This is a recipe for some delicious and unforgettable Keto Zucchini Boats that you will make over and over again for your family and friends. They won’t even know that they are eating a low carb meal, but they’ll love it!
I have been making stuffed zucchini for many years, it has always been a favorite of my family, especially in the summer when our garden would produce so many zucchini. One of the best things to do with them we’ve found is to stuff them.
They are so yummy and easy to make and there are so many things that you can stuff them with. We will show you our favorite way to make Keto stuffed zucchini boats and I’m sure that you will love these as much as we do.
What Are Zucchini Boats?
I have made zucchini boats for many years and never really gave a thought to calling them zucchini boats until recently. My family has always just referred to them as just stuffed zucchini but they actually look like boats filled with your favorite toppings and ingredients.
They can be filled with so many different things, usually some combination of meat, cheese and seasonings. Each combo makes it seem like you are making something different even though they always start with the same base….a zucchini boat.
Is Zucchini Healthy?
Zucchini is a very healthy vegetable for you to eat and is a great addition to almost any diet. You can eat a good portion of zucchini because it is a very low calorie and low carb veggie. Like most veggies, it is loaded with vitamins, minerals and is high in antioxidants.
There are so many things that you can do with zucchini too because it is so healthy and versatile….
You can add it raw to salads.
Make a stir fry with it.
Cook it on the grill with other veggies.
Use a spiralizer and make spaghetti-like noodles, know as zoodles with it.
Bake it into muffins, bread, and cakes.
Add it to soups.
Is Zucchini Keto?
Zucchini is one of the many vegetables you can eat on a Keto diet.
Because it is so healthy and versatile, plus low in carbs, Zucchini is one of the best Keto veggies out there. It has only 4 NET Carbs in 1 cup, so after eating a couple of cups of it you still have more carbs to eat in your day.
Are Zucchini Boats Healthy?
As we mentioned before, zucchini is a very healthy vegetable, with a lot of vitamins and very low in calories and carbs and so likewise so are Zucchini boats.
There are a lot of good and healthy ingredients in this recipe for Keto Zucchini Boats including meat, veggies, and cheese. They have a good amount of protein and fat, which are excellent for a low carb diet.
Zucchini boats make a great one-dish meal for a Keto diet plan for lunch or dinner, for 1 person or for a whole family. They are so tasty and are a good meal for guests too.
Are Zucchini Boats Low Carb/Keto?
This is a great Keto/Low Carb recipe. It will become one of your family’s favorites to eat and it will also be one of your favorites because it’s so easy to make!!
There is nothing in these Keto Boats that are high in carbs. Zucchini is only 4 carbs for one cup and then when you add meat, veggies, cheese, etc, which are also low in carbs, it makes for a low carb one-dish meal.
In our recipe, there are only 6.7 Net Carbsper serving.
The Keto boats make great food to serve to guests that you have over your house, and they won’t even know that they are eating a low carb meal unless you tell them!!
What Ingredients are in Keto Zucchini Boats?
Ground Chicken – This is meat that is very lean and at the same time it’s very tasty.
Italian Sausage – Hot or sweet sausage adds a lot of flavor to this recipe and goes well with ground chicken, ground beef and ground turkey. My favorite is Perri sausage but whatever your favorite is will be fine.
Scallions – A light onion taste that’s not as heavy as onions. If I don’t have scallions I use onions chopped small.
Parsley – Fresh parsley or dried, but fresh is always best if you can use it. It adds so much flavor and freshness and a more beautiful color to this dish.
Tomato Sauce – Jarred sauce or homemade sauce but homemade is always best if you can make it.
Romano Cheese – A great grated cheese that’s good in Italian food and also zucchini boats. Parmesan is also a good choice.
Mozzarella Cheese – This cheese makes a good topping for a lot of Italian foods. We love how gooey and stringy it gets on the top of zucchini boats.
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder – 3 good spices, a must in a lot of recipes.
Olive Oil – This oil is my favorite oil for cooking the meat and veggies, and healthy too.
Do You Eat the Skins on Zucchini Boats?
The outer skins on zucchini are good to eat. They get soft as they cook and like other vegetables, there are vitamins that are in the outer skins.
When you buy smaller sized zucchini the skins are more tender, which likewise makes them better to eat.
Sometimes when you use very large zucchini, like the ones that get overgrown in my garden, the outer skin gets tougher the bigger that they get. You can still eat the skin on those but it takes a lot longer for them to soften up, and sometimes it gets too tough to eat at all. That’s why we always prefer to use the smaller zucchini when making zucchini boats.
