These Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats are filled with a hearty and flavorful spiced ground turkey, mushroom and marinara sauce mixture. Topped with melted mozzarella cheese for a healthy and easy to make dinner!
After last year’s disappointing vegetable garden season, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have one this year. I’m so glad I did plant one this year! I’ve been getting tons of tomatoes, jalapeños (which are almost inedible because they’re so spicy), cucumbers, lettuce, strawberries, carrots, herbs and of course zucchini!
Last year my zucchini plant only produced four or five that I could pick and this year I’ve already picked ten! I used one to make these Lemon Zucchini Muffins and a couple more to make this Grilled Zucchini Corn Tomato Salad. Even after using a few more to make these Italian stuffed zucchini boats, I still have four more sitting on the kitchen counter. The neighbors may be getting a loaf of zucchini bread this weekend.
Ingredients Needed to Make Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Ground turkey
- Onion and garlic
- Mushrooms (optional)
- Marinara Sauce
- Balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Dried oregano, basil and Italian seasoning
- Mozzarella cheese
How to Make Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Start by sautéing the ground turkey until it’s browned, crumbled and nearly cooked through. Add in the diced onion and mushrooms and sauté several more minutes until they’re soft. Add in the garlic, dried herbs, salt and pepper and sauté another minute.
Pour in the marinara sauce and stir everything together. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. While the meat mixture simmers, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to hollow out the centers of them leaving about a 1/4 inch border all the way around. You can either discard the flesh that’s been scooped out or do this step first and add it in with the ground turkey mixture.
Place the zucchini onto a sheet pan or oven safe baking dish. Fill them evenly with the turkey filling and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with shredded mozzarella and bake for another 5 minutes.
Ingredient Substitutions for Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Ground turkey – ground turkey can be substituted with ground chicken, beef or even Italian sausage.
Mushrooms – If you don’t like mushrooms try substituting with diced bell pepper or baby spinach.
Mozzarella cheese – Good alternatives for mozzarella are provolone, fontina, Italian cheese blend or smoked mozzarella
Health Benefits of Zucchini
Zucchini is a great option if you are following a low carb diet or are looking for more ways to add vegetables into your diet. It’s mild in flavor which means, if someone you live with is picky when it comes to vegetables, they might get behind zucchini.
Zucchini has significant amounts of vitamins B6, riboflavin, folate, C, and K, and contains potassium and manganese. It also has a high water content, fiber and electrolytes which help maintain a healthy digestive system.
- 3-4 zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups good quality marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat Oven to 400° F. Line a sheet pan with foil and set aside.
- cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to hollow out the centers of each half leaving about a 1/4 inch border all the way around. You can either discard the flesh that's been scooped out or chop it up and add it into the meat mixture. Place the prepared zucchini onto the sheet pan.
- In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the ground turkey and sauté crumbling it with a wooden spoon until it's browned and nearly cooked through.
- Add in the diced onion and mushrooms (and reserved zucchini flesh if using) and sauté 2-3 minutes until they've softened. Add in the garlic, dried herbs, salt and pepper and sauté another minute.
- Pour in the marinara sauce and balsamic vinegar then stir everything together. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Fill the zucchini boats evenly with the turkey filling and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with shredded mozzarella and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with chopped fresh basil if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 514mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 43g