Meat-Stuffed Zucchini Boats: Recipe to Try Tonight With Fresh Garden Zucchini!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Have you ever heard of zucchini boats? It’s a hollowed-out zucchini filled with hearty meat & cheese deliciousness and baked until tender.

What a great idea for a little something different when the zucchini in your garden threatens to take over the world! LOL

Zucchini boats are a hearty way to make use of all that garden zucchini. Fill with a hearty meat & cheese mixture & bake until tendercrisp #TexasHomesteader

Recently I found myself with some fresh garden zucchini. Now ordinarily I use zucchini as a veggie side dish. But I was looking for something a little more substantial this time. Something different.

I decided to make zucchini boats with them. I’ll make ’em hearty too by stuffing them with meat & cheese. Then I can use them as the main entrée.

Easy Meat-Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

The beauty is that making stuffed zucchini boats couldn’t be easier:

      • 1 Pound Ground Beef

      • 1 Onion

      • 1 Clove Garlic

      • 1 Cup Shredded Cheese

      • Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning

      • Bake 25 minutes

Zucchini boats tantalize your taste buds & add a little ‘wow’ to your supper plate. And I’m very happy to say it was not only ridiculously easy, but delicious too!

Preparing The Zucchini Boat Filling

First I sautéed some chopped onion and a pressed garlic clove in my grandmother’s antique Cast Iron Skillet.

(Just look at her – Isn’t she beautiful? Have I mentioned how much I love this skillet??) 

This skillet was a gift to my grandmother when she and my grandfather married in 1934. It was gifted to me decades ago. #TexasHomesteader

This cast-iron skillet was presented as a wedding gift to my grandmother back in 1934 when she and my grandfather were married. She gifted it to me in the 1990’s and I’ve been using it ever since. Of course I’ll be passing it on to my children as well. It’s hard to say whether any modern cookware has THAT kind of longevity!

Into the skillet I tossed in about a pound of ground meat. I added a little salt & pepper and about a tablespoon of Italian seasoning for a little flavoring.

The meat was cooked until there was no pink remaining. I turned off the heat & drained the grease from the skillet.

Then I mixed in a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and stirred to blend everything together. 

Zucchini Boat Flavor Options

I’m a very simple-country-cook. I Cook Much Like My Grandmother did. So I prefer to prepare simple dishes.

I don’t want to overrun the fresh taste of zucchini with too many additions. But I realize that not every cook likes to keep the taste simple.

There are lots of flavor options with this filling. Some people like to add:

      • Sautéed chopped bell pepper

      • Marinara sauce or even ketchup to make the filling more saucy.

      • Chopped mushrooms

      • The leftover sections you’ve cut from your zucchini boat.

Whatever suits your family’s taste! Now it’s time to tackle those zucchini boats.

Preparing The Fresh Zucchini

I took 4 approximately 8″ long zucchini and washed them well.

Zucchini boats are a hearty way to make use of all that garden zucchini. Fill with a hearty meat & cheese mixture & bake until tendercrisp #TexasHomesteader

With a sharp knife I cut a large wide wedge the length of the zucchini, leaving about 1/2″ on either end uncut. Then I lifted the cut portion out.

I kept & refrigerated those thick zucchini wedges I’d cut away. They’ll be steamed for a delicious veggie side in a few days. Nothing wasted.

When all the wedges were cut & removed I took a teaspoon and scooped out the hollowed section of each zucchini just a little bit more, leaving only about 1/2″ intact in the zucchini shell.

This will allow more filling to be stuffed in. It’s heartier that way. And RancherMan likes it hearty!

Now I simply stuffed the prepared meat mixture into the zucchini openings. Finally I sprinkled a little more shredded cheese on top for a little extra sumpin’…

Into a 350ºF oven they went for about 25 minutes. Hummm – looks pretty good and smells delightful!

Vegetable Firmness Cooking Preference

I much prefer my veggies to be tendercrisp. I hate when fresh veggies are cooked until they’re mushy.

Twenty-five minutes in the oven meant the zucchini wasn’t mushy nor overcooked. Instead it was soft, yet tendercrisp. Absolutely perfect for us!

Zucchini boats are a hearty way to make use of all that garden zucchini. Fill with a hearty meat & cheese mixture & bake until tendercrisp #TexasHomesteader

But some prefer their veggies to be softer. So feel free to leave your zucchini boats in the oven longer if your family prefers it cooked to a softer texture.

What To Serve With Meat-Stuffed Zucchini Boats?

These stuffed zucchini go well with almost anything! But I often serve my zucchini boats with:

Buttered Rice with Fresh Sage 

Homemade Creamy Coleslaw

Crisp Garden Salad with 1-Minute Homemade Creamy Dressing

Instant Pot Mac & Cheese (only a 3 minute cook time!

Instant pot boxed Macaroni and cheese Mac & Cheese held on a fork. #TexasHomesteader

Did you make these Meat-Stuffed Zucchini Boats? Please rate the recipe in your comment below!

Meat-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Zucchini boats are zucchini stuffed with meat, cheese, onions and garlic. It's a delicious way to use up all that fresh garden zucchini. My recipe is simple, but there are lots of add-in flavor options if you want to bump it up a notch. ~ Texas Homesteader ~

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword fresh zucchini, garden vegetable, ground meat, main course, shredded cheese, zucchini, zucchini boat
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people



  • 4 medium fresh zucchini, about 8 inches long
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Blend Seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. 1. Wash zucchini. Cut deep wedges the length of each zucchini, leaving about 1/2" at each end. Then scoop out pulp, leaving 1/2-in. shells. (Retain cut zucchini for a veggie side dish on another night if desired)

  2. 2. In a skillet, saute chopped onion and pressed garlic until translucent - about 3 minutes.
  3. 3. Add ground meat and cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat and drain grease.

  4. 4. To the meat mixture add ½ cup cheese, salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon into the zucchini shells. Place filled zucchini in a 13x9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle tops with remaining cheese.

  5. 4. Bake, uncovered, at 350° until zucchini is tender, 25-30 minutes.


This post categorized in  

Tagged in A list of our posts about cooking with the garden's harvest. #TexasHomesteader    All our posts about healthy vegetables. #TexasHomesteader         A list of our favorite entree recipes. #TexasHomesteader  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

* Please enter the Biggest Number

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.