What Can You Stuff Zucchini Boats With?
Stuffing your Keto zucchini boats is such a versatile thing, it’s about whatever you happen to like the most or if you are adventurous try different combos…you may be surprised how many ways that you like them and can make them.
You can use any kind of meat that you choose as your base, such as ground beef, ground turkey, ground pork, sausage, ground chicken and everyone’s favorite meat bacon…then add other things to your meat such as onions, scallions, parsley, mushrooms, tomatoes.
Once you choose those, make sure to add some cheese on top. Our favorite cheeses for Keto zucchini boats are parmesan, romano, mozzarella, cheddar….etc.
Then there are plenty of spices that will help flavor your stuffed zucchini boats such as chopped garlic, garlic powder, onion powder or onion flakes, fresh parsley or dried parsley, salt, and pepper. We love spicy so we also add crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper.
Picking Out Zucchini For Zucchini Boats
The first thing that I look for when picking out the zucchini for the Keto Boats is to try and find zucchini boats that are pretty much the same size, that way when you cook them they will cook more evenly. This makes it a lot easier for you!
Also, for zucchini boats try to get the zucchini that are straight rather than curved so that when you lay them out on the baking sheet or glass pan they will stay flat. If they are curved they are harder to slice evenly in half and as a result, don’t fit as well on the baking tray.
One last thing, smaller zucchini are better because they come out more tender and the skin is softer, making them easier to eat.
How to Make Keto Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Now that we know how to buy the zucchini, let’s see how to make it. We are going to walk you through step by step the way to make your low carb zucchini boats, how to clean it and stuff it and cook it.
Making the Stuffing for Zucchini Boats
Once you decide what ingredients you want to put in your Keto stuffed zucchini, the first step is to begin to make the stuffing.
Pour some olive oil in your frying pan and start to cook the ground chicken and sausage.
Add the scallions, parsley, and spices. Cook them along with the meat mixture.
Once they are completely cooked add the tomato sauce and mix thoroughly.
Preparing the Zucchini
To prepare your zucchini for this recipe, the first thing to do is wash them off, dry them off, and then cut them in half lengthwise.
Once you do that, place them on the baking pan that you are going to use.
Now once the zucchini is cut in half, use a spoon or knife to totally clean out the inside of the squash.
The seeds and everything that can be scooped out leaving the skin and hard inner part, the flesh.
FYI, the more seeds and soft flesh that you are able to scoop out the bigger the cavity will be and likewise, the more stuffing that you will be able to fit inside, after all, we all love the stuffing the most! But don’t cut too much out, leave the harder flesh next to the skin or the zucchini boats will dry out too much and won’t be stable enough to support the weight of the filling.
Once your squash is prepared properly you can stuff it. Add as much stuffing that you can pack into your zucchini boat and pile it higher than the top of the sides.
Next, top with parmesan cheese.
Cooking Stuffed Zucchini
After you have completed preparing the Zucchini Boats now it’s time to bake them.
Place them in a preheated oven, at 350 degrees.
The stuffing is precooked so no need to worry about whether the meat is cooked or not. The purpose of baking them is to cook the squash and to melt the cheese.
Bake them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, take them out of the oven and add the mozzarella cheese on top.
Stick them back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so until the cheese is melted.
The way to tell if your boats are done is to stick a small paring knife into the flesh and skin to see if they are soft or still crunchy. Bake them to your desired tenderness, not too hard and not too soft but “just right”!
Best Tips for Keto Zucchini Boats
Here are some tips that we’ve found helpful when making Keto stuffed zucchini which will ensure they come out perfect every time!
You can use mild or hot sausage for your zucchini boats. We prefer hot, but either way is perfectly fine.
You can use jarred sauce or homemade. I prefer homemade if you can make some. What I do is make a big pot of sauce and freeze it in plastic containers, and then I can take it out of the freezer when needed for different recipes.
Yellow squash can also be used for this recipe the same way as zucchini. In that case, you’ll have Keto stuffed squash. Eggplant can also be used the same way to make eggplant boats.
In this recipe, I used Romano cheese and Mozzarella cheese, but you can also use Parmesan or Provolone in replacement.
Small zucchini are more tender to use for your Keto boats, but if you have a garden in the Summer, and they get out of control and grow too big, don’t waste them. Use them to make other things besides zucchini boats. Use them in a stir fry, or use them raw in a salad, or bake it into muffins, bread, cakes, or put it into a soup.
