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Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats have so much flavor with ground turkey, mushrooms, pasta sauce, and cheese. This is a healthier dinner recipe your whole family will love.

This recipe is a twist on an old family favorite and I hope you love it as much as we did!

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stuffed zucchini with cheese and a spatula

Why we LOVE Stuffed Zucchini Boats

I remember my Nana making a recipe like this when I was young. As a young married woman, I would watch Rachael Ray incessantly and buy all of her books. I think she, at one point, must have made stuffed zucchini because I remember making it for Mel all the time years ago.

When I was brainstorming a low-carb way to have some sort of Italian food, I remembered my Nana’s zucchini boats and immediately tried to recreate them. We absolutely loved this recipe and I know your family will too!

  • These are low carb
  • A great way to use up zucchini
  • EASY to make with tons of variations
  • SUPER full of flavor
  • So good – our entire family loves them!
stuffed zucchini in pan

While this recipe isn’t a 30 minute meal, unless you pre-bake the zucchini, it’s an easy recipe to put together. In fact, you can even make some of it ahead of time and just bake it when you’re ready to eat.

Ingredients in Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Ground Turkey: This easy stuffed zucchini recipe is filled with ground turkey. I love using ground turkey and use it instead of ground beef 99% of the time. Believe me, this recipe tastes so good you won’t miss the beef, but if you have a purist in your home, you can substitute ground beef for the turkey.

Flavorings: I cook the ground turkey with mushrooms and onions and garlic along with lots of herbs and spices. It’s important to flavor ground turkey so it’s not dry.

Pasta Sauce: The cooked meat is mixed with my favorite pasta sauce. You can also use a jarred sauce too.

Zucchini: The mixture will fill about 4-5 regular sized zucchini, which will serve 4-8 people depending on what else you’re serving. Because we try to eat low carb, the three of us just ate the zucchini boats along with a small side salad and we had leftovers for lunch the next day.

Cheese: Then, add the best ingredient: cheese!! The cheese makes these SO good.

Now, to make sure your zucchini are cooked all the way, I have a few tips for that in the recipe. Really, since the filling is already cooked, all you need to do is make sure the zucchini is cooked to your liking.

How to make the perfect Stuffed Zucchini Boats:

  1. To hollow out the zucchini, first cut them in half horizontally. Then, using a teaspoon, scoop out the flesh, leaving a bit at the top and bottom to create a front and end of the boat. Do this carefully so you don’t rip the zucchini.
  2. If you have leftover filling, it’s great on pasta!
  3. To make sure the zucchini is cooked all the way, I cover the pan with foil for the first half of baking. Then I sprinkle with cheese and let the zucchini finish cooking to my desired doneness.
  4. If you’re a sauce lover you can add even more sauce to the pan. My husband is a sauce lover so I do this quite often (or heat extra for him).

Not only is this an easy meal, but this stuffed zucchini is also low carb since it’s made without the rice.

stuffed zucchini in pan

What to serve with Stuffed Zucchini Boats:

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stuffed zucchini in pan

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

4.72 from 7 votes
Easy Stuffed Zucchini Boats have so much flavor with ground turkey, mushrooms, pasta sauce, and cheese. This is a healthier dinner recipe your whole family will love.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 4 -6 servings
Serving Size 1 /6 recipe


  • 4-5 medium/large zucchini
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 small yellow onion diced (89g)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 ounces 114g white mushrooms, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Trim the ends of zucchini. Slice in half horizontally. Use a small spoon to clean out the centers of the flesh carefully. Place zucchini in pan.
  • Place turkey in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, breaking up chunks, until almost all the pink is gone. Drain fat.
  • Add onion and garlic to the turkey and continue to cook on medium heat until the onion is soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and seasonings. Cook 3-5 minutes, then stir in the pasta sauce. Cook just a few more minutes to meld the flavors and taste test for seasoning.
  • Fill the zucchini boats evenly with the turkey mixture.
  • Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the zucchini is almost your desired tenderness. Top with cheese and cook just until melted.
  • Serve hot. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 recipe | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**


Zucchini Tart is a great way to have zucchini for lunch.

Zucchini Tart on a silpat

Turkey Meatballs are my favorite, especially in crockpot tomato sauce.

meatballs in sauce in pan

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

Last Updated on May 10, 2021

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Delicious in taste! Simple to make! My husband says the directions should read cut vertically not horizontally

  2. Hello:
    Thank you so very much for the easy and tasty recipe.
    The recipe is perfect but I was wondering if the flesh of the zucchini could be used together with the marinara,garlic and mushrooms.
    I’d like to thank you in advance for your kindness in replying.ataucano

  3. Hi, I teach healthy cooking classes and would like to use this recipe and image in my class next week. Do i have your permission to do so?

  4. I used ground beef and chunky garden vegetable pasta sauce when I made these, and they were SO delicious! My whole family loved it. My college son, who doesn’t really like zucchini, even loved his on broccoli! I used extra cheese, too. They were even more delicious a couple of days later when we had them as leftovers. The flavors mingled and were more intense. It was fabulous!!! Thanks Dorothy for another great recipe! 🙂

    PS: I may try the grated salami idea next time, or maybe pepperoni!

  5. Dorothy….
    OMG! I have made these zucchini boats for years. So fun to see them on your blog. My short-cut (working mom-back in the day-now retired)…. I nuked the scooped out zucchini in the microwave. Got supper on the table that much faster.
    Love your blog…..keep up the great work! 

  6. I am a vegetarian so I skipped the beef. It turned out great. Next time I’m going to try meatless crumbles.

  7. I keep forgetting about these; I’ll have to try it this way. Nana’s secret ingredient was grated salami (besides the beef in the pasta sauce). Not exactly heart healthy or low calorie… lol