Hello there! Today I’m bringing you one of my favorite meals: Meatball-Stuffed Zucchini Boats! This healthy zucchini recipe has become a staple in my household, and that’s because we LOVE Italian food.
Seriously, big fans, over here. I mean, I could eat lasagna every single day of my life with no qualms whatsoever.
Well, with only one qualm- the obvious injustice to my waistline. Because, really, all the gooey cheese and tasty carbs are Healthy-Eating-101 “no-no”s.
So what is a girl to do? Lightened up Italian, of course! Thus, this recipe was born.
By replacing some carbs, adding a few veggies, and combining diet-specific tweaks, we have created a delicious, Italian feast: a healthy zucchini recipe that does not sacrifice taste!
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Ingredients For This Delicious Healthy Zucchini Recipe (Makes 2 Servings)
- 2 medium-sized zucchini
- 1/2 lb. of ground beef (grass-fed for Paleo)
- 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (use almond meal as a non-grain/non-carb substitute)
- 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese (for non-dairy dietary restrictions, you can omit or try this Vegan “cheese”)
- 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
- 1 or 2 handfuls of chopped mushrooms (if you like)
- 2 cloves of garlic, or less, if you do not like garlic
- 1 egg, beaten lightly (or purée 1/4 cup of plain tofu for a vegan/dairy-free substitute. It creates the same texture needed to bind the meatballs together)
- 1 tbsp each of: salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, Italian Seasoning/Herbs de Provence
- 1 tsp parsley, plus extra for topping
- About a cup of tomato sauce (use your favorite canned variety, or try this Keto/Paleo compliant sauce!)
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheese for topping (again, simply omit to follow lifestyle restrictions or top with more of this non-dairy “cheese”)
Method To Make Your Meatball-Stuffed Zucchini Boats:
1) Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise and, using a spoon or melon-baller, scoop out the insides, and put them aside for later.
2) Then, in a large bowl, mix together your meat, breadcrumbs or almond meal, parmesan cheese or substitute, onion, optional mushrooms, egg or tofu, garlic, salt, peppers, seasoning, parsley, and the insides of the zucchini that was scooped out.
3) Next, divide the mixture evenly between each zucchini “boat”; I found the easiest method is to roll a handful of the mixture in your palms into a long, narrow shape. Your “boats” should look like these:
4) Place each zucchini “boat” into a glass baking dish, and bake in an oven preheated to 350° for 30-35 minutes.
5) Once the meat is just about cooked through (food safety recommendations encourage ground beef to reach an internal temperature of 160°), top each boat with tomato sauce and, if you’d like, a bit of cheese or cheese substitute.
6) Then, place the dish back into the oven for 10-15 minutes more, until the sauce is warmed through and the cheese has browned nicely.
7) Finally, top your meatball-stuffed zucchini with some parsley, serve with a nice salad or garlic bread, and a nice glass of wine!
Voila! I know you will enjoy this healthy zucchini recipe; it’s a deliciously easy, guilt-free dish. Try implementing this one on your next Italian night; I guarantee it will be a hit!!
If you’re looking for another great recipe for healthy eating, check out my Healthy Protein Smoothie recipe!
Don’t forget to find me on Instagram so we can keep in touch! If you make this recipe and post a picture, be sure to tag me in it; I’d love to see how it turns out. 🙂
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Thanks again for reading!