Did you know there’s a National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day? It’s August 8th, in case you needed to know. It just goes to show how incredibly prolific that veggie is — we all need to offload some on friends and family if we dare to grow more than a couple of zucchini plants in our garden. But luckily, there are about 101 ways to enjoy that oh-so-prolific squash and stuffed zucchini happens to be one of my very favorite ways! These Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boats are easy to make and have a classic Italian-inspired marinara base that everyone loves. A simple, nourishing dinner solution even if you don’t have zucchini coming out of every square inch of your garden.
Some people like to pre-cook their zucchini a bit before stuffing them, but I prefer that they hold some of their texture and structure, so I opt to stuff them and let everything bake together in the oven at once. (It’s certainly easier too.) Just cut off the stem ends of your zucchini, slice them in half lengthwise, and then scoop out the inner part of the squash, leaving a nice border around the edge. You’ll chop up the squash that you just scooped and sauté it with some onion, garlic, and ground beef. That gets mixed with some marinara and Italian seasoning and simmered briefly just to bring all the flavors together. Think spaghetti sauce, but with some added veggie goodness.
Then (you guessed it!), you take that sauce and spoon it into each hollowed-out zucchini, top it with a little mozzarella and bake for just twenty minutes. The squash will soften, the cheese will get melty, and that beefy marinara will get piping hot and bubbly. If you happen to already have meat sauce stashed in your freezer, this is even quicker, but just as is it’s a great go-to meal for any busy weeknight.
Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boats
15m prep time
20m cook time
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, trim off stems, then use a spoon to scoop flesh from center of zucchinis. Chop up the flesh you scooped out and set aside.
- Arrange zucchini halves in the prepared baking dish.
- In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add onion and cook until starting to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Add beef and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in marinara sauce, zucchini flesh, and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer 10 minutes.
- Spoon mixture into zucchini halves and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbly and melted, about 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Gimme Delicious.