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Dinner Recipes

Easy + Extra-Cheesy Zucchini Boats Recipe Is a Satisfying Low-Carb Meal

Hollowed-out summer squash stands in for pasta in this twist on a classic

Baked pasta casseroles are perfect for feeding a crowd. In fact, when I was growing up, my Italian grandmother would often make a big batch of her famous stuffed shells for our Sunday gatherings with extended family. I can still remember the comforting feeling of digging into all that ooey-gooey goodness. To this day, I still make my grandmother’s recipe. But I often crave something a little more healthy that’s just as delicious. And if you’re like me, then this Cheesy Zucchini Boats recipe is for you.

The veggie boats are super-simple to make. And the filling is packed with melty cheese! But grating a lot of soft cheese can be messy. Our test kitchen fix? Spritz the holes of your box grater with cooking spray. The slippery surface speeds up the job and prevents sticking, making clean-up a breeze. This recipe couldn’t be easier! Plus, it turns out so yummy. Best of all, with fewer carbs it’s better for you. Give it a try then leave a comment.


4 serving

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Fresh parsley leaves


• Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 13”x9” baking dish with cooking spray. Halve each zucchini lengthwise; remove and discard inner flesh, leaving about 1/3”-thick shell. Place zucchini boats, cut side up, in baking dish.

• In medium bowl, mix ground beef, 1/2 cup sauce, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg, onion powder, salt and pepper. Fill zucchini halves with meat mixture. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella. 

• Bake until meat thermometer inserted in center of filling registers 165°F, 35–40 min. Garnish with parsley leaves.


  • Calories: 420 kcal
  • Fat: 23 gram
  • Saturated Fat: 9 gram
  • Protein: 34 gram
  • Carbohydrate: 20 gram
  • Fiber: 2 gram
  • Cholesterol: 135 mg
  • Sugar: 11 gram
  • Sodium: 790 mg
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