Italian Style Zucchini Boats

A low-carb & gluten-free dinner that has all the amazing Italian flavors you love!

Zucchini boats have been my thing this summer. You can make them so many different ways, but this recipe is by far my favorite. I often find myself craving Italian food, it’s like my comfort food (and I’m not even a little bit Italian). I love chicken/eggplant parm, pasta, chicken marsala, raviolis, and being from New Jersey obviously pizza (just made myself so hungry while typing that) But, the only problem is, it’s all loaded with so many carbs. I’m all about balance so obviously I think that indulging in any of those dishes is fine every once in a while. But, if you want to get your Italian food fix in more often, these zucchini boats could be just the right thing for you. They’re full of lean protein, veggies, and so satisfying. One boat with a side salad is the perfect dinner for me. My husband can easily eat two boats. With that said, the serving size all depends on how hungry your family is and what kind of sides you’re serving with it.


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Italian Style Zucchini Boats



3 medium zucchini

1 24 oz. jar of marinara sauce

2 tbsp olive oil – divided

1 lb lean ground turkey

1 tsp minced garlic

1 cup bell peppers, chopped (I used red and yellow)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

salt and pepper, to taste

red pepper flakes, to taste – optional

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella, or to taste

2 tbsp grated parm, or to taste

fresh chopped parsley, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Cut off the tips of your zucchini, and then cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the zucchini flesh and set it aside in a bowl

Place zucchini boats in a glass pan with about an inch of water covering the bottom of the pan – cover in foil, and bake for about 18-20 minutes, let cool when done and remove the water – add 3/4 cup of the marinara to the bottom of the pan

In a large skillet at medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Saute until the bell pepper is softened and set aside. Add the other tbsp of olive oil to the pan along with ground turkey. Crumble the turkey and saute until cooked through and no longer pink. Add the rest of the marinara sauce. Then add the cooked onion, garlic, and bell pepper mixture back to the pan with the red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and dried basil. You can add some of the zucchini flesh if you would like (just chop it up small) – Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to everything to a simmer for 10-12 minutes

Using a spoon, evenly disperse the turkey mixture into each zucchini boat, you’ll probably have some extra filling – add it to the sauce surrounding the zucchini boat, I scoop it onto my boats after they’re cooked

Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until cooked to your liking

Top the zucchini boats with the shredded mozzarella & grated parm. bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted

Top with more fresh parsley if desired and enjoy!

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