Kitchn Editors’ Top 3 Tips for Making the Absolute Best Zucchini Boats

published Aug 18, 2022
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Buffalo chickpea zucchini boats on platter
Credit: Photo: Kelly Marshall; Food Stylist: Kat Boytsova

One of the best parts about summer is the bounty of fresh zucchini that becomes available. Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables available — it can be turned into something savory, sweet, or something in between. And one zucchini dish that always seems to end up on the favorites list is the beloved zucchini boat.

Zucchini boats are a great way to use up all of that fresh summer zucchini and they’re easily customizable. You can put whatever food combinations you love — from pizza toppings to a garlic-chive pork filling — right in the center of your zucchini. Read on for our tips for making zucchini boats successfully all summer long.

Zucchini Boat Tips

1. Use medium-sized zucchini.

One of Kitchn Senior Recipe Editor Amelia Rampe’s best tips for making tasty stuffed zucchini boats is to reach for medium-sized zucchini at the store. “Medium zucchini are big enough to stuff but small enough to fit several boats on one sheet tray,” says Rampe.

2. Salt the zucchini while you prep.

Salt works wonders in the kitchen, especially when it comes to cooking zucchini boats. Kitchn contributor Patty Catalano always recommends salting the flesh of prepped zucchini boats while you focus on on preparing the other ingredients. This simple technique helps thoroughly season the zucchini boats while also drawing out the excess moisture hiding inside them that can lead to a soggy boat, explains Catalano.

3. Use a binding ingredient.

When making dishes like meatloaf or meatballs, you’ll often see some sort of binder like breadcrumbs in the recipe. Binders like breadcrumbs are also important for zucchini boat fillings, particularly meat-based fillings, explains Rampe. Adding a binder will not only help your filling stay together, but it will also add some nice texture.

Zucchini Boat Recipes to Try

Once you’ve got these important tips down pat, try making some of these tasty zucchini boats at home!