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Tender zucchini is stuffed with a savory vegetarian filling of bell pepper, olives and spinach, topped with ricotta & baked in a marinara sauce.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: dinner, vegetarian main, side dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Tender zucchini is stuffed with a savory vegetarian filling of mushrooms, bell peppers, olives and spinach, topped with ricotta & baked in a marinara sauce.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, diced in small pieces
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 pound of zucchini – 1 large, 2 medium, or 3 small squash
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, about two good size handfuls
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce – store-bought or make your own.
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (divided), freshly grated
  • Garnish- fresh basil leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the center, hollowing out the zucchini like a little boat. Save and chop up the scooped out part and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet sauté garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and zucchini flesh, oregano, salt, and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes until most liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add bell pepper, olives, and spinach and stir for about 1 minute until the spinach is wilted. Turn the heat off. Stir in 1/2 cup marinara sauce and 1/2 cup parmesan.  
  5. Add the remaining marinara sauce to the bottom of a greased baking dish, skillet or heavy pan. Set the zucchini boats in the pan. Mound the filling into the hollowed-out boats and nestle in a few dollops of ricotta on top of each one. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake 10-20 minutes, covered or with a lid on, until zucchini is fork tender. (Bigger squash with thicker shells  may take longer).  Uncover and broil for 5 minutes until the top is golden brown.


Optional ingredients: Italian sausage, seasoned ground beef, ground turkey or chicken, pinenuts, walnuts, more veggies, and diced onion. cannellini beans, quinoa, rice.

You can make stuffed zucchini boats ahead of time and reheat them. After filling the zucchini shells, cover them tightly or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, simply heat them in a preheated oven.

Leftover Zucchini boats will keep up to 4 days in the fridge and can be reheated in a 350F oven.


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 311
  • Sugar: 6.4 g
  • Sodium: 918.8 mg
  • Fat: 22 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.4 g
  • Fiber: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 16.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 53.6 mg

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