Sausage stuffed zucchini boats are a favorite in our home!  Hollowed-out zucchini are stuffed with a delicious filling of sausage, breadcrumbs, onion, cheese, and garlic, topped with marinara and mozzarella, and baked until bubbly.  This dish is perfect for weeknights, and is great leftover too!

Sausage stuffed zucchini boats in white baking dish with spatula.


Zucchini may be one of our favorite summer vegetables.  It grows in great abundance and is available nearly everywhere in our area.  

 

We’re often asked for suggestions on new ways to use zucchini and if you’ve been to Sip and Feast before, you know there’s no shortage of zucchini recipes!

But zucchini stuffed with sausage is often our go-to when we’re not sure what to make and just want something simple. 

In fact, this dish is filling enough that you don’t really need to serve anything along with it.  

Maybe a delicious green salad, then you’re all set!

Ingredients shown: mozzarella, Pecorino, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, bulk sausage, basil, zucchini, and marinara sauce.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400f and set the rack to the middle level.  Bring a pot of water to boil (this will be for the zucchini).  Cut 4 medium zucchini in half lengthwise then remove the seeds using a spoon leaving about 1/4-inch interior walls.  Dice 1 medium-sized onion, mince 3 cloves of garlic, and shred 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.  Chop 1/2 cup of fresh basil.  
Sausage stuffed zucchini boats recipe process shot collage group number one.
  1. Once the water is boiling, cook the zucchini boats in the water for 2 minutes, then drain and run under cold water and set aside.
  2. To a frying pan, add a 1/4 cup of olive oil and saute the diced onion over medium-low heat until soft (about 5-7 minutes).  Add the minced garlic and continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
Recipe process shot collage group number two.
  1. Add 1 pound of bulk Italian sausage, turn the heat to medium, and saute for 10 minutes until mostly cooked through.  Use a wooden spoon to break the sausage into smaller pieces.
  2. Turn off the heat and add 1/2 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of chopped basil, 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, and a 1/2 cup of marinara sauce.  Mix well.  
Recipe process shot collage group number three.
  1. Dry off the zucchini with paper towels and season the inside of the zucchini with salt and pepper to taste.  Place a thick layer of marinara sauce into a large baking dish.
  2. Stuff each zucchini boat and place them in the baking dish.  Spoon the remaining sauce over the top of each boat and sprinkle with the remaining Pecorino Romano and mozzarella cheese.  
Recipe process shot collage group number four.
  1. Bake the zucchini boats until tender in the oven for (about 25 minutes) covered with foil.  Once tender, remove the foil and broil for 2-3 minutes more to brown the top.  Watch carefully to prevent burning. Allow to settle for a few minutes and then serve.  Enjoy!
Overhead shot of sausage stuffed zucchini boats in white baking dish.

Top tips

  • The zucchini. Medium-sized zucchini are recommended for stuffed zucchini boats as they’re more tender and taste better than large zucchini.  Also, be sure to season the parboiled zucchini boats with a good pinch of salt and pepper before filling them with the stuffing as this will make the whole dish taste even better.  This is the secret to making stuffed veggies better and we do the same in our stuffed cubanelle peppers and sausage-stuffed Italian peppers too.
  • The sausage.  If you can find bulk sausage, this will cut down on your prep time making this dish even simpler.  If you can’t find it, not to worry!  You can simply buy sausage links and remove the sausage from the casing.  We used mild Italian sausage but use whatever sausage you like and can access.
  • The marinara.  We use our own quick homemade marinara sauce but feel free to use any marinara you like.
  • The stuffing.  Breadcrumbs are added to the sausage stuffing, but you could easily make this a gluten-free stuffing by either omitting the breadcrumbs entirely or by replacing them with rice.  
Person holding baking dish with sausage stuffed zucchini boats.

More zucchini recipes you’ll love!

If you love zucchini as much as we do, check out these other awesome recipes featuring our favorite squash!

If you’ve enjoyed this sausage stuffed zucchini recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and leave a review.

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Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

4.93 from 13 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Zucchini boats stuffed with sausage, breadcrumbs, onion, cheese, and garlic, topped with marinara and mozzarella, and baked until bubbly. 

Ingredients 

  • 4 medium zucchini cut lengthwise – interior scooped out
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3/4 cup Pecorino Romano grated, divided
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup basil chopped

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400f and set the rack to the middle level. Bring a pot of water to boil (large enough to fit the zucchini boats).
  • Remove zucchini seeds with a spoon, leaving 1/4-inch interior walls. Boil the zucchini boats for 2 minutes then drain and run under cold water until cool and set aside.
  • Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium-low heat until soft (about 5-7 minutes) then add in the garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
  • Add in sausage, turn heat to medium, and saute for around 7 more minutes or until mostly cooked through. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage into small pieces.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add in the breadcrumbs, basil, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, and a 1/2 cup of marinara sauce. Mix well.
  • Place a thick layer of marinara sauce into a large baking dish.
  • Dry off the zucchini with paper towels. Season the inside of the zucchini with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each zucchini boat with the stuffing and place each boat into the baking dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top of each boat and sprinkle with the remaining Pecorino Romano and mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake the zucchini boats until fork tender (around 25 minutes) covered with foil. Remove foil and broil for 2-3 minutes more to brown top. Watch carefully for burning. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use medium to small zucchini.  They are more tender and have more flavor than large zucchini which tend to be waterlogged.
  • Season the zucchini before adding the stuffing.  Salting the inside of the zucchini ensures that the zucchini themselves will not be bland.
  • Leftovers The sausage-stuffed zucchini can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge.  Reheat in the oven at 350f until hot all the way through (approximately 15-20 minutes). 

Nutrition

Calories: 718kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.9g | Protein: 36.9g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 15.5g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1127mg | Potassium: 1724mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 15.8g | Calcium: 267mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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29 Comments

  1. Michael & Sharon NOWICKI NOWICKI says:

    I love stuffing vegs…..however I zap zuchini in microwave rather then boil…..same if I stuff bell peppers.
    Love seeing all the recipes & ideas you and Jim put out….!!

    Sharon

    1. John K. says:

      4 stars
      Very good overall. Bake time though needs to be increased to 30 minutes.

      1. Tara says:

        Hi John, we’re glad you enjoyed the recipe. We do note the boats should be cooked to fork tender, which is usually around 25 minutes, but everyone’s oven is different which is why we say “until fork tender”.

  2. Charlene Solonynka says:

    5 stars
    I have made this a few times now and everyone loves it; even those that don’t like zucchini and are picky with vegetables, what a great dish.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Charlene, we’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe and thank you for the comment!

  3. Cindy says:

    5 stars
    So much zucchini from my garden. Thanks for all the delicious recipes. Made the zucchini boats for dinner tonight! Delicious 👍

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Cindy, thanks for the comment and so happy you enjoyed!