Lasagna Zucchini Boats

06.28.2015

These hearty Lasagna-Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a healthier take on the classic Italian dish. I promise you won’t miss the lasagna noodles in this recipe! 

Lasagna Zucchini Boats in white baking dish

Lasagna-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

That’s right, two zucchini boat recipes in a row. Why? Because they are amazing! Sounds crazy, but I’m totally hooked.

I loved the last one so much I decided to go for round two and try out an Italian variation on stuffed zucchini. I’m so glad I did because these Lasagna Zucchini Boats are simply amazing!

You may be thinking, how could they be? You took out all those good, comforting lasagna noodle carbs. Apparently 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 will be one of my go to lasagna recipes from now on! I have the feeling I’ll actually be making them a lot more than the traditional layered lasagna now.

The other thing I loved about these is that like a classic lasagna, they were still incredibly delicious reheated — and I don’t say that about food very often. These are going to be a go to summer meal for me! Even my six-year-old loved them!

Try them and you’ll know why. Perfect saucy, cheesy deliciousness!

raw zucchini boats without filling

Lasagna Zucchini Boats Ingredients

For this zucchini boat recipe, you’ll need:

  • Zucchini
  • Ricotta
  • Egg
  • Fresh parsley
  • Mozarella
  • Parmesan
  • Ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Marinara sauce
  • Fresh basil

How to Make 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.

raw zucchini boats stuffed with cheese filling

  • 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.

raw Lasagna Zucchini Boats in baking dish

  • Bake stuffed zucchini boats, sprinkling with mozzarella near end of cook time.

raw Lasagna Zucchini Boats with cheese sprinkled on top

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!

close up of Lasagna Zucchini Boats garnished with fresh parsley and basil

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.
  • You can eat the skin on zucchini, so you can enjoy the entire zucchini boat!
  • I recommend using shredded Parmesan cheese and not the stuff in a shaker can for the best flavor and texture.

Lasagna Zucchini Boats in white baking dish

More Zucchini Boat Recipes You’ll Love:

More Zucchini Recipes to Try:

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Lasagna Zucchini Boats

4.95 from 18 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 (2 oz) finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz 93% 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 (I used 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 Zucchini Boats
Amount Per Serving
Calories 226 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 563mg 23%
Potassium 589mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin A 16.4%
Vitamin C 27%
Calcium 27.5%
Iron 10.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: lasasgne zucchini, zucchini boats
Calories: 226 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

107 comments

  • Maria Rabadan: Easy and delicious! I used a zucchini from my garden that grew 18 inches long! Still tender and delicious 😋 September 28, 2018 at 12:32am Reply

  • Sandra: I made it tonight and we loved it. I will certainly make it again. September 16, 2018 at 9:41pm Reply

  • Cheryl Fisher: Our whole family loves this recipe. We don’t even miss the pasta! I’ve made it twice in three weeks! Thanks. August 26, 2018 at 1:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving 5 stars! August 27, 2018 at 9:56am Reply

  • Ali: I went to make this and realized I didnt have the ricotta🤦🏻‍♀️ So, I made taco stuffed with cheddar, fresh tomatoes, and sour cream on top! Thank you for the inspiration and I will definitely make this version soon. They were SO good:) August 23, 2018 at 11:25am Reply

  • Sue: Do you eat the skin or scoop dinner out of ‘the boat’? August 22, 2018 at 9:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes you’ll eat the skin on the zucchini as well. Hope you enjoy! August 24, 2018 at 9:24am Reply

  • Karen: Seriously so delicious! Surprised me because I’m SUCH a carb-lover and terrible at eating my veggies! Thank you!! July 26, 2018 at 2:26am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for taking the time to leave positive feedback! July 28, 2018 at 11:59am Reply

  • Barbara: I have made this two times already.
    Love this! Thanks again for another keeper! July 17, 2018 at 5:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Happy to hear you made them again! Thanks for letting me know you’ve liked the recipe Barbara! July 17, 2018 at 9:45pm Reply

  • Rachael: Yum! There was a ton of extra meat stuffing leftover so I just threw it on some pasta later on with more crushed tomatoes July 13, 2018 at 8:01pm Reply

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