A Spicy Perspective

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe with Quinoa and Pine Nuts – An easy and healthy dish, full of flavor and goodness, with colorful vegetables mingled throughout. Light and perky, this is a vegetarian dish the whole family will enjoy!

two zucchini boats resting on a plate

Vegetable Debacles 

As parents, Lt. Dan and I are always looking for interesting ways to get our kids to eat their veggies. I’ll admit, as they get older, it’s much much easier than it used to be.

I used to stretch the truth on a daily basis to get veggies in them without a dramatic scene taking place that usually ended in tears. My tears.

I would use loose creative terms like “Veggie Noodles” or “Zoodles” for spiralized zucchini, or “Spooky Chips” for gnarly looking yet wonderful baked kale chips.

I used to hide vegetables in every possible dish I would make, hoping the flavors would normalize on their little palates.

Nowadays we are far past the lies and veggie smuggling. The kids will eat almost any plant-based food, with the exception of raw mushrooms.

However, they do appreciate it when I doctor certain vegetables to make them a little more appealing.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats is a veggie dish we all enjoy, filled with hearty quinoa, sautéed peppers and onions, fresh tarragon, and a crunchy top of pine nuts and parmesan cheese.

quinoa and pine nut mixture cooking on the stove

Easy Stuffed Zucchini 

You can grill or pan-fry Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Pine Nuts, yet I like to bake them in the oven, because I feel like I have better control over the texture. It keeps the zucchini a little on the firm side… Baked on the exterior, yet slightly uncooked in the center.

That way, the Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Pine Nuts retain most of their nutritional value and don’t get mushy.

The sprinkling of parmesan cheese and crunchy pine nuts gives these light and healthy stuffed zucchini boats a touch of richness.

My family would happily eat Stuffed Zucchini with Quinoa every week. I feel good about serving it to them because it’s full of vitamins and minerals. Seconds are not only acceptable; they are encouraged!

halved zucchini ready to be stuffed

What Ingredients You Will Need

  • Zucchini Squash average-size and halved lengthwise
  • Dried Quinoa – any color
  • Olive Oil
  • Chopped Red Bell Pepper
  • Chopped Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Chopped Red Onion
  • Minced Garlic Cloves
  • Chopped Fresh Tarragon
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Pine Nuts
  • Salt and Pepper
pre baked zucchini in a casserole dish

How To Make These Zucchini Boats

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan with olive oil and heat on high. Stir to coat the quinoa in oil, then add water and cover the pot. 
  2. Bring to a boil and stir. Then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the quinoa for approximately 15 minutes while it is covered. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the peppers, onions, garlic and tarragon. 
  4. Use a spoon to scoop a long trench out of the center of each zucchini and place the halves in two 9×13-inch baking dishes.
  5. Place oil in a skillet and sauté the onions over medium heat for 2 minutes. Then add the peppers and garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Toss in the cooked quinoa and tarragon and turn off the heat. Salt and pepper the quinoa to taste.
  6. Spoon the quinoa into the center of each zucchini half. Sprinkle the tops with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. 
  7. Then bake for 12-15 minutes, until the Parmesan is golden. The zucchini should be lightly cooked, but firm. Serve warm!

Get the Full (Printable) Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe Below. Enjoy!

golden zucchini recipe right out of the oven

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will Leftovers Last In The Fridge?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or in the microwave. 

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

Yes and no. This recipe freezes well only if it is cooked first. Otherwise, the moisture in the zucchini will come out when you thaw it before cooking. When you bake the zucchini the water evaporates, allowing you to freeze and reheat later without significant change to the texture.

a serving of stuffed zucchini boats recipe on a plate

Find More Healthy Vegetable Recipes

Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Pine Nuts
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Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Easy and Healthy Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Pine Nuts. A dish full of flavor and goodness, with colorful vegetables mingled throughout.
Servings: 10 boats

Ingredients

  • 5 zucchini squash, average-size and halved lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ounce pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the quinoa in a medium sauce pot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat to high. Stir to coat the quinoa in the oil, then add 1 1/2 cups water and cover the pot. Bring to a boil. Stir. Then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the quinoa, covered, for approximately 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, chop the peppers, onions, garlic and tarragon. Use a spoon to scoop a long trench out of the center of each zucchini and place the halves in two 9X13 inch baking dishes.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and sauté the onions over medium heat for 2 minutes. Then add the peppers and garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Toss in the cooked quinoa and tarragon and turn off the heat. Salt and pepper the quinoa to taste.
  • Spoon the quinoa into the center of each zucchini half. Sprinkle the tops with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Then bake for 12-15 minutes, until the Parmesan is golden. The zucchini should be lightly cooked, but firm. Serve warm!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1boat, Calories: 127kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 47mg, Potassium: 402mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 495IU, Vitamin C: 41.6mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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29 comments on “Stuffed Zucchini Boats”

  1. These zucchini boats are the perfect use of my extra zucchini’s and this also tastes amazing!

  2. A big and important question: what do I do with the scooped out zucchini? 

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  5. This is excellent as a vegan recipe if you substitute Follow Your Heart parmesan cheese for the dairy cheese!

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  8. What an amazing combination of flavors. I love the addition of pine nuts and quinoa. Yum!

  9. Love the addition of pine nuts for the added crunch!

  10. I need to make me a zucchini boat! 

  11. This recipe looks delicious! I love the idea of quinoa and pine nuts together!

  12. This looks so great!! I love zucchini, however my husband doesn’t. BUT he travels a lot so this might be on my list to make when hes gone.

  13. And just like that, zucchini boats are on the menu for dinner tonight! :)

  14. We are big fans of zucchini boats in my home, so naturally I would love this! 

  15. These look wonderful! I would love them as an app or main!

  16. This meal is right up my alley!

  17. It can be so hard to come up with creative vegetable dishes that taste both delicious and look gorgeous, and I’d say you’ve seemed to mastered it! These are so beautiful, any person – kid or adult would be crazy to pass these up. P.S. LOVE pine nuts!

  18. Stuffed Zucchini Boats sound so good right now and I’m loving the “stuffing” that you used!

  19. I have to trick my husband sometimes- and these would definitely get his attention :)

  20. Mmmmm….these look fantastic! Big fan zucchini boats!! 

  21. Healthy and delicious!  Love this!

  22. Loving EVERYTHING about these zucchini boats! Yum!

  23. Love these boats! I bet the pine nuts add a nice crunch! 

  24. These are so fun! I love the pine nuts and how healthy and light these are. I am pinning these and trying them!

  25. Maybe I need to use your tricks on my hubby–he is such a hard sell on “unusual” veggies! But I’d be happy to keep all these yummy zucchini boats to myself if necessary :)

  26. You had me laughing at loud at “spooky chips” for kale chips! Love it!
    And zucchini boats are TOTALLY my jam, so I love how you doctored them up with quinoa and those crunchy nuts! Dinner perfection. Pinned!