Want a quick easy recipe for dinner that is healthy, delicious and the entire family can enjoy? Try this easy low carb stuffed zucchini boats recipe.
Fresh zucchini is stuffed with a simple-to-make meat sauce, topped with cheese and then baked in the oven for the best low-carb, gluten-free, hearty dinner.
What are zucchini boats?
Fresh zucchini boats are another name for stuffed zucchini. It is when you take whole zucchini, hollow them out, fill with a meat stuffing them with various ingredients and bake in the oven.
They kind of look like boats when they’re filled, hence the name.
What to stuff zucchini with?
I prefer ground turkey over ground beef but you can use any ground meat that you like.
They are simple to make, filling and delicious. They are perfect to make in the summer when zucchini is everywhere, but also still available in the winter when you want a lighter dinner. These low-carb stuffed zucchinis are perfect to be served alone or with a side item.
Here’s what you need:
Bell pepper (optional)
Spaghetti or marinara sauce
Shredded parmesan cheese
Ground meat: You can swap out the ground meat for ground beef, italian sausage or ground chicken
Cheese: You can use any cheese you have at home or prefer – mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese
How to make stuffed zucchini boats
It starts with preparing the zucchini.
Wash and dry them first, then slice in half longways. Use a spoon or a melon baller to scoop out some of the flesh from the center to make a boat.
Save the zucchini flesh to add to the sauce filling. Zucchini has a number of nutritional benefits. It is low in calories and is packed with water and fiber. It’s a good source of several beneficial vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, especially vitamin C.
Par boil the zucchini so that they soften up a little.
Cook and brown the ground turkey meat. Add garlic and onions to the meat.
Making the sauce filling is simple.
When the meat is cooked, add additional herbs and vegetables including the zucchini flesh.
Pour the jarred pasta sauce over the meat mixture and let simmer. You can definitely make your own sauce if you prefer but jarred sauce is a huge timesaver.
Stuff the zucchini shells with the meat mixture.
Add cheese, if using, and bake.
Enjoying the variety of foods
You’ll find that you and your family will enjoy adding a little variety to your food. It’s important to keep all the food groups in your diet – protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables as well as healthy fats.
Adding the zucchini boats to your rotation is simple and something your whole family can enjoy. You can make some pasta if you want to add some carbohydrates.
- 4 medium Zucchini
- 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ onion chopped
- ½ bell pepper chopped (optional)
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Wash and dry zucchini, then sliced in half lengthwise.
- Use a spoon or a melon baller to scoop out some of the flesh from the center of the zucchini to make a boat.
- Place zucchini in pot of boiling water for about a minute to parboil it.
- Chop the zucchini flesh (inside) to add to the spaghetti sauce filling.
- For the sauce: Heat olive oil in a large skillet before adding the chopped garlic and onions to the pan. Add ground turkey and cook until brown. When the meat is cooked, add green peppers, Italian seasoning, zucchini flesh and spaghetti sauce. Let it simmer for a bit.
- Place zucchini halves in a baking dish and fill each zucchini boat.
- Add shredded parmesan cheese on top and bake.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes and the cheese has melted.
- Cool for 15 minutes before eating.
You can use ground beef, if you prefer.