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These vegetarian zucchini boats are stuffed and baked with crumbled tofu, tomato sauce, and Italian-inspired spices. With only 8 healthy ingredients, this recipe is so easy to make and beyond delicious. Tastes like a lightened up pasta bake!

Vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats on a baking sheet.

If you enjoy Italian flavours, you are going to absolutely love this zucchini boat recipe. It’s one of those dishes where I let out an audible “YUM” when I tasted it 😉

While many zucchini boats are stuffed with ground meat, this version uses crumbled tofu for a vegetarian or vegan alternative. Tofu is packed with protein and one of my favourite ground meat substitutes.

As a dietitian, I’m happy to share that zucchini is full of nutrition benefits. Stuffed zucchini is an awesome way to enjoy the vegetable, especially if you have an abundance of them to eat up.

This recipe reminded me of a baked pasta, but in a lighter vegetable-heavy format! I hope you enjoy it.

Two vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats served on a plate.

Ingredients Needed

All you need to make these stuffed zucchini boats are 8 simple ingredients:

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Recipe Modifications (Including Vegan Option)

  1. If you’d like to make a vegan version of this recipe, simply swap the parmesan cheese for a vegan alternative. You can also omit the cheese altogether (although the taste it adds is lovely!), or swap it with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavour.
  2. If you eat meat, you can always swap the crumbled tofu with ground beef or turkey. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time to make sure your meat is cooked properly.
  3. Feel free to use any store-bought or homemade tomato sauce you like here. I personally used this marinara from Rao’s.
  4. Feel free to play around with the seasonings here – any Italian spices would work great. If there’s not garlic in your tomato sauce, you may also enjoy some garlic powder or minced garlic.
  5. Fresh basil is optional, but it tastes great (and looks pretty)!
Recipe ingredient flatlay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Hollow Out Zucchini?

In order to make “boats” out of zucchini, you will need to hollow out some of the insides. Simply use a small spoon to scrape down lengthwise, removing the seedy part of the vegetable (see image below for how much to remove).

What To Do With Excess Zucchini

All that zucchini you scraped out? Don’t let it go to waste! You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze it.

Use the leftovers in smoothies (it has a very neutral flavour and adds thickness and nutrients). Or you can use it in a zucchini soup, zucchini pesto, or zucchini oatmeal!

Do You Eat The Skin Of Zucchini Boats

Yes! The only part of the zucchini that you need to remove are the hard ends. The skin becomes nice and soft once it’s baked in the oven – you won’t even notice it. Plus, the skin is often full of the nutrients!

What To Serve With Zucchini Boats

These zucchini boats can be served on their own as a light meal. I’d recommend having two “boats” per person.

That said, if you’re looking for something more substantial, you can totally serve them as a side dish. They’d go great with another protein source (like grilled chicken) and some whole grains (like brown rice, quinoa, or farro).

Are Zucchini Boats Healthy?

Depending on what you put in them, you bet! This particular zucchini boat recipe is filled with nutritious ingredients, like protein-rich tofu, a simple tomato sauce, olive oil (a healthy fat) and spices and herbs.

Zucchini itself is full of nutrition benefits, too. I’ve outlined them for you below!

Zucchini Nutrition Benefits

Zucchini is rich in many micronutrients, like:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • vitamin B6
  • folate
  • manganese
  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • copper

This summer squash is also a great source of dietary fibre, with one medium zucchini providing 2 grams or 8% of your daily fibre needs.

Like other fruits and veggies, zucchini is also a great source of antioxidants, especially carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.

Vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats on a baking sheet.

More Easy Zucchini Recipes

Did you give this Vegetarian Zucchini Boats Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These vegetarian zucchini boats are stuffed with crumbled tofu, tomato sauce, and Italian-inspired spices. Easy, healthy, and delicious!
Vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats on a baking sheet.
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5 from 3 votes
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Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchinis (aim for thicker ones, if possible)
  • 1 pack tofu, firm or extra firm
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (I used marinara)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1/2 cup parmesan (freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, if possible)
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, to garnish (about 5-7 large leaves)

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  • Remove tough ends off zucchini and cut in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape/hollow out the seedy part of each zucchini half to make a "boat."
  • Place zucchini boats on baking sheet. Brush each half with olive oil and set aside.
  • Drain tofu and press out excess liquid with a paper towel. Using your hands, crumble tofu into a bowl. The crumbled tofu is meant to resemble ground meat.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium. Add crumbled tofu, thyme, and oregano. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
  • Add tomato sauce to the pan. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Season with salt + pepper.
  • Remove tofu-tomato mixture from heat. Carefully spoon the mixture into the zucchini halves, dividing evenly.
  • Sprinkle parmesan overtop of the zucchini. Transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. The cheese should be melted, slightly browned, and the zucchini should be fork-tender.
  • Garnish with fresh basil, black pepper, and serve hot!

Notes

*SERVINGS: This recipe as written makes about 4 servings if eaten as a meal (estimating 2 zucchini halves per person). As a side dish, it will serve 8 people (1 half per person).
*A NOTE ON ZUCCHINI: Zucchinis come in all sorts of shapes and sizes! Aim to purchase slightly larger zucchini that has some width to them. You may or may not end up using all the tofu-tomato mixture to fill the zucchini boats, but it’s ok! You can pile the mixture up, or simply enjoy any extra on it’s own 🙂
*LEFTOVERS: Leftovers can be stored covered or in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 days. You can eat them cold, reheated in the microwave, or re-purpose them by chopping the zucchini up and throwing into a pasta or salad!
*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • If you’d like to make a vegan/dairy-free version of this recipe, simply swap the parmesan cheese for a vegan alternative. You can also omit the cheese altogether (although the taste it adds is lovely!), or swap it with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavour.
  • If you eat meat, you can always swap the crumbled tofu with ground beef or turkey. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time to make sure your meat is cooked properly.
  • Feel free to use any store-bought or homemade tomato sauce you like here. I personally used this marinara from Rao’s.
  • Feel free to play around with the seasonings here – any Italian spices would work great. If there’s not garlic in your tomato sauce, you may also enjoy some garlic powder or minced garlic.
  • Fresh basil is optional, but it tastes great (and looks pretty)!
 
*WHAT TO DO WITH EXCESS ZUCCHINI: All that zucchini you scraped out? Don’t let it go to waste! You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge (if you plan on using within a couple days) or freeze it.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for a vegetarian stuffed zucchini boats recipe.
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