Easy Zucchini Pizza Boats stuffed with ground turkey, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and marinara sauce covered in cheese solve any pizza craving.
When you are craving pizza, make these Zucchini and Ground Turkey Pizza Boats instead. They are filling, packed with veggies, and one of my favorite things to have in the fridge when I am eating healthier. Serve them with a quick Kale Caesar Salad or Homemade Healthy Ranch for dipping.
I have a deep love of turning any vegetable I can into pizza. And why shouldn't I? There's no reason to stay away from pizza — especially when it's super tasty just about any way you prepare it. I mean, it would be super hard for anything to taste bad with marinara and cheese on it right?
It was with this line of thinking that got me to combine zucchinis (which I already love and had in the fridge) with protein-packed ground turkey, marinara, spices, and some melted cheese. What you end up with is the most perfect low-carb and low-calorie lunch. Seriously, at under 250 calories this is a great way to indulge without any of the guilt. Ground beef or vegetarian crumbles work great as well if you don't want to do the turkey, and as an added bonus these Zucchini Boats will keep well in the fridge and freezer.
How do you make Zucchini Pizza Boats?
These are easy as pie, folks (pizza pie, that is!). First, preheat your oven so it's all ready when you are.
Next, heat up olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add to that oil the turkey, mushrooms, and garlic. Brown the turkey for about 6-8 minutes, or until it's thoroughly browned. Season the turkey with oregano, basil, and the marinara sauce of your choosing. Turn the burner off and remove the skillet off the heat.
Now turn your attention to the zucchini. Wash and pat the zucchini dry and slice it down the middle lengthwise. Scoop out a good inch or so of the center with a melon baller or a spoon to carve out the "boat" part. Make sure you don't scoop out too much or the zucchini skin will break. Place each boat cut-side up in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Fill the hollowed out zucchini centers with the turkey and mushroom mixture. Then top each one of the boats with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese and a ½ tablespoon of Parmesan. Pop these bad boys in the oven for about 15-18 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and zucchini are tender (but not soggy).
Recipe Tips and Ideas
- If you want to make this dish vegetarian, you can use veggie crumbles.
- To make it vegan, use veggie crumbles as well as dairy-free cheese.
- To use up the part of the zucchini you scooped out, hollow out the zucchini before cooking the sausage. Chop up the zucchini insides and add them to the turkey and mushroom mixture while its cooking.
- Add your favorite pizza toppings to the top of the cheese if you like. My favorites include black or green olives, canned mushrooms, diced bell peppers, jalapeno pepper slices, and diced red onions.
- Give your zucchini boats a Mexican taste by skipping the mushrooms and instead adding in a half can of drained and rinsed black beans, frozen or canned corn, diced red onions, and salsa instead of the marinara sauce. Top with cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of cilantro when they come out of the oven.
- If you want to make more of a layered zucchini dish rather than boats, slice off the stems of the zucchini and slice the squash into thin layers lengthwise. Layer the zucchini "noodles" in the baking dish, alternating with the turkey and mushroom mixture, a little extra sauce, and top the whole dish with the cheese, then bake.
Do you eat the skin on zucchini boats?
I always eat the zucchini skin. It's generally pretty thin (unless you have some crazy giant squash, whose skin might be thicker and tougher). If you are concerned about wax that may have been used to coat the zucchinis to extend their shelf life, you can peel the skin, or wash the wax off using a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. The vinegar solution will remove the wax if you submerge the zucchini in the mixture for a couple of minutes. Take the squash out of the mixture and wipe the solution off or rinse under water first, then wipe.
Can you freeze stuffed zucchini?
Once these are made and cooled to room temperature, you can put them in a single layer in an air-tight container and freeze. Or, you can put them in a Ziplock bag in a single layer and freeze as well. You'll want to lay them side by side in the bag, then seal it (gently squeezing out any excess air), and lay the bag flat with the zucchini stuffing side facing up. They will keep up to three months.
No matter how you slice or stuff these Zucchini Pizza Boats, I'm sure you're going to be pleasantly surprised by how delicious they are and will want to make them again and again.
This recipe has been updated from the previous version (below) with new photos, a video, tips, and ideas.
Looking for more lightened up pizza recipes?
Zucchini and Ground Turkey Pizza Boats
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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