All Aboard the Zucchini Boat: 4 Delicious Ways to Sail Through Summer

published Jul 28, 2022
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Various zucchini boats lined up
Credit: Photo: Kelly Marshall; Food Stylist: Kat Boytsova

Summer is a time to put away the calendar and let the market be your guide. Where I live, it starts with some peas. Then blueberries start popping up, followed by that beautiful glut of corn, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and eggplant, which all seem to appear overnight as summer hits its crescendo.

Of all of those veggies, zucchini strikes a particular chord with cooks. Maybe it’s because it’s easy to grow, shows up everywhere from the corner market to the farmers market, and can be used in so many ways (bread, fritters, pasta, and smoothies, to name just a few). The shape-shifting squash really can do it all!

Consider the zucchini boat, where the squash becomes a culinary canoe. The scooped-out squash is sturdy enough to handle a myriad of passengers: beef, grains, beans, pizza toppings. Its crisp-tender texture and mild flavor let it support all of the those tasty ingredients, without competing with them.

Plus, how fun is it to make something in an edible vessel? We’d put zucchini boats right up there with bread bowls and tacos and they’re just as customizable, too. These four recipes — some meaty, some veggie-packed, all absolutely delicious — will get you started on your zucchini boat adventure, but the final destination is up to you.

Zucchini Boats Ahoy

1 / 4
Buffalo Chickpea Zucchini Boats

Why should chicken wings have all the fun? Here, zucchini boats are stuffed with a tangy, spicy, buttery bean-based filling. Drizzle with plenty of ranch (or blue cheese, if that's more your style).

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2 / 4
Lemony Beef Tabbouleh Zucchini Boats

For a summery spin on pizza night, swap out the crust and swap in the squash. Put out all of the toppings and let everyone build their own.

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3 / 4
Zucchini Pizza Boats

You've grilled zucchini before, but have you grilled zucchini boats? Just a few minutes over the coals softens the squash and adds a smoky, savory flavor. Stuff with beefy tabbouleh, drizzle with a simple yogurt sauce, and wow everyone at your next cookout.

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4 / 4
Garlic Chive Pork Zucchini Boats

These stuffed zucchini boats are inspired by two dim sum staples: garlic chive pork dumplings and stuffed eggplant. Stepping in for the eggplant is tender, plump zucchini. The scooped-out zucchini bits are cooked up and mixed in with the pork filling to make sure nothing goes to waste.

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