Meatball Zucchini Boats

Meatball Zucchini Boats

Recipe by Maria Vergara


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3 -4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 c. marinara sauce

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 lb. ground beef

  • 1/4 c. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large bowl, score zucchini and scoop out insides. Place in a shallow baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until mostly tender. Remove from oven and turn broiler to high.
  • Make meatballs: In a large bowl, mix the ingredients together: beef, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Form into 24 meatballs.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil. Add meatballs in a single layer and sear on all sides until a nice crispy crust develops, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Pour marinara around the meatballs and stir until the meatballs are fully sauced. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Fill zucchini boats with meatballs and top with mozzarella. Broil until cheese is melty, for about 3 -5 minutes. Top with Parmesan and parsley to garnish. Let serve hot.
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