- Food: Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Make these stuffed zucchini boats for a simple summer meal! Lemon, thyme & Parmesan make the simple, excellent filling zesty, fresh & bright.
Zucchini season is upon us! For me, this time of year is always a race to savor summer squash in as many ways as possible. I bake it into the cake, blend it into soup, toss it into spaghetti, layer it into lasagna, and eat it fresh off the grill.
This year, I’m adding a new recipe to my typical rotation: stuffed zucchini! I initially made these a few weeks ago for my family and even my tiny 2-year-old nephew, who is going through a no-zucchini phase, gobbled his up.
These easily stuffed zucchini boats are a simple, fresh, and tasty presentation for peak-season summer squash.
I don’t let any of the zucchini go to waste here, as I load up the zucchini shells with a vibrant, lemony filling that contains the scooped zucchini flesh.
This recipe works best with medium-large zucchini (larger squash = more space for filling), so it’s one that you can continue to make as the season advances and the squash get bigger. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe Ingredients
This stuffed zucchini recipe involves only a few everyday ingredients and comes together in under 30 minutes. Here’s all you need:
- Zucchini, of course! I use it 2 ways, stuffing the shells with a zucchini-loaded filling.
- The egg binds the filling together.
- Coarse breadcrumbs produce a great body for the filling — the top turns toasted, while the middle stays wet.
- Parmesan adds melty, cheesy texture, and umami flavor.
- Garlic punches it up.
- Cherry tomatoes dot the filling with luscious, juicy bits.
- Pine nuts offer crunch and richness.
- Lemon zest and thyme give it a bright, fresh finish.
That’s it! Let’s cook.
How to Make Stuffed Zucchini
Stuffed veggies may appear fancy, but they’re deceptively simple. As with my stuffed bell peppers and filled poblanos, they come together in just a few steps. Here’s all you need to do:
- Cut the zucchini! Halve them lengthwise and hollow out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick rim around each half.
- Make the filling. Chop any large bits of scooped flesh and transfer it all to a kitchen strainer. Press off any extra liquid, and then add the zucchini flesh to a bowl with the egg, breadcrumbs, cherry tomatoes, thyme, lemon zest, Parmesan, garlic, pine nuts, and salt. Mix until everything’s well blended.
- Load up the zucchini. Drizzle the zucchini shells with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spoon in the filling.
- Bake! Transfer the stuffed squash to a 475-degree oven and bake until the stuffing is firm & beautifully golden brown, 16-18 minutes.
Stuffed Zucchini Recipe Tips
We made this stuffed zucchini recipe (originally inspired by the stuffed zucchini in the Ottolenghi Simple cookbook) a few times this summer. Following these tips produced the greatest outcomes every time:
- Squeeze off as much water as you can from the zucchini flesh before stirring it into the filling. You don’t want it to be watery! Chop any bigger zucchini bits into small pieces before adding them to the seedy, pulpy contents and squeezing them over a kitchen strainer.
- Don’t scoop too much. Make sure you leave a solid border of zucchini flesh to support the tasty filling. If you scoop too much, your stuffed zucchini boats will be frail.
- Make your own breadcrumbs. Better bread = better bread crumbs, so pick a decent baguette or loaf of crusty bread for this recipe. Tear it into chunks and pulse them in a food processor to generate coarse crumbs for the filling. Enjoy the remaining bread on the side!
- Top them with pesto. These stuffed zucchini boats are delicious on their own, but a sprinkling of pesto truly pushes them over the top. Make your own or use store-bought pesto in a pinch.
What to Serve with Stuffed Zucchini Boats
We adore these filled zucchini boats as a main or side dish. If you make this recipe with 3 medium zucchini, it serves 6 as a side, if you make it with 2 giant zucchini, it serves 4 as a main course along with a side dish.
They’d be excellent served with refreshing gazpacho or watermelon gazpacho, this quick summer pasta salad, pesto spaghetti, or any of these yummy summer salads:
- Best Broccoli Salad
- Rainbow Orzo Salad
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Fennel & Peach Salad with Mint & Pesto
- Eggplant Salad with Roasted Tomatoes
- Strawberry Salad with Avocado
|Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
We love to make these stuffed zucchini boats for a simple summer dinner! With medium zucchini, the recipe serves 6 as a side dish. With huge zucchini, it serves 4 as a main meal.
- 2 large or 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup torn crusty bread, crumbled
- ⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Pesto, for serving
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 475°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a small spoon to hollow out the flesh of the zucchini, leaving a little more than ¼-inch thickness around the edges. Place them cut side-up on the baking sheet.
- Make the filling. Place the scooped-out zucchini flesh into a mesh sieve and carefully push out any excess water. You should be left with 1 cup of flesh. Chop any coarse parts and place in a medium bowl with the egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, tomatoes, lemon zest, thyme, pine nuts, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix until mixed, using your hands if required.
- Drizzle the hollowed-out zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon in the mixture and bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until the filling is set and is golden brown and crunchy on top.
- Serve with pesto.