Garden-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. + cooling Bake: 25 min.


3 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
Not only are these boats a delightful way to get your veggies, they're basically a one-dish meal that covers all the bases—just grab your favorite garden goodies and add any spices or mix-ins you like. —Janie Zirbser, Mullica Hill, New Jersey


  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups water, divided
  • 3/4 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes (with seeds and juices)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup uncooked ditalini or other small pasta
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
  • Pasta sauce, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Halve zucchini lengthwise; place cut sides down in an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, scoop out seeds, leaving a 1/4-in. shell.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in 1 cup water, tomatoes, red peppers, mushrooms, pasta, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until mixture is thickened and pasta is al dente, 12-15 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
  3. Spoon mixture into zucchini shells. Place in an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with 3/4 cup Italian cheese blend. Pour remaining water into bottom of dish. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer. Serve with pasta sauce if desired.

Nutrition Facts

2 stuffed zucchini halves: 489 calories, 24g fat (12g saturated fat), 103mg cholesterol, 992mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 4g fiber), 36g protein.