Baked Italian Zucchini Boats

Baked Italian Zucchini Boats

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Baked Italian Zucchini Boats is a perfect choice when you want an eye-pleasing side dish. A great way to use garden produce! Click to Tweet

A few summers ago, I tried making Baked Italian Zucchini Boats, and it has become one of my go-to side dishes when I want something a little special. Especially for an Italian dinner, but really, it goes well with many dishes. It’s quite pleasing to the eye and is a great way to use up your garden zucchini!

This side dish is easy to make, as well. Plus, it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients Needed to Make Italian Zucchini Boats

  • fresh garden zucchini (or store-bought)
  • muenster cheese (from a block)
  • grape tomatoes
  • black olives
  • garlic powder
  • seasoned salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • fresh basil

When to Pick Garden Zucchini

Picking Garden Zucchini

As a girl, I remember my grandma bringing into the house these mammoth-sized zucchini from her garden. They were huge. She would shred or cut them for use in her baking or for freezing.

When I started doing my own shopping for zucchini, I was keen to notice that the zucchini in the stores were much smaller. And more tender. And delicious. I quickly learned that zucchini was not just for baking breads and cakes! They were great for stir-fry, or sliced, and so much more.

Lesson learned: Pick zucchini when it’s 6-10 inches long. A perfect size for tender, yummy dishes. Of course, you can pick it when it’s larger, too. But larger zucchini will have larger seeds in the middle. Also, the more you pick zucchini, the more the plant will produce. Watch for the yellow blooms, and you’ll soon have zucchini to pick.

See more recipe ideas for using Garden Zucchini Here.

Baking Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Using your favorite knife and cutting board, slice the zucchini, grape tomatoes and black olives.

For the cheese, you could grate the muenster cheese, if you want, but I like how the thick slices melted on the zucchini. There are few things better than melted cheese. Yum! If you don’t have any muenster on hand, feel free to substitute another cheese in its place. Mozzarella or Gouda, maybe?

To assemble the “boats” place the zucchini halves on the baking sheet. Top with slices of muenster cheese, halved grape tomatoes, and then the black olives. Sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoned salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Then drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the tops.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and the zucchini is crisp-tender. Watch to make sure the cheese doesn’t get too brown. Ah-hem. I’ve had that happen before, much to my displeasure.

Garnish the Baked Italian Zucchini Boats with fresh basil and serve warm. This recipe will make 6-8 boats, but can easily be adapted to suite the number you are entertaining. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Serve with your Favorite Italian Dishes. See more Side Dishes Here.

Recipe for Baked Italian Zucchini Boats

Baked Italian Zucchini Boats

Here's a recipe we tried recently and dearly loved. A great way to use up your garden zucchini. Enjoy!
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Black Olives, Garden Zucchini, Grape Tomatoes, Muenster cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8


Knife Set
Cutting Board
Baking Sheet
Parchment Paper


  • 3-4 medium zucchini sliced in half, lengthwise
  • 6-8 slices muenster cheese halved
  • 6-8 whole grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup black olives sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
  • fresh basil chopped


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using a knife and cutting board, prepare zucchini, tomatoes, and black olives.
  • Place halved zucchini on baking sheet. Top with muenster cheese, halved tomatoes and black olives. Sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoned salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is golden brown and zucchini is crisp-tender. Garnish with fresh basil. Serve warm. Makes 6-8 boats.
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