! The bake time was just right…..zucchini was firm, but soft. The only thing I did differently was to add chili powder and maple seasoning to the hamburger. And some chopped spinach.

  2. These have been in my oven for at least 45 minutes and the zucchini isn’t cooked. I have now covered the dish to see if that will help.

  3. i love to make sliced zucchini and summer squash fried with olive oil onions and garlic cloves add salt and pepper and i add sliced mushrooms cook all together about 15 to 20 min great

  4. Absolutely delicious! It was not a heavy meal. So it is the perfect summertime meal. I made a green salad and garlic bread with it. It was a hut! My 12 yr old grandson had seconds!

  5. Picture doesn’t match recipe…2 zucchini halved would be 4 boats – picture shows 6. How does this affect the amount of filling needed, and what temperature is required for 6 zucchini boats?

    1. It depends on the size of the zucchini, if they’re fairly small you may have enough filling to fill 6 halves. The recipe is correct as written, I often double or 1.5x the recipe however the cook time will remain the same.

    2. It does depend on the Zuchinni, Have made this several times and each time the amount made is the same and the amount of zucchinis is different. It also depends on how full you want them.

    1. Raw zucchini doesn’t always freeze well. I would suggest making the filling and freezing it on its own. On the day of cooking just fill fresh zucchini with the defrosting filling mixture.

    1. Zucchini can vary in how much water they hold. You could try baking them on a rack to help with this. Enjoy Mary!

  6. I think the list of ingredients are great and am attempting to try it, but cannot find the actual instructions and the page is so full of ads that I can’t figure it out.  So, I’m winging it.

    1. Thank you for letting me know, for some reason they weren’t showing up but I’ve updated the post. It should be fixed now!

  7. I love this recipe I cook it often. What I find works well is to rub the zucchini boats with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake in the oven to tender up before putting the stuffing ingredients in the boats !  Seems to make it better. Thanks for this great recipe  my family loves it! 

    1. Thanks for the tip Kathy! And thanks for the add mushrooms idea Mary St Onge. Easy and will be a favorite in this family Holly❤️

  8. Hi Holly, I really like this recipe but I cant figure out the following :
    In step 2 you say add 1/2 cup pasta sauce.
    Then there is no mention as to when to add the other 1/2 cup ??
    Thanks and regards, Jeni