Zucchini boats are the easy dinner recipe to try this week

Scoop and fill zucchini squash with flavorful and healthy ingredients.

August 16, 2022, 4:06 AM
Stuffed zucchini boats with quinoa and veggies.
Stuffed zucchini boats with quinoa and veggies.
Feel Good Foodie

Scooped and stuffed vegetables are a delicious and healthy way to compose a full meal in an edible vessel packed with flavorful and healthy ingredients.

From the always popular bell peppers and spaghetti squash to zucchini -- there are tons of great variations on the technique.

With zucchini at its peak freshness in summer, "Good Morning America" tapped Yumna Jawad -- aka the Feel Good Foodie -- for her tried and true recipes that make the most of the seasonal squash.

Plus, this technique has the potential for cooks to get creative with fillings that fit their palate and diet preferences.

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats

This vegetarian version boasts 10 grams of protein and only 250 calories per serving for a healthy and hearty option.

PHOTO: Stuffed zucchini boats with quinoa and veggies.
Stuffed zucchini boats with quinoa and veggies.
Feel Good Foodie

1/2 cup tri-color quinoa, uncooked
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small shallot, chopped
1/4 cup jarred sun dried tomatoes with the oil
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and divided into 2 equal portions
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (1 tablespoon for the filling, 1 tablespoon for drizzling)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 medium zucchini, tops trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise


Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cool water. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the quinoa and toast until the water cooks off and the grain is fragrant, 2 minutes. Add water, salt and stir. Bring liquid to a boil, then lower heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Let stand off the heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl, stir together the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, shallot, sun dried tomatoes, half of the crumbled goat cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until combined.

Scoop out the centers of the zucchini with a spoon and save the flesh for another use. Place boats on a rimmed baking sheet.

PHOTO: Scooped zucchini prepped for cooking and filling.
Scooped zucchini prepped for cooking and filling.
Feel Good Foodie

Drizzle each zucchini boat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the zucchini and repeat with each one.

Bake until the cheese is golden brown and the zucchini is slightly softened, 25 minutes. Serve immediately with the remaining crumbled goat cheese.

Recipe reprinted with permission courtesy of Feel Good Foodie.

Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Jawad's meat-eater-approved version is made even easier with pasta sauce to pack all the flavors of chicken parm inside a hulled zucchini.

PHOTO: Chicken, tomato sauce and cheese stuffed zucchini.
Chicken, tomato sauce and cheese stuffed zucchini.
Feel Good Foodie

3 zucchini
Cooking spray
3/4 pound chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup pasta sauce
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 400F.

To prepare the zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then use a spoon or melon baller to scoop the center flesh and seeds from the zucchini. Repeat for the remaining zucchini.

Place the zucchini in a baking dish or cookie sheet cut-side up and lightly coat with cooking spray. Place in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until the zucchini cooks slightly and becomes tender.

Meanwhile, to prepare the chicken, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken along with the seasoning, salt and pepper.

Cook for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Add the pasta sauce and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Scoop the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats. Top the chicken with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Return the zucchini boats to the oven for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve.

Recipe reprinted with permission courtesy of Feel Good Foodie.