Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini Boats

September 9, 2019

These delicious Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a healthier take on the classic layered Italian lasagna we all love. Here we swap traditional lasagna noodles for zucchini and make them into easier to assemble boats instead. It’s one of the TASTIEST ways to make zucchini!

Lasagna Zucchini Boats

Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini Boats

You won’t even miss that pasta in this hearty, flavorful and CHEESY lasagna dish!

You may be thinking, how could these be that good? You took out all those good, comforting lasagna noodle carbs. Honestly lasagna doesn’t need them to be good!

Yes, you still need that delicious melty, cheesy goodness and a good sauce, but these stuffed zucchini boats are lasagna made healthier and they may likely be one of your go-to lasagna recipes from now on!

These are the perfect summer and fall dinner when there’s an abundance of fresh zucchini. And another great thing about these is that they’re also delicious reheated. So if you’re lucky enough to have a few left your set for lunch the following day.

Still have more zucchini? Try making my Zucchini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert!

Hollowed out zucchini made into boats in a baking dish before adding filling.

Lasagna Zucchini Boats Ingredients:

For this zucchini boat recipe, you’ll need:

  • Zucchini – use zucchini that’s even in size so they cook evenly. Look for medium size zucchini.
  • Egg – this just helps hold the cheese mixture together.
  • Fresh parsley and fresh basil – these fresh herbs add so much flavor! Much better than the dried stuff here.
  • Mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan cheese – the classic lasagna blend of cheeses! I’ve even got a recipe for fresh homemade if you want to use it in this recipe.
  • Ground beef – I like to use 85% or 90% lean ground beef here.
  • Olive oil – you’ll use just a little for browning the beef and brushing over the zucchini.
  • Marinara sauce – I like to use a store-bought roasted garlic marinara sauce here for added flavor, but any marinara sauce you love will work fine too.
  • Salt and pepper

Cheese mixture layered into lasagna zucchini boats.

How to Make Stuffed Zucchini Boats:

  • Scoop out the centers of the zucchini, leaving a rim around the edge.
  • Stir together the cheeses, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet and season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir marinara sauce and fresh basil in with the browned beef.

Adding sauce layer to zucchini boats.

  • To assemble the boats, brush both sides of the zucchini with olive oil.
  • Divide cheese mixture between the zucchini boats, and then top with meat sauce.
  • Bake stuffed zucchini boats, sprinkling with mozzarella near end of cook time.

Adding shredded cheese over sauce layer in zucchini boats.

What Should I Do with the Leftover Zucchini Cores?

After you’ve scooped the insides out of the zucchini, save the cores for lunch or dinner the next day. I like to sauté them in a little butter or olive oil and will sprinkle on Parmesan and garlic powder.

Can I Use Another Type of Meat in the Sauce?

Yes, feel free to use your favorite ground meat in the sauce. If you’re vegetarian, you can even use cooked and drained lentils in the sauce instead!

lasagana stuffed zucchini boats in baking dish after baking

Tips for the Best Zucchini Boats

  • Be sure to look for zucchini that are wider and more uniform in width. You don’t want the small, skinny zucchini for this recipe because you won’t be able to fit much filling, and you are going to want to load these up.
  • I recommend using shredded Parmesan cheese and not the stuff in a shaker can for the best flavor and texture.
  • Use freshly shredded mozzarella for best flavor as well.
  • Don’t stir meat constantly when cooking, let it brown on bottom for a few minutes for added flavor then break up and toss.

Close up image of Lasagna Zucchini Boats in a row in baking dish.

More Zucchini Boat Recipes You’ll Love:

Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini Boats

4.96 from 41 votes

These easy lasagna zucchini boats are the perfect weeknight meal and one of my favorite ways to use zucchini! All the flavors of the classic lasagna without the extra carbs from the pasta, plus this version is a lot easier without all the traditional layering.

Servings: 8 Zucchini boats
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchini (2 1/2 lbs), sliced into halves through the length*
  • 1 cup (8.6 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 oz) finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz 90% lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup roasted garlic marinara sauce (such as Classico)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl stir together ricotta cheese, egg and 1 1/2 Tbsp of the parsley. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Crumble beef into pan, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up beef when stirring, until browned (there shouldn't be any excess fat but if you happened to use a fattier beef then just drain excess rendered fat).
  5. Stir in marinara sauce and 1 Tbsp of the basil, remove from heat.
  6. To assemble boats, brush both sides of of zucchini lightly with remaining 2 tsp olive oil and place in two baking pans (I used a 13 by 9 and a 9 by 9). Divide cheese mixture among zucchini spooning about 2 1/2 Tbsp into each, then spread cheese mixture into and even layer.
  7. Divide sauce among zucchini adding a few heaping spoonfuls to each. Cover baking dishes with foil and place in oven side by side and bake in preheated oven 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, sprinkle tops with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella, return to oven and bake until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle tops with with fresh basil and parsley and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

  • *Look for zucchini that is wider and more uniform in width. The skinnier zucchini won't fit much filling.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Amount Per Serving
Calories 226 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 563mg24%
Potassium 589mg17%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 820IU16%
Vitamin C 22.3mg27%
Calcium 275mg28%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: lasasgne zucchini, zucchini boats
Author: Jaclyn
Recipe originally shared June 2015.