Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats – Spend With Pennies

Stuffed Zucchini Boats are the perfect way to enjoy your fresh summer zucchini!

Tender zucchini filled with a silky meat sauce, topped with cheese and baked until tender.

Serve this easy dish with a side salad and garlic bread for the perfect family meal!

Of all of the things that grow in my garden, the herbs and the zucchini have to be my absolute favorites (ok, and the tender baby carrots). There are a million different things you can do with zucchini from sweet (like Zucchini Brownies) to savory including this recipe.

With a garden FULL of delicious zucchini I often make a loaf of Pumpkin Zucchini Bread  since it is moist and delicious and freezes perfectly.  I also shred and freeze zucchini for future baking or even to add into homemade pasta sauces (it’s a great way to add bulk to a meal). I’ve got some great tips on How to Freeze Zucchini here.

As much as I love zucchini in baking, I also love to enjoy it fresh out of the garden for dinner.  I have been making stuffed zucchini boats for years, it’s easy and delicious and the perfect way to enjoy the bounty from my garden!

uncooked Stuffed Zucchini Boats

A quick and simple meat sauce spooned into zucchini boats and topped with a little bit of cheese.  These stuffed zucchini are baked until tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

More Ways to Enjoy Fresh Zucchini

stuffed zucchini boat on pasta

I’ve included directions below for my quick stovetop meat sauce but  if you happen to have leftover meat sauce (or even some in the freezer) you can most certainly use that… leftover chili works too!

This recipe is easy to make and you can add any chopped veggies into the sauce that you’d like.  Once I scoop the middle out of the zucchini and chop up the core and add it to the beef while it’s cooking.

stuffed zucchini boats with baked cheese in a pan

4.97 from 52 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Tender zucchini filled with a rich meat sauce, topped with cheese are baked until bubbly.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 40 minutes

Meat Sauce (or use leftover meat sauce)


  • Cook ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet until no pink remains. Drain any fat. Stir in the bell pepper (and any extra zucchini bits if you’d like) and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until it begins to soften.

  • Stir in 1 cup pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.


  • Slice zucchini lengthwise and use a teaspoon to scrape out the center to create a ½-inch thick shell. Brush with olive oil and season the zucchini with salt & pepper to taste.

  • Place the zucchini in a large baking dish. Fill each zucchini with the beef mixture. Top with the remaining ½ cup pasta sauce and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

  • Top with the cheeses and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the zucchini is soft and the cheese is bubbly.

You may need only two zucchini if the zucchini is large or 3 if they are smaller.
If you prefer softer zucchini or if using garden zucchini that are thicker or large, this recipe can be cooked longer before adding the cheese.
The core of the zucchini can be chopped and added to the sauce along with the red pepper or it can be added to soups or chilis if desired.
If adding the zucchini to the sauce, allow it to cook before adding the marinara sauce so the sauce is not watery.
Leftover meat sauce or chili can be used in place of the meat sauce in this recipe.

4.97 from 52 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Calories: 444 | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 582mg | Potassium: 898mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1595IU | Vitamin C: 62.1mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 3.8mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Repin this Super Dinner Recipe

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