A mom of three and fellow home cook. I love pasta, grilled chicken and anything sweet. I’m here to give you easy weeknight dinners for your family. Let’s get cooking!
Lasagna Zucchini Boats 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 oven to 400 degrees.
BROWN 1 pound ground beef and 2 cloves garlic, minced in a small amount of oil.
NEXT, add 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, 2 (14 ounce) cans tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper and ½ teaspoon oregano.
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.
ASSEMBLE the boats by brushing both sides of the zucchini with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place the zucchini in a large 9 x 13 baking dish. Fill each boat with an equal amount of 1 (12 ounce) carton 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 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 the ground beef several times and it’s just as yummy and cuts out even more calories and fat.
If you’re out of tomato paste, you can use one of these tomato paste substitutes.
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.
The easiest way to scoop out the zucchini is with a small metal spoon. 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 zucchinis 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
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.
Zucchinis are 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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- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 (12 ounce) carton cottage cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add ground beef, garlic, and a 2 teaspoons of oil to a large skillet or pan. Brown ground beef and garlic over medium-high heat.
- 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.
- Assemble the boats by brushing both sides of the zucchini with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. 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.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 426mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 20g