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Zucchini Boats

25 Favorite Zucchini Recipes: Stuffed Zucchini & More

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This stuffed zucchini boats recipe has a hearty filling topped with gooey cheese. It’s a tasty dinner idea that pleases everyone!


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • Olive oil, for rubbing
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
  • 14 to 16 ounces plant based sausage, crumbles, or standard Italian sausage (or substitute 2 cups Vegan Taco Meat)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 15-ounces fire roasted crushed tomatoes**
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 tablespoons grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned panko (or plain panko; omit or use gluten-free breadcrumbs for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil or parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut off the stem ends of the zucchini. Cut them each in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides with a spoon: you’ll want a thin edge around the outside of the boat. (Discard the pulp, or use it in smoothies or for another purpose.) Place the boats on a baking sheet and rub each with a bit of olive oil. Then sprinkle all 8 boats with a heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and fresh ground black pepper, divided between the boats. 
  3. Place the sausage in a medium skillet and cook according to the package instructions, 2 to 3 minutes for plant-based and 6 to 7 for regular sausage (for regular sausage, drain any excess fat after cooking). Add the garlic to the pan with the sausage and cook 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, fennel seed, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Heat for 1 minute until warmed through. 
  4. Scoop the filling into the zucchini boats. Top with the mozzarella cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Then sprinkle with the panko. 
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes before serving. Leftovers store up to 3 days refrigerated. 


*For plant-based crumbles or sausage, we like Impossible or Beyond (we used Impossible sausage here). For a homemade version, try Vegan Taco Meat: omit the cumin and use 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano.

**Fire roasted tomatoes add the best flavor here: they taste sweet and smoky right out of the can. If you can’t find them, substitute best quality tomatoes with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. Or, use 1 1/2 cups best quality marinara sauce.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian