Easy Zucchini Boats 2 Ways

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Making easy Zucchini Boats 2 ways is a great way to use up all the Zucchini you have harvested from your garden. It is also a perfect recipe for prep cooking. You can freeze them either before or after baking them.

If you bake the easy Zucchini boats prior to freezing, you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Just heat them in the microwave or the oven and serve in minutes. I love having my freeze stocked with prepped items especially when you get home late or are in a hurry to get out the door.

Italian and Mexican stuffed Zucchini Boats in a glass baking dish prior to baking

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Is it OK to use large zucchini?

Actually, large zucchini work well in many recipes. They can be grated, cubed, chopped or simply stuffed and grilled or baked. Yet, stuffing them is my favourite way to use the really large ones.

The bigger zucchini’s give you more room for the stuffing, which makes for a hardier meal. They also do a better job of keeping the filling from falling over the sides. This is not to say you can’t use any size of zucchini. They all work.

Scooped out Zucchini halves in a glass baking dish.

Preparation of Easy Zucchini Boats

Each of the 2 different stuffings start with the same base, which makes it so easy to change up the flavors. This allows you to have a variety of meals from the same basic ingredients. We will want to with a base of onions, garlic, peppers sauteed.

Then we will add the ground beef or turkey until the veggies are tender and the meat is no longer pink. Try to to cook too long. Then add the Pomi Tomatoes.

Time To Get Creative

You can really add any flavor profile at this point, but my go to’s are usually Italian and Mexican. I could feed my husband Mexican everyday and he would it. Not to say Italian is not a hit as well. Being half Italian he is always game for that too.

I just took half of the base and put it in a different pan, so I could add the appropriate spices to each base. For the Mexican batch I also added a can of Low Sodium Black Beans. The Dell’Alpe Italian Seasoning blend is my go to for all things Italian. I use it for my Marinara Sauce that I use in my Best Zucchini Roll Ups and Grilled Pizza recipes.

The Assembly

Now that we have the Italian and Mexican fillings combined we want let them simmer for a bit to allow the flavors to build. Next, take the baking dish with the arranged zucchini boats and fill half with the Italian filling then I add a sprinkle of Mozzarella or shredded Parmesan. On the Mexican filling I like to sprinkle a small amount off the Mexican blend of shredded cheese.

Note: Cheese has quite a lot of sodium, so you can leave it off or use it sparingly.

Do you cook zucchini boats before freezing?

I touch on this a in the beginning of this blog. You can definitely freeze the easy stuffed zucchini boats 2 ways, but there is a chance the zucchini might get soggy. So, there are a couple of things to consider. will you be reheating them straight from the freezer or will you let them thaw first.

If you are letting them thaw first: I recommend cooking the ones you will be freezing for about half of the time that you would cook them if they were fresh. This will help to prevent the filling from becoming watery. If you will be heating them straight from the freezer to microwave: you can cook them all the way, let them cool completely then store them in a airtight container that can go in the microwave.

It’s All About Balance,

close up cooked zucchini boats

Easy Zucchini Boats 2 Ways

Italian and Mexican Zucchini Boats
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Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mexican
Servings 8 boats
Calories 414 kcal


  • 4 zucchini Large
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup bell peppers chopped any color
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef can use turkey
  • 1 box tomatoes Pomi chopped (13.8 oz)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin

Mexican Filling

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 can black beans low sodium

Italian Filling

Toppings (optional)

  • 1 cup Italian cheese Mozzarella or Parmesan
  • 1 cup Mexican Cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with non stick aluminum foil
  • Wash zucchini, then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp.
  • Place zucchini halves on a lined cookie sheet.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add onion and peppers to the pan and saute for around 4 minutes to soften.
  • Add garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
  • Add ground beef/turkey and brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon around 3-5 minutes.
  • add tomatoes then take 1/2 for the mixture and transfer to a saucepan.
  • Reduce heat to medium and season the 1/2 of the mixture in the skillet with the Italian season. Season the 1/2 in the sauce pan with cumin, chili powder, cayenne and add the rinsed and drained black beans. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  • Divide mixture between each zucchini boat and sprinkle each with the corresponding cheese, if using.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes and serve immediately.


Serving: 1gCalories: 414kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 26gFat: 28gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 220mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4g
Keyword easy, Italian, Mexican, prep, stuffed, Zucchini
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Italian and Mexican stuffed Zucchini Boats in a glass baking dish prior to baking

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