Zucchini Pizza Boats are a great way to get your pizza fix and add a lot more veggies to your diet! Fresh zucchini takes the place of the pizza crust, they are hollowed out to resemble a boat and then loaded with all your favorite pizza toppings.
I don’t think I have met anyone that doesn’t like pizza. But with each slice of “supreme” pizza weighing in at 380+ calories sometimes you need a healthier alternative to your favorite take out pizza!
A pizza zucchini boat is going to be at least HALF the calories of traditional loaded pizza. Since the crust is being replaced by fresh zucchini. To lower the calories even more you could use turkey sausage or leave the meat out completely.
Marinara vs. Pizza Sauce
Pizza sauce is a little thicker and has less water content than marinara. However, their flavors are very similar. Use whichever you have or whichever you buy at the store!
I always have marinara in my pantry so I choose to use that for this recipe.
How to Make Zucchini Boats
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a large casserole dish by coating the bottom with 1/2 cup marinara or pizza sauce. If you have a dish larger than 9×13, use that, or you may have to use two pans to fit all the zucchini.
Cut the ends off the zucchini. Then cut them in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon hollow out the inside. You will mostly be scraping out the seeds and pith. Create a dish or boat in the middle of the zucchini, this will hold your pizza fillings. See the photos below for a visual guide:
In a skillet over medium heat brown and crumble your Italian sausage until it is cooked through. Stir in 1/2 cup onions, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tsp dried basil, and 1 tsp dried oregano. Heat through on medium low heat for about 4 minutes to slightly soften the onions. Pour in 1 cup of marinara or pizza sauce. Stir to coat the sausage.
Place your hollowed out zucchini in the prepared dish. Fill each zucchini with the sausage mixture. Then top with the pizza toppings and cheese.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Let cool for a few minutes then serve!!
You can make these ahead! Simply prepare them up to the point that you cover the pan with foil. Then do not cook, instead pop them in the fridge.
When you are ready to have them for dinner take them straight from the fridge to the oven. You may need to add a minute or two to the cooking time to cook through.
Storing & Reheating
Store any leftover Zucchini Pizza Boats in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
To reheat simply microwave each portion for a minute or two. Or you can place them in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.
If you love zucchini recipes, or if you have a garden that is over producing zucchinis, here are a few great recipes that call for fresh zucchini:
- Enchilada Zucchini Boats
- Healthy Mexican Chicken & Rice Casserole
- Instant Pot Teriyaki Noodles
- One Pot Dutch Oven Lasagna
Zucchini Pizza Boats Recipe
Zucchini Pizza Boats
- 3-4 fresh zucchini medium sized
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage mild, medium or hot, it's up to you!
- 1/2 cup onion chopped (red, white, or yellow onion is fine)
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tsp each: dried basil & dried oregano
- 1 1/2 cups marinara or pizza sauce divided
- 1/2 cup each pizza topping: black olives, bell pepper, mushroom add other pizza toppings to suit your tastes!
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°Prepare a large casserole dish by spreading 1/2 cup marinara or pizza sauce across the bottom. If you have one larger than 9×13, use that. Or you may need to use 2 pans to fit all the zucchini.
- Cut the zucchini in half and hollow.Trim the ends of your zucchini so that they will fit into your pan. Cut them in half, lengthwise. Scoop the middle of the zucchini out so you have a dish or boat to hold the fillings. See the photo for visual step-by-step:
- Brown the Italian sausage and add onions, garlic, and herbs.In a skillet over medium heat brown and crumble the Italian sausage until it is cooked through. Lower the heat to medium low and add the 1/2 cup chopped onions, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp dried basil, and 1/2 tsp dried oregano, saute until the onions soften slightly, about 4 minutes.Stir in 1 cup marinara or pizza sauce.
- Time to assemble the Zucchini Pizza Boats:Place cut and hollowed zucchini in prepared casserole dish.Fill each boat with the Italian sausage mixture.Top with black olives, mushrooms, bell peppers and mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes and serve!