Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats are such a fun way to enjoy all the delicious flavors of pizza, but in a healthy way! This Zucchini Boat recipe is low carb, keto friendly, and gluten free, but tastes amazing! An easy weeknight dinner and a great way to work vegetables into your diet!
There’s so much you can do with zucchini, like making Zucchini Corn Fritters, Zucchini Pancakes, Zucchini Tostadas, Zucchini Bread (of course!), and possibly my favorite way is Ratatouille (<< seriously make that if you haven’t yet. It will blow your mind!)
Add Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats to that list, which is my latest love. A zucchini boat is fresh zucchini which are sliced in half, the center hollowed out creating a “boat” opening, stuffed with other delicious goodies, and then baked until tender.
Not only are these crazy delicious, but they’re also low carb, keto friendly, and gluten free. Plus you’re not dealing with a crust and waiting for dough to rise.
Ingredients you need for this Zucchini Boat Recipe
- Zucchini – if you’re lucky enough to grow zucchini in your backyard, use that! But zucchini from your local market is perfectly fine! Use zucchini that is all similar in size, so they cook at the same rate.
- Onion and Garlic – for that rich umami flavor and a subtle sweetness.
- Marinara Sauce – I love my homemade marinara sauce, which can be made well in advance, but store bought works great, too. Pick your favorite.
- Ricotta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella cheeses – triple the flavor with three different types of cheese. Buy fresh and grate it yourself, if you’re willing. The added flavor is so worth it!
- Mini Pepperoni – for a bold, smokey, slightly spicy flavor.
- Olive oil, Salt, Pepper, Italian seasonings – any respectable Italian recipe includes these ingredients!
- To easily remove the seeds and center of each zucchini half, gently scrape using the tip of a small spoon or a melon baller.
- Do not scrape out too much of the flesh, though, or your zucchini boats could end up too thin and weak to hold the filling.
Recipe Variations for stuffed zucchini
Zucchini has such a mild flavor that it lends itself to a wide range of flavors. I went with traditional pizza toppings this time, but the options for stuffed zucchini are practically endless. Here are just a few other ideas.
- Meat lovers – use cooked bacon and sausage instead of the pepperoni, or a combination of all three.
- Veggie – omit the pepperoni and add mushrooms and bell peppers.
- Hawaiian – replace the pepperoni with ham and add some pineapple
- Taco – use your favorite taco fixin’s, like I did with these Taco Zucchini Boats
How to Store Zucchini Boats
Unfortunately, stuffed zucchini don’t freeze well. I know some people say they do, but they really don’t. As it thaws, the zucchini becomes watery and mushy and not really edible. But all is not lost, at least with leftovers!
- Once cooled, if you have any leftover, these Pizza Zucchini Boats can be stored in the refrigerator, in a tightly sealed container, for up to 3 days. (Any longer than that and the cheese gets sort of slimy.)
- You can store them individually in meal prep containers or several together in a casserole dish.
- To reheat: pop the casserole dish in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cheese is melted again and boats are warmed throughout.
This is a great weeknight meal and one you’ll want to add to your recipe binder!
Watch the video for Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 4 small zucchini
- 1 small sweet onion , finely diced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small garlic cloves , minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- 3/4 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan , plus more for garnish
- 1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella , divided
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/3 cup mini pepperoni
- salt and pepper
- chopped fresh basil , for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Halve each zucchini lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the flesh and finely chop it up. Place zucchini shells in the baking dish.
- Warm olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the chopped zucchini and onion; saute until soft about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and add in the marinara, ricotta, Parmesan, 3/4 cup mozzarella, and the Italian seasoning. Stir well to combine, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide mixture among the zucchini shells. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and top with the mini pepperoni.
- Bake until zucchini is tender and the cheese is golden brown, 20-30 minutes.
- Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and fresh basil before serving.