Save on Pinterest

Zucchini Boats

After working hard all our lives and raising a family, we're now enjoying a simpler life. Getting back to the basics means enjoying old-fashioned comfort foods like these stuffed zucchini boats. —Mrs. C. Thon, Atlin, British Columbia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 2 medium zucchini (about 8 inches)
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Trim the ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving 1/2-in. shells. Finely chop pulp.
  • In a skillet, cook beef, zucchini pulp, onion, mushrooms and peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat. Add 1/2 cup cheese, ketchup, salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon into the zucchini shells. Place in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° until zucchini is tender, 25-30 minutes.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • When scooping out the pulp for Zucchini Boats, a teaspoon is just the right size. Use your food processor or blender to finely chop the pulp quickly.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese has been aged longer than regular cheddar. As cheese ages, its flavor becomes more pronounced. Using aged cheese in a recipe can add complexity and rich flavor, even to humble favorites like mac ’n’ cheese.
  • Check out 32 quick and easy zucchini recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 stuffed zucchini half: 312 calories, 20g fat (9g saturated fat), 81mg cholesterol, 337mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 24g protein.


    Click stars to rate
    Average Rating:
    • grandmascooking22
      Jan 24, 2020

      Make many variations of zucchini boats in the summer but made this one exactly as written.. It was very good and the mushrooms were an ingredient I've never used in a zuke boat. They added a nice flavor. Only thing I would do in the future would add some fresh basil and would sprinkle boats lightly with granulated garlic.

    • Judy
      Aug 11, 2019

      I only added some fresh basil and 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste. My hubbie loved it. I had a huge zucchini from the garden so I deseeded it with a spoon before using the meat. Yummy and so easy.

    • mjflowers
      Aug 5, 2019

      This was delicious! I made exactly as written except used marinara sauce instead of ketchup. My family loved it, I served it with spaghetti and the rest of the marinara sauce. Super easy!

    • copycat48
      Aug 1, 2019

      I too made a few changes. We eat a lot of venison so I added a little bacon a little moisture, and I used marinara sauce. My husband loved it and I know I’ll make it again.

    • Judywrites
      Dec 7, 2018

      I made this recipe with a couple variations... all excellent! I used Italian sausage for one and ground beef with black beans and salsa for the other. As with most foods I cook, I always adjust seasonings in sauces to taste.

    • Nicole
      Jul 24, 2018

      Great idea! I omitted the zuke pulp altogether, and pre-baked the shells for about 20 minutes before adding the veggie/ beef mixture. I also seasoned the filling as if it was shepherd's pie: ketchup, worcestershire, and fresh rosemary. Monterey jack shredded cheese was used instead of cheddar and voila! Delish! Thanks!!

    • Charlotte
      Jan 26, 2018

      Been making a similar recipe for years. To tenderize the zucchini pulp, I place in microwave for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the number of zucchini. I use considerably more ketchup (to personal preference), add cooked rice and the mashed zucchini pulp to the mixture, and I do not pre-cook the ground beef before baking. I also use mozzarella instead of cheddar on top, not mixed in, for the last few minutes of the baking time. I, too, use onions, mushrooms, and green peppers. One of my favorite meals,and it's in the oven as I type.

    • kdeer
      Jan 14, 2018

      Made this several times. Love it each time.

    • xlsalbums
      Sep 11, 2017

      This was okay. Pretty easy to make but not as flavorful as I would like.

    • Lynn
      Aug 25, 2017

      As is, I would rate this recipe a 3.5/4 stars. Modifications I plan to make for the next time: 1) sweet italian sausage instead of ground beef, 2) pasta sauce instead of ketchup, 3) blanch the zucchini 1-2 minutes in water, 4) salt and pepper the zucchini boat bottoms prior to filling. I recommend the blanching because though my boats were cooked, they weren't exactly "tender". I could still get a fork through it, but it had more snap than I was expecting or wanting. Also, maybe brush oil on the zucchini before cooking so the exposed edges don't get so dry.