The Perfect Savory Dinner

These stuffed zucchini boats are a simple way to incorporate lean protein and vegetables into one delicious dish.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (10-ounce) container cherry tomatoes
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or >90% lean beef
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil or parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss cherry tomatoes and garlic with olive oil and salt and spread out evenly on a small sheet pan. Roast for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Use a small spoon to hollow out the seeds of the halved zucchinis to make them into a boat-like shape. Only scrape out enough to ensure you’re left with at least 1/2-inch-thick walls so the zucchini can still hold its shape. Rub zucchini with olive oil then place on a medium baking sheet or oven proof dish, hollowed side face down. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While zucchini is baking, heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté onion for 2-3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add ground chicken, turkey, or beef, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Cook for 5-7 minutes until meat is nearly cooked through. Turn off heat and stir in breadcrumbs and parmesan until well combined. Gently fold in roasted tomatoes and their juices.
  4. Remove zucchini from the oven and fill each boat with ground meat and tomato mixture. Place back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped basil or parsley and serve.
Lisa Markley, MS, RDN, LD

About the Recipe Author

Lisa Markley, MS, RDN, LD, is an integrative dietitian culinary nutrition expert with nearly two decades of experience working towards improving the health of others. She is passionate about educating others how to harness the healing power of food and healthful lifestyle changes.