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

(New pictures added to this post on 10/21/21)

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!

Baked Italian Zucchini Boats with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

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

 

Substitutions for this Recipe

The ingredients for this recipe are very adaptable.  If you don’t have any cherry or grape tomatoes, you can slice and quarter Roma tomatoes. You may substitute Provolone, Gouda, or even Mozzarella cheese for the Muenster. Or use fresh parsley instead of basil.

Always try to use extra-virgin olive oil, however, as it just tastes better.

 

Ingredients to Make Baked 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.

 

Directions for This Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

 

Prepare the Ingredients

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

Remove excess seeds with spoon

If the zucchini are on the large side and have a lot of seeds, I will scoop some of the seeds out with a spoon. This creates a “boat” for the yummy toppings that come next!

For the cheese, you could grate the muenster cheese, if you want, but I like how the thick slices melt 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, Gouda, or Provolone, maybe?

 

Assemble the Boats

To assemble the “boats” place the zucchini halves on the prepared baking sheet.

Preparing the Zucchini for Baking

Top with slices of muenster cheese, halved grape tomatoes, and then the sliced black olives.

Sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoned salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Then drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the tops.

Baked Zucchini out of the Oven

Bake in preheated oven 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 Zucchini Boats with Fresh Parsley or Basil and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Garnish the Baked Italian Zucchini Boats with fresh basil and another drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve warm.

Serve Zucchini Boats with Stuffed Bell Peppers

This recipe will make 6-8 boats, but can easily be adapted to suite the number you are entertaining. Serve with Stuffed Bell Peppers or 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 one summer 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

Equipment

Knife Set
Cutting Board
Baking Sheet
Parchment Paper

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Using your favorite knife and cutting board, slice the zucchini, grape tomatoes and black olives.
    If the zucchini are on the large side and have a lot of seeds, I will scoop some of the seeds out with a spoon. This creates a "boat" for the yummy toppings that come next!
  • For the cheese, you could grate the muenster cheese, if you want, but I like how the thick slices melt on the zucchini. If you don't have any muenster on hand, feel free to substitute another cheese in its place. Mozzarella, Gouda, or Provolone, maybe?

Assemble the Boats

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

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 560mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 400IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 1mg
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