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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These Italian sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a delicious way to serve fresh zucchini as an entrée. They feature a layer of creamy ricotta cheese layered with a rich and flavor packed sausage filling and topped with plenty of mozzarella cheese.


Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

These lower carb zucchini boats boats the same flavors we love in classic lasagna. It can be made with Italian sausage, ground turkey or ground chicken if you’d like a lighter version. In fact, I’ve tested all three and I give you the recipe for seasonings if you’d like to make your own sausage for this recipe. It’s full flavored and you can use your favorite brand of marinara sauce for the base and serve some warm on the side for those who may like a little more.



How to Make the Best Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats: 3 medium size zucchini, 1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage (sweet or spicy) onion, garlic cloves, a jar of prepared marinara or pizza sauce, dried Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper, ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese one large egg and tomato paste.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A large skillet, spoon for stirring, measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife and cutting board, cheese grater and non stick broiler pan or a 13 x 9 inch pan for baking.
  • Use one 24 ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce for this recipe. Serve any unused in the sauce and serve it warmed on the side for those who’d like to add more to their zucchini boat after baking.
  • When choosing zucchini, try to pick 3 that are similar in shape and size for even cooking.
  • You can make your own sausage for this recipe using ground pork, turkey or chicken. See how in the next section and in the Cook’s note of the recipe.
  • I like using a broiler pan to bake these as the grooves in the pan keep the zucchini upright. If your prefer baking them in a dish, you can slice a thin piece from the bottom of the zucchini halves to give them a flat bottom.
  • There’s no such thing as too much cheese so feel free to use more to suit your taste.
  • The zucchini in this recipe still has a little bite. In other words, it’s not soft or mushy at all.
  • If you’d like for it to be softer, season with salt and pepper and place them into the preheated 400°F oven for 5-10 minutes before filling them and returning them to the oven to finish baking once assembled.
  • No two zucchini are exactly alike. Should you use a smaller zucchini than I did and have leftover filling, pop it into the freezer for a future meal. It will freeze beautifully just like spaghetti sauce for up to 3 months.
  • Store leftover Stuffed Zucchini Boats chilled for up to 3 days. Reheat in single serving portions in the microwave or for a few minutes in an air fryer.


How to Make Homemade Italian Sausage

To make your own sausage using ground pork turkey or chicken for this recipe: Mix the following ingredients in the skillet cooking them together with the diced onion and minced garlic in Step #3 of the recipe.

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground pork, turkey or pork
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional adjust to taste or omit)


More Easy Zucchini Recipes to Make


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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: stuffed-zucchini, stuffed-zucchini-boats
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 578kcal


  • 3 medium zucchini cut in half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb mild or spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 medium sweet onion finely diced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic minced
  • 1 24 oz jar prepared marinara sauce divided use
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry Italian seasoning divided use
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 2/3 cup part skim or whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese divided use
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a broiler pan or a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Use a teaspoon to scoop out the zucchini seeds and flesh leaving at least a 1/3 inch border. Arrange halves side by side on broiler pan. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet cook sausage and onion over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes or until no pink remains. (You can add olive oil but the sausage will likely have ample fat for cooking.) Add garlic to mixture cooking for 1 minute longer. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
  • To the skillet add 2 cups marinara sauce, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. (Omit if using spicy sausage or personal preference.) Simmer for 2-3 minutes or just until the tomato paste has melted and the sauce is fully combined. Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, mix together ricotta, egg, 1 Tablespoon Parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning.
  • To Assemble: Sprinkle 1/2 of shredded mozzarella cheese onto bottom of each zucchini boat. Dollop ricotta mixture over cheese dividing it evenly between the zucchini halves then top with Italian sausage sauce. Sprinkle the tops with reserved 1 cup mozzarella and 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. (Test for doneness with the tip of a knife.)
  • Serve immediately with reserved warm marinara sauce on the side, if desired.


To make your own sausage using ground pork, turkey or chicken for this recipe: Mix the following together and proceed with the recipe browning together with diced onion and garlic in Step #3.
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground pork, turkey or pork
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional adjust to taste or omit)


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 578kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 1620mg | Potassium: 757mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 803IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 353mg | Iron: 3mg
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