These meatless stuffed zucchini boats are packed with flavor. We stuff them with three kinds of cheese as well as one of our favorite ingredients: roasted red peppers. The peppers add color and taste incredible when mixed with the cheese and basil.
Inspired by this popular vegetable lasagna, these roasted zucchini boats combine fresh zucchini, ricotta cheese, parmesan, mozzarella, basil, and delicious roasted red peppers.
How to Make Cheesy Zucchini Boats
This zucchini recipe is so good; you will want to make it again and again.
It’s perfect for busy nights as well as when we feel we’ve over-indulged. Here are a few reasons we love this recipe:
- The combination of three kinds of cheese, roasted red peppers, and basil makes an ultra-flavorful meal.
- You only need 30 minutes, and most of that is roasting time.
- These zucchini boats are on the lighter side, low-carb, and meatless. They don’t weigh you down.
- They’re colorful! I’m a major fan of color on my dinner plate. These zucchini boats are my version of happy food.
- The adaptations are endless. Think about stirring in a little bit of cooked sausage, shredded chicken or cooked ground turkey to the filling. Or to keep them meatless, try adding crumbled tofu, rice, quinoa, or a handful of beans.
How Do You Make Zucchini Boats
The prep time for this recipe is low. All you need to do is slice the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Then use a spoon to scoop out a channel down the middle. You don’t need to remove much, just enough to make some room for the ricotta and pepper filling. (This is why they are called zucchini boats. The channel created by scooping out some of the zucchini makes them look like canoes.)
Then rub the zucchini halves with some olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Place them cut-side-down onto a baking sheet and roast until they are tender (about 15 minutes).
It’s at this point that we fill the boats with a mixture of ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and chopped roasted red peppers. We use jarred roasted peppers for ease, but you can always roast them yourself (we show how in this red pepper hummus recipe). Then we top with mozzarella cheese and slide them back into the oven to finish cooking.
And that’s it, simple vegetarian stuffed zucchini that’s made in under 30 minutes. For more easy zucchini recipes, take a look at these:
- Garlic Butter Sauteed Zucchini: This is a quick, easy, and healthy side. It’s delicious, too. Try our version with zucchini cooked in garlic and butter or check the article for other variations.
- Parmesan Basil Baked Zucchini Chips: These easy, cheesy baked chips are addictive. They are perfect to serve with dinner or just as an afternoon snack.
- Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles Salad: Zucchini noodles, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and a spicy yogurt dressing — we’ve been inhaling this easy low-carb, gluten-free salad for the last few days.
- 20 Minute Zucchini Lasagna Recipe with Lemon Ricotta: This free-form lasagna is perfect when you’re a little short on time, but you still want to knock the socks off anyone who eats it.
Cheesy Stuffed Zucchini
These vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats are full of flavor. We stuff them with three kinds of cheese as well as one of our favorite ingredients: roasted red peppers. The peppers add color and taste incredible when mixed with cheeses and basil. Enjoy these easy zucchini boats as your main meal (I’d eat two halves) or as a side next to a big salad. You can also add some protein by stirring some cooked ground turkey or sausage into the ricotta and pepper mixture. Crumbled tofu, quinoa, rice or even a handful of canned or cooked chickpeas would also make these more substantial.
You Will Need
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup (3 ounces) ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 roasted red pepper from a jar of roasted peppers
Handful of torn fresh basil leaves
1Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, aluminum foil, or parchment paper.
2Cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out a channel down the middle of each zucchini half, making boats.
3Rub the zucchini with the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Place the zucchini halves, cut-side-down, onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 12 minutes or until the zucchini is tender, but not soft.
4Meanwhile, chop the roasted red pepper into small pieces. Then, in a small bowl, mix the peppers with the ricotta and parmesan cheese.
5Flip the zucchini so that they are cut-side-up and divide the ricotta-pepper mixture between the zucchini boats. Sprinkle mozzarella on top then place the zucchini back into the oven and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the zucchini is soft. For some browned cheesy spots, before taking the baking sheet out of the oven, turn the oven to broil and broil until the cheese bubbles and browns, an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
6Serve with basil and a bit of fresh ground black pepper scattered on top.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Save the scooped out zucchini flesh to stir into scrambled eggs, add to salads, and stir into soups. You can also chop it and stir it into the ricotta-pepper mixture.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.