Stuffed Zucchini Boats
on Mar 04, 2023, Updated Jul 09, 2023
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My mom’s stuffed zucchini boats are a perfect easy, weekday, low-carb meal. This recipe is so delicious: melt-in-your-mouth zucchini are hollowed out and stuffed with a hearty meat sauce that gets topped with cheese and baked to perfection! There are so many different ways to enjoy zucchini but one of my favorite ways is stuffed and served as a main course. These easy stuffed zucchini boats are light and can easily fit into your protein or dietary goals if you use ground meat, such as beef, turkey, or chicken. Ground meat is quick-cooking, which helps this meal come together in minutes on busy nights; plus you can use store-bought tomato sauce – so effortless!
What I love about this recipe is that it’s so refreshing and versatile: it can be made with eggplant or yellow squash. Feel free to experiment. This recipe is perfect if you’re looking at getting more veggies into your diet.
Zucchini Boats with Meat
- 4 medium zucchinis, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 400 grams (1 pound) ground meat of choice, I like pork or beef
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup plain tomato sauce for the meat
- ¼ cup water, white wine, or broth
- 1 ½ cups marinara for the bottom of the baking dish, I use my sugo recipe or a high-quality store-bought brand, such as Rao's
- mozzarella or any melty cheese for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Take a spoon and scoop out the inside of the zucchini carefully (making them look like a boat), so that you have enough room to add in the filling.
- Once cleaned and scooped, set aside. You can use the inside of the scooped zucchini for smoothies or other recipes of choice.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the avocado oil. Add the ground meat and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the water has evaporated and the meat begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onions and stir. Add the salt, paprika, oregano, and garlic and stir. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the tomato sauce and stir. Last but not least, add the water and let it evaporate and thicken completely as you stir.
- When you can easily run a wooden spoon through the meat without leaving any liquid behind, it's ready to take off the heat.
- In a baking dish large enough to fit all of the boats, add marinara sauce to the bottom.
- Take a zucchini boat, fill it with meat and place it in the baking dish on top of the marinara. Do this for each one until the meat has finished.
- When the baking dish is full of the filled zucchini boats, top it with your favorite melty cheese. You can use any cheese you like but make sure it melts well and tastes delicious (nothing pre-grated) for best results.
- Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they bake to make sure they do not burn. The zucchini boats should still have a bite to them when cut. Enjoy!