Peak zucchini season is here and now is the perfect time to enjoy just-picked zucchinis. Whether you get them from the grocery store, farmers’ markets, or your backyard, we have just the recipe you need. Sunday, August 8th is recognized as National Zucchini Day in the United States, and today we want to bring you this easy, tasty, and quick zucchini boat recipe!
We love a good zucchini boat recipe, especially when it is no-fuss and requires ingredients we have on-hand. While we make our own sauce in this recipe, our favorite short-cut is store-bought marinara sauce. With so many varieties of marinara – meat, spicy arrabiatas, or mushroom sauces, you can’t go wrong! Check out Rachel Ray’s post on “5 store-bought marinara sauces that might be better than homemade.” Did your favorite make the list? You can also personalize this recipe your own by switching up your fillings! Try spinach and ricotta, or a turkey, chicken, or lentil bolognese. You won’t regret it.
This summer zucchini boat recipe will be your next favorite meal!
For The Sauce:
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. of ground beef (or turkey, chicken, or lentils)
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. of red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 (28 oz) can of San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. paprika
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 t. sugar
chili flakes (optional)
For the Zucchini Boats:
2 medium zucchinis, halved
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the zucchinis in half and scoop out the flesh of the zucchinis. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place in an oven-safe pan.
Meanwhile, make your sauce. Bring olive oil, onions, and garlic to a pan.
When the onions are translucent, add in your ground meat and cook thoroughly.
Turn up the heat and add wine or vinegar until it reduces.
Add in your spices, tomatoes, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
Let the sauce come to a boil and begin to thicken.
Add your sauce to the zucchini boats. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs. Pour vegetable broth around the zucchini boats.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top with parsley (optional). Serve and enjoy!
*Leftover sauce can be frozen and used for spaghetti bolognese or lasagna.
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons.
If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.