Overstuffed Vegetarian Zucchini Boats

Do you ever get really happy when a food you love comes back in season? I know I do! Strawberries and tomatoes are two of my favorites, but I also have a thing for summer squash. When I saw zucchini squash at the farmers market this weekend I got super excited. I had only seen baby zucchini and yellow squash on previous visits so even though I didn’t really have any thing in particular to make when them, I had to buy a couple.

Instead of just quickly sautéing them as I normally do, I put them to good use tonight with a fun recipe for vegetarian zucchini boats.

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I haven’t made these in such a long time, but I’m not sure why. They’re so easy to throw together and the filling is delicious and flavorful. I’m always looking for healthy week night meals that don’t take a ton of time and effort and this recipe definitely fits the bill.

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In the boats – garlic, onions, chopped kale, the zucchini innards and fresh, purple basil.

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Since I’m on somewhat of a protein kick as of late, I made sure these boats had plenty by using Quorn beef style grounds. They’re just like other vegetarian crumbles only soy-free and made with mycoprotein, a protein that comes from a fungi, similar to that of mushrooms. This was my first time trying it and although the flavor and texture seemed really similar to other fake meat products I’ve tried, I like it a little more because it’s soy-free. When trying to increase your protein as a non-meat eater, it’s easy to fill up on packaged, soy-based products so it’s definitely nice to see some alternatives out there.

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Overstuffed Zucchini Boats

Serves 2 / Print Recipe


  • 2 medium zucchini squash
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 1/2 cup Quorn grounds or veggie crumbles
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  2. Cut off the ends of the zucchini and halve, lengthwise
  3. Scoop out the inside of the zucchini, leaving the outer shell (boat) intact and saving the flesh for later
  4. Spray the four shells with non-stick spray (I use canola oil spray), place cut-side-up on a baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes or until the zucchini has softened
  5. While the shells are baking, chop the zucchini flesh into small pieces and sauté over medium heat with non-stick spray, onion and garlic until soft and fragrant
  6. Add kale, veggie grounds, tomato sauce, basil and oregano and mix well. Simmer the mixture for 10-12 minutes, season with salt and pepper and keep warm until the shells are done baking
  7. Remove the zucchini shells from the oven when they are ready and fill each with a good portion of the mixture
  8. Serve warm and enjoy

You’re likely to have extra of the mixture so you can over-stuff the boats and eat it on the side, save it to have with another meal or let your boyfriend polish it off. 🙂 Can you guess which scenario happened here at Casa de EBF? I’ll give you one guess.

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There you have it – an easy, protein filled meal that even a meat eater will love!

Next month when your garden/market/kitchen counter is over flowing with zucchini and you don’t know what to do with it, make some boats!

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  1. I like your site. Tried this recipe with a few changes and really liked it, however when I make it again, I think I will leave out the kale and sub spinach. The kale ribs don’t cook down enough and add a crunch to the sauce. -not that its a bad thing, just not my thing. The changes I made; I actually added a meatloaf mixture of 3 types of meat instead of the veggie crumbles (I know – it isn’t as healthy, but we like our meat and it was what I had on hand). In addition, I used fresh oregano (2 Tbsp)instead of the dry. I have a couple of large oregano plants and like to use fresh when I can. Your cooking time for the zucchini in the oven was spot on. It was perfect! – not too soft, not too mush… just right. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will be checking out many more of your recipes. 🙂

  2. Hi!
    I’ve been reading your website for awhile now and I keep coming back to this recipe…so I went to Trader Joe’s today and finally, FINALLY got the zucchini (and now my store is starting to sell Kale–yay!!) Anyways, thanks for this recipe, and for all your great posts! You are an inspiration!

  3. Aahhhh this is one of my favorite summer meals! I’ve never thought to add kale though, sounds delicious. Another tasty variation is subbing ricotta and black olives for the fake meat.

  4. I never get sick of zucchini – even when my mom is sending bags from the garden daily! This recipe looks delicious! I think it would be good with just sauteed mushrooms too!

  5. This recipe looks awesome! I think I’ve made something like this before but its been so long. Zucchini is amazing, no matter how you cook it! 🙂

  6. what an AWESOME idea. So creative. This looks delicious.. especially since I have been loving zucchini lately!

  7. Zucchini boats! love it! This is definitely going on the summer to-make list because i have a bunch of zucchini plants in my garden this summer:):)
    I gave up meat because i don’t like the taste of it so i rarely eat fake meat products. I do eat veggie dogs though cause hot dogs don’t taste like meat haha but they are a once in awhile treat:) And ill have tofu if i go out for Chinese food but i generally stay away from soy cause my face isnt a big fan:/

  8. wow these look fabulous! thanks for the recipe! I think I’ll try these. I bet they would be good with lentils too. I’m not a huge fan of fake meats but I love my beans! 🙂

  9. I’m assuming you have probably already tried them, but if you haven’t, you NEED to try the Quorn Naked Chik’n Cutlets. They are soooo great and so close to chicken that in my opinion, there’s absolutely no reason to ever eat the real thing!

  10. I just brought 5 zucchini just for $1.65 today. 🙂 Love the low price this season! Will def make Overstuffed Zucchini Boats twr for dinner. Thx for the aspiration, B!!!

  11. Zucchini is one of my alltime favorites..and this recipe looks so good! I can’t wait to try it as soon as my garden is ready for eating!

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