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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.

Zucchini Boat Tips

How do you scoop out zucchini?

A teaspoon is just the right size to scoop out zucchini. Then use your food processor or blender to finely chop the pulp.

Do you eat the skin on zucchini boats?

Yes, you can eat the skin on zucchini boats. It is very healthy for you, so there’s no need to peel it off.

Can you freeze zucchini boats?

You can freeze zucchini boats by following these instructions: Freeze the chopped pulp in a flat layer in a reusable plastic bag. For the boats, quickly blanch them in boiling water. Let cool completely, and then freeze in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When ready to make, thaw the boats and pulp in the fridge overnight. Make the filling, assemble and bake as directed. Check out other zucchini boat recipes, like garden-stuffed zucchini boats and Italian zucchini boats. Research contributed by Maggie Knoebel, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
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.


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Average Rating:
  • Debbie
    Aug 7, 2020

    This recipe was a great starting point as I did make a few changes based on other reviews. I swapped out the ground beef for sweet Italian turkey sausage and used marinara sauce in place of the ketchup. I didn’t have mushrooms at home but did add some minced garlic when cooking the sausage. I also pre-cooked the scooped out zucchini halves in the oven for maybe 10 minutes before stuffing them with the meat mixture. After baking with the meat mixture, they were cooked but still a little firm and we were happy with them like that! I think I will also add some cooked rice next time to the meat as well. This was a keeper in our house and will definitely be making again.

  • 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.

  • Natasha
    Dec 4, 2019

    No comment left

  • 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.