Do you ever wonder what to do with all the zucchini growing in your garden or  purchased  fresh from your local farmers’ market?  We have some great ideas for you, such as this Zucchini Canoes recipe, a great-tasting seasonal meal served with fresh baguette and in-season sweet corn.

Recipe adapted from Soergel Orchards, Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 lb of sweet Italian bulk sausage
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese or 1- 4 oz goat cheese with garlic & herbs and 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Chopped parsley
Zucchini Canoes
Zucchini Canoes
  1. Cut zucchini lengthwise in half, scrape out the flesh using an ice cream scoop, and chop the flesh, leaving a 1/4 inch shell.
  2. In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high. Add chopped zucchini, onion, sausage, and salt. Cook for 8 minutes, breaking up the bulk sausage with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. In a 3-quart baking dish, spread marinara sauce, arrange zucchini shells on top, and cut sides up. Spoon sausage mixture into shells. Top with your choice of cheese as listed in the ingredients.
  4. Cover with foil, bake in a 450˚ F degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, and bake for five minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly golden.
  5. Garnish with parsley, serve with baguette and sweet corn.

Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes equaling about 4 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes (***See directions for an easy way to remove peels from fresh tomatoes, or 1-28 oz can of diced San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 to 3 branches of fresh parsley, basil, oregano, and rosemary
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, until garlic softens, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped onions and carrots, cooking for another 4-5 minutes.
  3. Coarsely chop fresh tomatoes.
  4. Add tomatoes, capers, wine, honey, and herbs to the pan.
  5. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until marinara sauce thickens, 20 to 25 minutes.  
  6. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  

Removing peels from fresh tomatoes is very easy to do. Core and cut a small X through the skin on the bottom of the tomatoes with a sharp knife. In a 3-quart pot, fill it with approximately 3 – 4 cups of water and bring the water to a boil. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water. Be careful; if the tomatoes are large, they can displace the water and cause it to overflow onto the stove. Boil for 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until you see the skin begin to peel back from the tomato. Quickly remove the tomatoes from the pot and plunge them into a large bowl filled with ice and cold water. This process stops the cooking process. Drain and remove the skins. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise and squeeze the juice and seeds into a colander, reserving the liquid and discarding the seeds. 

Use tomatoes as suggested in the recipe or one of your favorites found on 

Yvonne Dwyer OPL Master Naturalist and OPL Content Contributor

Recipe compliments of OPL Master Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

One Planet Life Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.