Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Balls (Gluten Free, Vegan)

As I've written before, since I discovered this green vegetable, zucchini and I have gone steady. I eat it for breakfast, snacks or dinner. But nothing gets me more excited than digging into an stuffed zucchini boat or ball.

Don't understand my addiction? Just imagine: tender, juicy zucchini overflowing with sautéed veggies, creamy vegan cheese sauce, black beans and some optional ground turkey. Feel less like Mexican and more like extra greens? Replace the cheese with homemade pesto for a tangy twist. 

Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Balls (Gluten Free, Vegan)


Besides the taste, the next best part of this recipe is definitely the ease and versatility. This dinner can be paleo, vegan, low fodmap or anything in between. Below, I've posted my two favorite flavors to stuff zucchinis with - use those as blueprints to create your own masterpiece!

Serves 1

Enchilada stuffed zucchini:
1/2 a large zucchini, cut lengthwise 
1/4 a yellow squash, chopped into cubes 
2 radishes, sliced 
Handful of spinach 
1-2 tablespoons of black beans 
Some of The Vegan 8's vegan cheese sauce and/or sprinkling of daiya mozzarella cheese 
Spices: sprinkle of paprika and oregano 
Optional: pre-cooked ground turkey meat or chicken 
After cooking, serve with: tortilla chips, salsa and avocado. 

Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Balls (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Enchilada style...

Garden greens:  
1/2 a large zucchini cut lengthwise
1/4 a yellow squash, chopped into cubes 
2 radishes, sliced 
Handful of spinach 
Handful of mushrooms 
Sprinkle of mozzarella daiya cheese 
Pesto using my super-seed recipe or your favorite one 
Spices: oregano, thyme 
Optional: pre-cooked chicken or salmon 
After cooking, serve with: a sprinkling of sunflower or pumpkin seeds and a side salad dressed with fresh lemon. 

To begin, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, slice your zucchini lengthwise and begin carving out the flesh with a water melon scooper, sharp spoon or knife. If you're using an eight ball zucchini (my favorite - find them at your local farmers market during the summer!), simply cut off the top and carve out the inside

Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Balls (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Four easy steps!

Then, chop the zucchini flesh into small cubes, along with the rest of your veggies. Put the chopped veggies in a pot and sautée with water, chicken/veggie stock or oil until soft. By the time they are nearly cooked, you can add your spinach, beans, optional meat and your cheese or pesto sauce. Stir until combined and take off the heat. 

Next, stuffing time! Simply stuff as much filling onto or into your zucchini as possible. I often have extra filling that I'll eat on the side along with my stuffed zucchini or as leftovers. They especially taste delicious served as nacho toppings on chips

Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Balls (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Nacho Mama's dinner!

Top your stuffed zuch's with your cheese, place on a baking tray covered with foil and pop in the oven. Bake until the external zucchini is tender, around 30-45 minutes. While it is cooking, you can whip up your side salad or make homemade tortillas chips by cooking a tortilla (I suggest For for Life's rice tortilla) on the stovetop

Once done, all you have to do is dig in! These babies offer a wide variety of antioxidants and vitamins (especially Vitamin C and B from the zucchini), healthy fats from the cheese sauce/pesto/avocado, and protein from your beans/meats. Thanks to all the veggies, this is also a filling meal that is low in calories but high in nutrients. 

Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Balls (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Yes please!

Need more ideas for fillings? Add quinoa, tofu or pulled jackfruit for some vegan protein, rice, enchilada sauce, or even last night's leftovers. It's hard to go wrong when the "bowl" tastes so good! 

It's true that zucchini is the real apple of my eye - but my stomach especially craves a veggie-packed dinner at least twice a month. Crunchy, creamy, and cozy - what more could you ask for?

Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Balls (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Greens in the garden...
Except, maybe zucchinis that come in size extra large


Have you ever stuffed zucchini? What is your favorite stuffing? Comment below! 



Comments

  1. These look delicious! I am growing some zucchini it the garden, so will look forward to trying these :-) Pinned.

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