Make sure that you leave enough sturdy flesh to support your yummy filling. If there’s not enough flesh the boats will be a bit too flimsy to hold your filling.
To make sure that your zucchini is cooked thoroughly, you could cover the pan with foil for the first half of the baking. Then put the cheese on top and let the zucchini finish cooking.
If you have any leftover filling you could serve it over pasta, and to make sure it’s low carb use spaghetti squash as you pasta or zucchini noodles for instance.
Different Variations of Keto Stuffed Zucchini
There are plenty of ways to make your own version of low carb zucchini boats different from ours and add a different twist to them. Try some of these variations:
Vegetarian Boats – Instead of meat, just add veggies….Onions, Peppers, Spinach and any other ones that you may like, along with sauce and cheese.
Mexican Boats – Make your filling with ground beef, chopped tomatoes, onions, peppers of any sort including chili peppers or jalapeno peppers and then top with cheddar cheese.
Pizza Boats – Think of your favorite pizza toppings because they all go well with your zucchini.
Bacon Boats – Believe it or not you can make a breakfast boat by loading your zucchini up with breakfast foods, eggs, bacon, sausage, peppers, onions, spinach, mushrooms….etc and use cheddar cheese or provolone or whatever cheese you usually use in an omelet.
Pesto Boats – Instead of topping your boat with mozzarella, you could use pesto on top which will add a whole different flavor.
Chicken Parm Boats – Think of your favorite meal of chicken parm with tomato sauce, ground chicken or cubed chicken, cheese and basil. You could also add some spinach.
Chicken and Broccoli – Also add ground chicken or cubed chicken along with broccoli some cheddar cheese and sour cream as a garnish.
Can I Cook Zucchini Boats on the Grill?
If you don’t want to bake your Keto zucchini boats in the oven you could always cook them on the grill.
It is exciting to have another good recipe to make on the grill because after all, grilling season is just around the corner. They are easy to prepare, just do it the same way as you do as if you are going to cook them in the oven and just place them on the grill until the zucchini is done to your desired tenderness.
When grilling them, it is good to close the lid of the grill halfway so that the cheese will melt better. Otherwise, your skin could get overcooked and the cheese not melted enough.
Other Diets This Recipe is Good For
Gluten-free – No gluten in our Keto zucchini boats. Gluten comes in the form of bread and bread crumbs or pasta…etc These are just made from meat, veggies, and cheese.
Sugar-free – Of course, there is no sugar, in these delicious boats. Again just meat, veggies and cheese.
Nut-free – No nuts or almond flour, just meat and veggies and cheese.
What to Serve with Keto Zucchini Boats
When trying to eat healthily or lose weight, I always figure that a green salad is always one of the best choices to make. It goes with so many foods and also helps to fill you up with healthy, low calorie and low carb veggies.
Another food that always goes well with one-dish meals is a slice of bread or a nice roll. You may be asking yourself, “how can I eat bread on a low carb diet?” We have a recipe forfathead rollsthat you will love!
If you make some Keto veggie boats then you can serve them with meat on the side, like some Italian sausage links, or a piece of Keto Chicken Parmesan.
To store your leftover zucchini boats put them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. Chicken can go bad sooner than beef so chicken I personally don’t like to keep more than 3 days but beef is ok for 4 days.
How to Reheat Zucchini Boats
If you have leftover Low Carb Zucchini Boats just take them out of the refrigerator and put them in a baking dish or a baking sheet. Sprinkle a few drops of water on them and cover them with aluminum foil and heat them in the oven at 350 degrees.
You could always put some extra mozzarella or cheddar cheese, for instance, on the top to freshen it up.
You could also put them under the broiler if you want to crisp them up slightly. Just not too long or they will burn.
If you are in a hurry or don’t want to put on the big oven then stick them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, slightly covered.
Can You Freeze Stuffed Zucchini Boats?
In my experience when you freeze zucchini it comes out kinda mushy so I feel that when you have leftovers just eat them in a few days and don’t freeze them.
But if you insist on freezing them, I would say the best way to do it would be to freeze them in aluminum foil and wrap well. Then put them in an air-tight plastic container for up to 3 months. Thaw them out before reheating them.
If you want to prepare them ahead of time and then freeze them before baking, you could do that too. Just wrap them completely in aluminum foil and then wrap in a plastic Ziploc bag. Only freeze them short-term for about a month. No need to thaw them out. Just take out of the plastic bag and unwrap them from the foil and place them on a baking tray and heat them up while still frozen.
More Keto Recipes
If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Recipes then try our: