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Garden-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These boats are not only healthy, 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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. + cooling Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    3 servings


  • 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 fire-roasted diced tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes (with seeds and juices)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup 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


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Halve zucchini lengthwise; place cut side 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.
  • 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 up 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.
  • 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.

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Average Rating:
  • Judie
    May 14, 2019

    Yum! yum! I needed to use a medium zucchini so made 1/3 recipe and served it with a Mediterranean Zucchini and Chickpeas Salad (All Recipes), A delightful lunch that tasted as if I'd ordered it at a restaurant. I used fresh tomatoes and otherwise followed the recipe to the letter. Delish!

  • diane303
    Mar 8, 2019

    John, you can buy fire roasted tomatoes in can at a grocery store. (diced)

  • rmbarr059
    Feb 13, 2019

    Good recipe! I omitted the mushrooms and roasted red peppers since I didn’t have any; I used a red bell pepper in place of the green and I added corn. Very yummy!

  • John
    Jan 20, 2019

    Fire roasted diced tomatoes? Who is the idiot?

  • Stephanie
    Jun 13, 2018

    Great! I made these stuffed with just vegetables and it was still amazing!

  • pschube
    Jun 6, 2018

    Yummy! I omitted the red peppers, water and pasta. Added 8 oz diced mushrooms, more parmesan and mozzarella. Used fresh tomato. Will make again.