Cheesy Mexican Zucchini Boats

Cheesy Mexican Zucchini Boats

Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Total Time: 40 min

Serves 4


Healthy, colorful, and packed with nutrients, these zucchini boats are a fun addition to your weeknight meal rotation! 


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne
  • ½ cup black beans, drained
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup shredded taco blend cheese
  • For garnish: finely chopped tomatoes, cilantro, green onion and/or sour cream 


    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the zucchini lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop the centers from the zucchini (leaving ¼” of the flesh) so they look like boats.
    2. Brush the zucchini with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then place in a glass baking dish and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until nearly tender.
    3. While the zucchini cook, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan.  Add onion and saute 3-5 minutes until soft.  Add bell pepper and garlic, continuing to saute until the peppers begin to get tender.  Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne, stir, and then add beans, corn, and rice, sauteeing until all ingredients are heated through.  If the mixture appears to be drying out, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, then keep warm until the zucchini boats are ready to be filled.
    4. When the zucchini are done roasting, spoon the bean mixture into the boats and top with shredded cheese.  Return the zucchini boats to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes longer, until the cheese is melted and the zucchini are tender.

These zucchini boats are a blank canvas, so get creative with fillings!  Other flavors to try:

  • Chili Cheese Zucchini Boats – chili filling, topped with shredded taco cheese blend
  • Parmesan Zucchini Boats – eggplant and tomato filling, topped with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Cordon Bleu Zucchini Boats – diced ham and swiss cheese tossed in dijon mustard and mayonnaise, topped with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese
Kristina Shane

This recipe is from Home Chef and OPL Community member Kristina Shane.


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.

Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna Parmesan

Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna Parmesan

Zucchini is abundant this time of year and there are so many fantastic recipe ideas that use this wonderful vegetable. Zucchini can be shredded and put into sustainable containers and then stored in your freezer for future use in the fall and winter seasons. Zucchini Lasagna Parmesan is a delicious, satisfying cuisine served with a side salad and garlic bread.

Serves 8 or delicious leftovers.

  • 2 medium-large zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 – 28 ounce jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 cup panko or breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp water

Mix in a small bowl:

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped basil
  • 2 – 3 tbsps fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Orange Cauliflower
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  • Line 2 – 11×17 baking sheets with parchment paper 
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix eggs and water.  
  • On a large plate, distribute panko or breadcrumbs evenly.
  • Trim ends off the zucchini and slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Brush both sides with herb mixture, dip into the egg mixture, and then into panko or breadcrumbs making sure both sides are coated, and place slices in a single layer on parchment paper. Bake approximately 20- 30 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • In a 9×13 rectangular casserole dish, brush the bottom and sides with olive oil. 
  • Lightly coat the bottom of the casserole dish with 1/4 cup marinara sauce. Add one layer of zucchini slices (3 – 4), followed by 3 -4 tablespoons of ricotta cheese on each piece. Coat a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover cheeses with 1/4 – 1/2 cup marinara sauce or more if needed, as you would make regular lasagna. Continue this layering process till all slices of zucchini are used. You should have 3 – 4 layers.
  • Bake immediately for 30 – 40 minutes or till bubbly. 
    Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    OPL Plant-rich Recipes

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

    Share This