Stuffed Zucchini (Two ways)

Zucchini boats (two ways)

In the last few weeks, I have spent so much time working on various recipes but sometimes they take longer to develop than others. The process of running a food blog is that of trial and error. I would say most of the time, the process of creating recipes is fairly straight forward but that’s not always the case. The last few recipes I have tried to nail have been an absolute headache, but I wanted to put out something I knew would be easy and delicious and that is how these zucchini boats came to be. Now, I personally tend to eat more vegetarian style on a day-to-day basis but I wanted to give you a healthier option that also contained leaner sources of protein because I realize not everyone centers their meals around veggies. So with that being said, I have provided a recipe with both a vegetarian option and a ground turkey version so that way no matter how you eat, you can find something that works for you and your lifestyle. In addition, these are also great if you are being mindful of your carb intake which can be important if you are prediabetic or full-onset diabetic. However, even if you’re like me and obsessed with everything carbs, you will love these because they are absolutely delicious and definitely do not taste “healthy”.

These zucchini boats are so incredibly easy and more importantly packed with tons of flavor. They come together in 30-40 minutes and are perfect to prep in advance for a busy week ahead. I packed them to take to work a few days in a row just because they were so easy, filling, & nutritious.  I didn’t bake the zucchini for too long because I wanted them to maintain their shape so you could eat it like a taco if you want.  That’s how I ate them and I basically shoveled them into my mouth one after another because they’re that good.  I definitely think they’re worth a try and keep in mind like all my other recipes, you can sub whatever veggies you have on hand. Now that I’ve rambled on long enough, let’s get into what you will need to make the 2 variations of these zucchini boats.

Ground Turkey Version

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Serves about 6-8 (cut recipe in half if necessary or use for meal prep)


  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (a blend of oregano, basil, thyme)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 zucchini sliced lengthwise & scooped out


  1. Begin by washing and cutting the zucchini lengthwise and scooping out the center.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425ºF
  3. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, & garlic powder over unfilled zucchini boats and bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly softened.
  4. In the meantime, heat a skillet to medium high and saute the onion & red bell pepper for about 3-5 minutes until softened.
  5. Add in the ground turkey and cook until no pink remains. Season with salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper.
  6. Once the turkey mixture has fully cooked through add in the marinara sauce and garlic.
  7. Heat for an additional minute and remove from heat.
  8. Begin to fill the zucchini with the ground turkey mixture and top with the 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
  10. Remove and allow to cool completely before enjoying!

Vegetarian Version

Vegetarian zucchini boats

Serves 6-8 (half recipe for less or use for meal prep)


  • 1/2 cup dried green lentils
  • 1 cup Better than Bouillon beefless broth
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese (optional but HIGHLY recommended)
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce 
  • 6 zucchini’s cut in half lengthwise & hollowed out
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder


  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes**
  • fresh basil

**NOTE: If adding in red pepper flakes, add them after you add in the lentils but before you add the marinara sauce.


  1. Begin by boiling lentils in 1 cup of beefless broth covered for about 15 minutes until lentils are soft and plump.
  2. In the meantime, wash and cut your zucchini’s in half lengthwise and using a spoon scoop out the center to form “boats”.
  3. Preheat oven to 425ºF
  4. Drizzle olive oil/avocado oil over the zucchini & season with salt, pepper, & garlic powder.
  5. Bake zucchini boats in oven for 8-10 minutes until slightly softened
  6. In a separate skillet, saute onion & bell pepper together for about 3-5 minutes. on medium heat. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add in fully cooked lentils & marinara sauce.
  7. Allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes.
  8. Begin to fill zucchini boats with lentil mixture & top with freshly grated parmesan.
  9. Place filled zucchini boats back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool completely & enjoy!

If you’ve made it all the way to the end then, thank you for stopping by Life at the Mesa! If you try this recipe for yourself tag us @lifeatthemesa on Instagram to see how it turns out or leave us a comment down below. Be sure to sign up with your email to receive updates so you’ll be notified of when I post new recipes! As always, take care and I will be back soon with another recipe!

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