Lasagna Zucchini Boats with ground beef are a low-carb version of the traditional pasta dish made with hollowed-out zucchini instead of lasagna noodles. While this recipe may be healthy, it’s also incredibly delicious!
When I went on a low-carb diet after my second baby, these lasagna zucchini boats were one of my favorite dishes to make.
I’m a big fan of zucchini and the meat sauce combined with the cheese made this recipe very comforting without being too heavy.
I’ve since altered this recipe to include the sauce from my lasagna made with cottage cheese and it’s made this recipe even easier and more delicious!
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy lasagna without all of the carbs from the noodles, or just want a healthier dinner option, these zucchini boats are for you!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Brown 1 pound ground beef and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Drain off the excess fat.
Next, add 6 ounces of canned tomato paste, 28 ounces of canned tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper and ½ teaspoon oregano to the ground beef.
Cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, slice the ends off 4 medium zucchini and then slice each in half lengthwise. Scoop the centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats.
Place the zucchini in a large 9 x 13 baking dish. Fill each boat with an equal amount of cottage cheese (12 ounces total).
Carefully pour the meat sauce over the zucchini. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the dish from the oven. Remove the foil and sprinkle 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
Return the dish to oven uncovered and bake until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
I’ve substituted ground turkey for ground beef several times and it’s just as yummy and cuts out even more calories and fat.
Here are a few substitutes for this recipe:
The zucchini can be a bit tricky to cut evenly lengthwise. I like to stand the zucchini on its end and slowly cut it down the middle. Cutting the ends off the zucchini makes this easier. Cutting the ends off the zucchini also allows them to fit in the pan easier.
Using a small metal spoon is the easiest way to scoop out the zucchini. The smaller the spoon, the easier it will be to leave a shell.
If you’d like to utilize the pulp from the zucchini, you can add that into your meat sauce as it cooks. Just cut and scrape the zucchini before you start the sauce. This may make your sauce a little watery so you can add all of the pulp to a bowl and press on it a few times with a paper towel to remove the extra moisture.
If you’re not a fan of cottage cheese, you can use ricotta or even marscapone seasoned with salt and pepper.
More Like This
Looking for more delicious recipes with zucchini? You’ll love these!
- Zucchini, Black Bean, and Rice Skillet
- Scrambled Eggs with Zucchini
- Zucchini and Yellow Squash Casserole
- Grilled Sausage Kabobs
Side Dishes For Lasagna
Looking for some side dish ideas to round out your lasagna zucchini boats? Try these!
- Appetizers like bruschetta or mozzarella sticks
- Salads like prosciutto melon salad or pesto caprese salad
- Bread like sourdough focaccia or French bread
- Vegetables like maple glazed carrots or zucchini with eggs
Get these recipes and see all 55 Ideas for what to serve with lasagna.
Do you eat the skin on zucchini boats?
Zucchini skins are full of nutrients that help with improved digestion, eye protection, and cell resistance.
The skin is very thin and doesn’t have an off-putting flavor so it’s completely fine to eat.
Zucchini is full of water. That combined with the liquid in the meat sauce can make for a watery dish.
You can salt your zucchini boats and let them sit for 15 minutes to draw out the excess water. You can do this step before you start the meat sauce so they can sit while the sauce simmers. After 15 minutes, blot the zucchini with a paper towel.
Another option is to place your zucchini on a baking rack while they cook so the water drips underneath. Use a short rack like a cookie cooling rack and place it in the baking dish or on a large pan. Then place the zucchini boats on top and carefully cover with the sauce. Bake following the recipe directions.
I hope your family loves this lasagna zucchini boat recipe as much as mine! If you make it, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram with @ashcroftfamilytable and use the hashtag #ashcroftfamilytable!
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Healthy Lasagna Zucchini Boats
- 1 pound ground beef, or ground turkey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 ounces canned tomato paste
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 4 medium zucchini
- 12 ounces cottage cheese
- ¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add ground beef and garlic to a large skillet or pan. Brown ground beef and garlic over medium-high heat. Drain off excess oil.
- Once the ground beef is cooked, add tomato paste, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano to the pan and stir to combine.
- Cover the pan and simmer.
- While the sauce is simmering, slice the ends off the zucchini and then slice each in half from top to bottom. Scoop the centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats.
- Place the zucchini in a large 9 x 13 baking dish. Fill each boat with an equal amount of cottage cheese.
- Carefully pour the meat sauce over the zucchini. Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the dish from the oven. Remove the foil and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
- Return the dish to oven uncovered and bake until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.