Stuffed Zucchini Boats ♥ Quick Technique Tip

Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Today's summery recipe: On-hand vegetables stuffed into summer squash, topped with a little cheese, then devoured for breakfast or a side dish or a vegetarian main dish. There's a quick trick to zucchini boats: a few minutes in the microwave!

So maybe it's just me but isn't there a dirty little secret about zucchini boats? The stuffings are nearly always delicious (cheese, anyone?) but the boats themselves, the zucchini (or in this case that zucchini summer-squash cousin called the "yellow squash" or the "crookneck squash") is either undercooked and tasteless or overcooked and watery, in either case unappetizing. So here – with just one quick and easy step – the zucchini boats become more than mere vessels, they actually taste good!

The trick? So easy, you'll be whacking yourself on the forehead, "I shoulda thoughta that."

HERE'S ALL IT TAKES Before stuffing, just cook the zucchini in the microwave for a few minutes. The added benefit? It's easier to scoop out the zucchini innards too.

VEGETABLES for BREAKFAST? During summer garden months, this is actually a favorite weekend breakfast. Usually there's a slice of crisp bacon and an egg on the side but the real stars are the zucchini boats. (You do know about Baked Bacon, don't you? It's so easy! It might even be worth buying a cast iron griddle, just for cooking bacon. Note to Vegetarians)


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 2 (easily multiplied)

1 small or medium yellow squash or zucchini

STUFFING (for example)
Olive oil
Onion, diced
Eggplant, diced
Mushrooms, chopped
Cherry tomatoes
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh herbs - sage, oregano

Good melting cheese, sliced

ZUCCHINI BOATS Wash the squash well, trim the stem end a bit. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Separate the two pieces and cook side-by-side in the microwave on high for 4 minutes. (Microwaves do vary in power, check yours after two or three minutes, until you're sure of the timing.) While still warm, scoop out the centers with a spoon -- the serrated edge of a grapefruit spoon works especially well.

STUFFING Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the olive oil til shimmery, cook the onion, eggplant, mushrooms and other vegetables. The vegetables should be fully cooked, from here on, they'll just stay hot. Cook the cherry tomatoes in the same skillet, but on the side, so they don't get mixed in and just until they pop. Add the fresh herbs late - so they warm up a bit but don't get cooked in.

TO FINISH Heat the broiler. Fill the zucchini boats with the cooked vegetables. Place cheese slices on top, then a few of the cherry tomatoes. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts into the vegetables and the tomatoes begin to blister. Serve and savor!

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

~ Feta-Stuffed Zucchini ~
~ Eight-Ball Stuffed Zucchini ~
~ Toad in a Pattypan Hole ~

~ Fresh Tomato & Basil Stuffed Peppers ~
~ Stuffed Peppers (My Aunt's Retro Recipe) ~
~ more stuffed vegetable recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ BLT Pasta Salad ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg
(who loves-loves-loves to stuff vegetables into other vegetables)
and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2011
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This is an awesome idea/recipe!!! Thank you! I am in a CSA this year and I have more zucchini and squash than I know what to do with. But this will make a FINE dish or side dish!

  2. Lovely. I like to do these in the summer for lunch.

  3. Being presented with such a dish, can only make you happy. Gorgeous.

  4. This recipe turned out incredibly for me! I did add some organic spinach/feta sausage to the sauteed vegetables and used fresh mozzarella cubes mixed into the veg/sausage mixture when I filled the boats. My kids ate every bite and wanted to know when I would make it again! I had to nuke the zucchini a little longer in my microwave and used a paring knife to cut out the middle. Also use the zucchini cutouts in the saute so as not to waste. Thanks for a great idea!

  5. This dish looks delicious. I love fresh vegetables.

  6. Great recipe! Why kill it in the micro?

  7. Amy ~ So glad the recipes pleases you!

    Elle ~ Or lunch!

    Shaheen ~ Thank you!

    Anonymous ~ Wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. Love the idea of fresh mozzarella, in fact, we had a version over the weekend that did too!

    Stephen ~ Then you'll love A Veggie Venture, it's ALL about fresh vegetables!

    Phoenix & Andromeda ~ If you'd rather not use the microwave, we've also had good luck simmering the squash in a half inch or so of water in a skillet. Your choice!

  8. Another alternative to the micro that imparts some great smoky flavor to the zucchini and makes them quite tender and tasty is to grill the boats. This has the added benefit of avoiding using the oven/broiler on those hot dog days of summer.

  9. This is one of my husband and my favorite meals! We call them "Zuccanoes" Also, sorry I never shared with anyone the microwave trick; I also use that for stuffed peppers.

  10. I love this recipe! For the stuffing, I saute leeks, crimini mushrooms, and red bell pepper. And I've been trying different cheeses - my favorite so far is crumbled feta.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna