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Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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These Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a simple vegetarian main that is fantastic for meal prepping. They are also high in protein and low in carbs.

In the life of a food blogger, there are two types of recipes– the kind you meticulously plan and photograph and the kind that you just throw together with food from your fridge. These Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats are the latter, but they tasted so good that I made them again and again and again. Eventually, I realized that although they aren’t the prettiest and most blog-worthy dish, they are scrumptious and deserve to be put on the blog.

Let’s talk about what inspired these simple zucchini boats. First, I’ve been trying to increase my protein intake while marathon training, and ricotta cheese helps me do just that. Second, zucchini is in season right now [check out these Zucchini Tacos with Radish Salsa], and I have a ton of it in my fridge. It’s not really my favorite piece of produce on its own, but it makes a fantastic vessel for stuffing. Third, my windowsill basil plant is growing uncontrollably, so I’m always looking for new ways to use basil [Use it in a Strawberry Salad]. Lastly, I like dinners that you can make ahead of time and stick in the microwave for a second or third night.

From that, these Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats were born. I scooped out some zucchini, created a simple mixture of ricotta cheese, basil, lemon juice and sun dried tomatoes and topped it with a walnut and parmesan cheese crumble. The result is absolutely delicious, high in protein and low in carbs.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m in the “pro carb” bucket of Dietitians, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to watch your carb intake every once in a while, especially on a plant-based diet.

What are the health benefits of eating zucchini? 

Zucchini is a great fruit to add to your summer meals…. Yes, you read that correctly, zucchini is actually classified as a fruit and not a vegetable! Not only is it rich in nutrients, like antioxidants, vitamins & minerals, but it also contains an impressive amount of water and fiber.

As a result, zucchini may offer health benefits such as improved digestion, controlled blood sugar levels, improved heart health and strengthen your vision. Zucchini is also a low-carb, low calorie fruit – a good option if you’re looking to lose weight. 

Ingredients to make Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats

To make this, you’ll need:

  • 2 large zucchini sliced in half
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted walnuts (use breadcrumbs or panko instead, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

How to make Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Although these may look complicated to make, they really come together quickly. Plus, they are the ultimate crowd pleaser. Here’s how to make them:

  1. Scoop out the flesh and seeds from the zucchini.
  2. Mix together ricotta, sun dried tomatoes, basil, lemon juice and salt. Scoop the mixture evenly into the hollowed out zucchinis.
  3. Make a crumble by placing walnuts and parmesan cheese into a food processor. Coat each zucchini boat with the crumble topping.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

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These Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a simple vegetarian main dish that is GREAT for meal prepping and is high in protein and low in carbs. They are stuffed with a mixture of ricotta cheese, basil and sun dried tomatoes for a satisfying and tasty main dish. #vegetarianrecipe #vegetariandinners #zucchiniboats

Serving suggestions

I paired these zucchini boats with a simple side salad with some oil and vinegar, and I ate them everyday for 3 days straight. Some of my other recommendations are:

These are absolutely perfect for meal prepping, since there is no additional assembly required. And they are cheesy enough that even kids or meat eaters will enjoy them. The only downside is turning on your oven, but I think it’s totally worth it!

What other versions of Zucchini boats can I make? 

There are so many ways that you could mix up this recipe. I’ve used ricotta, basil, sun dried tomato and lemon juice, but you could swap it for any of these variations: 

  • Pesto, sun dried tomato & pine nuts 
  • Feta, cherry tomatoes & basil
  • Parmesan, thyme & lemon 
  • Cheddar cheese, black beans, corn kernels & bell peppers 
  • Marinara sauce, ricotta & basil 

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and start scooping out your zucchini!

Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a simple make-ahead vegetarian main dish that is oh-so-cheesy, scrumptious and high in protein and low in carbs.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword zucchini boat
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 445 kcal
Author Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchini sliced in half
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted walnuts (use breadcrumbs or panko instead, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and seeds from zucchini. (Use it in a stir-fry or freeze to put in a smoothie.)

  3. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, sun dried tomatoes, basil, lemon juice and salt. Scoop the mixture evenly into the hollowed out zucchinis.
  4. Place the walnuts and parmesan cheese into a food processor and process until crumbly. (You can substitute panko or breadcrumbs for walnuts, if desired.) Evenly coat each zucchini boat with the walnut topping. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Facts
Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Amount Per Serving (2 halves)
Calories 445 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 570mg25%
Potassium 1698mg49%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 1131IU23%
Vitamin C 49mg59%
Calcium 400mg40%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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