Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe + Air Fryer Option
These Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats are quick and simple to make and perfect for a healthier lunch or dinner. Low Carb and Keto friendly, they are perfect for meal planning. Kid friendly – this is a great way to make your children eat more vegetables. Zucchini is low in calories, carbs and high in fiber. It is also rich in vitamins C and K, folate and potassium.
With so many ways to eat zucchini – like Zoodles, zucchini chips or even sweet zucchini bread, these zucchini boats are by far my favorite. They may require some time to prepare – like scraping out the flesh of the zucchini, making the stuffing and baking them, but they are worth making.
What are stuffed zucchini boats? Stuffing variations:
Have you ever made or had these? Super easy to prepare yourself. These basically are zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, with the softer flesh (and seeds) scraped out and stuffed with meat sauce, then topped with cheese.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today uses a pretty popular stuffing, made with ground beef (or a mix of beef and pork), tomato sauce, seasoning and mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top. Almost like a zucchini “Bolognese”. The recipe is low carb.
You can make stuffed zucchini boats with a variety of ingredients, like Mexican style for example, Spinach and feta, Feta and Eggs or Asian.
Ingredients to make zucchini boats:
Before I list the ingredients, I’m aware that some people don’t like zucchini. And that is ok! You can use either squash or eggplants for the recipe. (Keep in mind that eggplant will be mushier and might take extra time to cook.
- seasoning-salt, pepper, basil and oregano
- tomato sauce
- cheese – Mozzarella and Parmesan
How long to cook stuffed zucchini boats in the Air Fryer for at 400 F (200 C)?
Why make these in the air fryer? Because it is a little quicker to prepare them there – the hot air technology bakes them evenly and quickly. The zucchini is soft, but not overcooked. The melted cheese gets nice and bubbly. You can use your oven for other recipes at the same time.
Cook stuffed zucchini boats without the cheese for 10 minutes at 400 F. Add the grated cheese and cook for additional 5-10 minutes, until the zucchini us soft and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
If using an electric oven, cook unstuffed zucchini boats brushed with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper for 10 minutes. Add the stuffing and bake for additional 10 minutes. Add the cheese and bake until melted (5 minutes).
Can you freeze these stuffed zucchini boats?
No, I don’t recommend freezing these, because zucchini does not defrost well. They will get mushy once thawed.
You can freeze the meat filling for up to 1 month and then use it in the recipe, when ready.
What to serve these with?
A glass of wine. Or a salad, sliced tomatoes or crusty bread.
More Zucchini recipes:
- For the asian food lovers – Peanut chicken zucchini noodles
- Seriously the best! Zucchini Soup – my all time favorite soup, gluten free and vegan option
- Love pizza? Have you tried my Zucchini pizza crust yet? It is so good!
Looking for more kid-friendly recipes? This Kid-friendly Chili from Food Doodles will go well with these Stuffed Zucchini Boats.
- 2 medium zucchini — cut in half lengthwise, flesh scooped out ( leave a shell about 1/4 inch thick)
- Salt and pepper to taste to season the zucchini
- 1/2 small onion — chopped
- 1 small carrot diced
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 garlic clove — pressed
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 oz ground beef or a mix of ground beef and pork
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried basil — optional
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tap black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Chop the zucchini flesh into small pieces.
Preheat oven to 400F (if using an Air Frier, preheat to 400F for 5 minutes right before ready to add the stuffed zucchini).
Cook the filling: Cook the ground beed with 1 tbsp of oil for 4-5 minutes, breaking it into pieces, until no longer pink.
Transfer to a plate. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and add the onion, zucchini flesh, carrot and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
Combine the cooked ground meat, tomato sauce and cooked vegetables. Add the salt, pepper, thyme and basil.
Season zucchini with salt and pepper on the inside, brush with oil.
Divide the filling between the 4 boats.
Cook for 20 minutes, adding the cheese after 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Keep in an air tight container for up to 4 days.