Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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For an easy weeknight dinner, make this Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boat recipe. They’re made with a delicious stuffing of marinara sauce, quinoa, and chickpeas for plant-based protein. This dish is gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.

Vegan Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

For a delicious way to enjoy summer squash, make these Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats.

This recipe features baked zucchini filled with chickpeas, quinoa, and marinara sauce. The combo is both hearty and nutritious, making it perfect for an easy weeknight meal.

Plus, if you’re looking for ways to use overgrown zucchini from the garden, this recipe will get the job done. You can also just use average-sized zucchini from the grocery store.

Either way, these Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats are sure to please. Serve them with garlic bread and Vegan Parmesan Cheese for a comforting homemade meal.

Key Ingredients

Ingredients for stuffed zucchini boats
  • Zucchini. The zucchini is the star of this recipe. You can use medium-sized or overgrown zucchini from the garden, depending on what you have access to.
  • Chickpeas. Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, offer plant-based protein. If you use canned chickpeas, don’t forget to save the chickpea water and make vegan chocolate mousse.
  • Quinoa. Quinoa offers healthy carbs and plant-based protein. No quinoa on hand? Use brown rice or another grain, like farro.
  • Marinara sauce. Use homemade or store-bought marinara sauce. Alternatively, you can also use pasta sauce.

How to Make Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These vegan stuffed zucchini boats are easy to make and customize. Looking for the printable recipe? Scroll down to the bottom of this post. Here’s how to make this dish:

Cutting and scooping zucchini on a cutting board
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the zucchini lengthwise with a sharp knife.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Remove enough zucchini flesh to create a concave. Save the flesh for another recipe.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the zucchini on the sheet, then brush each half with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until the zucchini are just about cooked and easily pierced with a fork. If your zucchini are very large, you may need to bake them for more than 20 minutes.
  4. While the zucchini are baking, add oil to a small skillet. Cook the onions for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, quinoa, marinara, onion-garlic mixture, chopped basil, thyme, and nutritional yeast. You can also add salt and pepper, depending on the flavor of your sauce.
  6. Scoop the mixture into the zucchini boats. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the stuffing is heated through. Top with vegan Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil, then serve.
Process for making stuffed zucchini boats: sautéing onions, mixing ingredients, and stuffing zucchinis

Recipes Tips, Variations, and Substitutions

  • Add an extra kick. If you prefer more spicy flavors, add red pepper flakes to the stuffing mixture.
  • Use another grain. Quinoa is just a suggestion. Feel free to use brown rice, farro, or barley. You can also omit it completely and add another 1/4 cup (or so) of chickpeas.
  • Add different herbs. In addition to basil and thyme, try using oregano, parsley, or both.
  • Re-use leftover stuffing. You might have some stuffing leftover, depending on the size of your zucchini. Try pairing the leftover mixture with vegan gnocchi or more quinoa.
  • Re-use the zucchini flesh. Sauté the zucchini to reduce its water content, then toss it into a quiche or vegan omelet. You can even toss the cooked zucchini flesh right back into the stuffing mixture.
  • Use a different sauce. These zucchini boats would taste amazing with a vegan vodka sauce.
Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats on a plate with marble background
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I store leftover Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats?

Yes. Store leftover zucchini boats in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy them within 3 days.

Can I freeze them?

We wouldn’t recommend freezing this recipe. Zucchini contains a lot of water. Between the zucchini and the sauce, defrosting the boats might make them mushy.

Can I omit the chickpeas?

Definitely. You can use more quinoa, another bean, vegan sausage crumbles — or all of the above. Feel free to experiment.

Serving Suggestions for Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats

For an easy weeknight dinner, make this Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boat recipe. They’re made with a delicious stuffing of marinara sauce, quinoa, and chickpeas for plant-based protein. This dish is gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Any, Italian
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: stuffed zucchini, vegan stuffed zucchini boats, zucchini boats
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 228kcal
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS

Ingredients

Zucchini Boats

  • 4 medium zucchini or 2 extra-large zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Chickpea Stuffing

  • 1 cup canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup marinara sauce or pasta sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt depending on your sauce
  • 3 tablespoon fresh basil chopped, plus more for topping
  • 3 sprigs thyme optional
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the zucchini lengthwise with a sharp knife.
  • Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Remove enough zucchini flesh to create a concave. Save the flesh for another recipe.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the zucchini on the sheet, then brush with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until the zucchini are just about cooked and easily pierced with a fork.
  • While the zucchini are baking, add oil to a small skillet. Cook the onions for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, quinoa, marinara, onion-garlic mixture, chopped basil, thyme, and nutritional yeast. You can also add salt and pepper, depending on the flavor of your sauce.
  • Scoop the mixture into the zucchini boats. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the stuffing is heated all the way through. Top with vegan Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.

Notes

  • If your zucchini are very large, you may need to bake them for more than 20 minutes.
  • Feel free to use brown rice, farro, or another grain in place of quinoa.
  • You can also add parsley or oregano to the mixture.
  • For a spicier dish, add red pepper flakes to the stuffing.
  • Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Nutritional information for this recipe is an estimate automatically calculated by the Spoonacular food database and does not include optional ingredients.

Recommended Tools & Products

Cutting Board
Cutting Board
Baking Sheet
Sauce Pan

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 924mg | Potassium: 971mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 786IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!

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