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This Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats recipe is a vegetarian meal idea that’s so full of color, flavor and texture. Great for using leftover quinoa, they are hearty, wholesome and easy to customize with different vegetables and cheese; they come in at 125 calories only per boat!
Ingredients & substitutions
- Zucchini: Trim the ends off of the zucchini, slice in half lengthways and remove the middles. You can also make this recipe with eggplant or yellow squash.
- Quinoa: Use tri-color quinoa, since compared to white quinoa it has a nuttier flavor and a crunchier texture. You can use white if you prefer.
- Tomatoes: Quarter cherry tomatoes before combining them with the other stuffing ingredients. When baked in the zucchini, they get extra sweet and juicy. You can use larger tomatoes like beefsteak, but cut them small.
- Shallot: Shallots have a milder and sweeter taste compared to onions so that they are not so overpowering. You can use the same amount of white, yellow or red onion if that’s what you have to hand.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: These have a delicious intense flavor and really help to brighten up the flavors of the dish.
- Goat cheese: This adds a nice creamy texture and slightly briny taste. Feta would also work well.
- Fresh parsley, salt and pepper.
How to make quinoa STUFFED zucchini boats
- Add all of the ingredients for the stuffing to a bowl.
- Stir until well combined.
- Cut the zucchinis in half and scoop out the middles with a spoon.
- Drizzle with oil and season the insides of the zucchini.
- Spoon the quinoa stuffing into each zucchini boat.
- Bake until the zucchini has softened and goat cheese is golden brown.
tips for making zucchini boats
- Chop everything finely. Because the zucchini boats are pretty shallow, the stuffing may fall out as you’re adding it. It helps to chop everything finely so that it’s easier to mix and stuff.
- Use medium sized zucchini. Although tempting to use a large zucchini, the bigger ones often contain more water and can result in a soggy bite.
- Don’t over scoop the flesh of the zucchini. Use a spoon or melon baller to gently remove the softer flesh in the middle of the vegetable, leaving a good amount at the sides, top and bottom so that the zucchini hold their shape when they cook.
- Don’t worry about overstuffing your boats! The mixture isn’t saucy, so it won’t ooze out when it bakes. Pile them high for a filling but healthy weeknight meal.
frequently asked questions
These stuffed boats are a well balanced vegetarian with 10 grams of protein per serving and about 20 grams of carbohydrates to keep you feeling full. You can have 2-3 as a meal or one as an appetizer.
They work wonderfully by themselves or served with a simple side salad, rice or even some garlic bread. Try them with:
Caprese Pasta Salad
Olive Oil Garlic Bread
If you have any leftovers, they will keep well covered in the fridge for around 4 days. Reheat them in the oven at 360F, loosely covered with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes to warm them through to serve.
Yes, these quinoa stuffed zucchini boats freeze well. Let them cool completely and then freeze solid on a baking sheet. Once hard, place them in an airtight container. Thaw them in the fridge overnight before reheating. They are best enjoyed within two months of freezing, as after that the texture can start to change a little.
These quinoa stuffed zucchini boats are a great healthy and nutrient loaded weeknight dinner that the whole family will love. Simple to make and loaded with flavor, this is one delicious meal that you can feel good about!
More zucchini recipes:
- Zucchini Tater Tots
- Lemon Zucchini Bread
- Baked Zucchini Fries
- Chicken Stuffed Zucchini
- Zucchini Fritters
- Zucchini Bread Muffins
- Zucchini Ravioli
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Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- ½ cup tri-color quinoa uncooked
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1 small shallot chopped
- ¼ cup jarred sun dried tomatoes with the oil
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled and divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 medium zucchini tops trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
- Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cool water. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the quinoa and toast until the water cooks off and the grain is fragrant, 2 minutes. Add water, salt and stir. Bring liquid to a boil, then lower heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Let stand off the heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a bowl, stir together the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, shallot, sun dried tomatoes, half of crumbled goat cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until combined.
- Scoop out the centers of the zucchini with a spoon and save the flesh for another use. Place boats on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Drizzle each zucchini boat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the zucchini and repeat with each one.
- Bake until the cheese is golden brown and the zucchini is slightly softened, 25 minutes. Serve immediately with the remaining crumbled goat cheese.