Zucchini Pizza Boats Recipe

What if I told you that you can enjoy pizza with a healthy twist? Zucchini pizza boats offer a unique combination of flavors with all the goodness of a pizza but without the guilt. This recipe is quick, fun to make, and brimming with deliciousness. Ideal for a family dinner or a refreshing change to your lunch routine, these zucchini boats are a testament to how eating healthy does not mean compromising on taste.

Zucchini Pizza Boats Recipe

The ingredients for this recipe are mostly pantry staples, including olive oil, garlic, marinara sauce, and cheeses. Zucchini might not be a common member of your vegetable drawer, but it's widely available in supermarkets. It's a versatile, low-calorie vegetable, known for its mild flavor and high water content. You'll also require mini pepperoni slices, but don't worry if you can't find them in your local grocery store, you can always use regular-sized ones and chop them into smaller pieces.

Ingredients for Zucchini Pizza Boats

Zucchini: This is the base of our pizza boat, known for its mild flavor, it will carry all the other ingredients quite well.

Olive oil: Used for brushing over the zucchini, it adds a touch of richness.

Garlic: Enhances the flavor profile, giving it a bit of a kick.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper: Essential seasonings to boost the overall taste.

Marinara sauce: This acts as the pizza sauce in this recipe.

Mozzarella cheese: Provides that classic, stretchy pizza cheese pull.

Parmesan cheese: Adds a bold, nutty flavor to the pizza boats.

Mini pepperoni slices: These bring in the traditional pizza feel and taste.

Fresh oregano: Offers a punch of herby freshness to finish off the dish.

One reader, Deck Harp says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This zucchini pizza boats recipe is a game-changer! The zucchini is the perfect vessel for all the delicious pizza toppings. It's a healthier alternative that doesn't skimp on flavor. The combination of marinara, cheese, and pepperoni is simply divine. I highly recommend trying this recipe!

Deck Harp

Techniques Required for Making Zucchini Pizza Boats

How to prepare zucchini pizza boats: A step-by-step guide on preparing zucchini pizza boats, including slicing the zucchini, prepping the toppings, and assembling the dish.

How to pat the zucchini dry: Instructions on how to effectively remove excess moisture from the zucchini to prevent sogginess in the final dish.

How to brush the zucchini with olive oil and garlic: Detailed steps on how to evenly coat the zucchini with a mixture of olive oil and garlic for flavor and browning.

How to sprinkle toppings evenly: Tips on evenly distributing the marinara sauce, cheeses, and pepperoni slices on the zucchini boats for a balanced and delicious result.

How to bake the zucchini pizza boats: Instructions on the baking process, including time and temperature, to achieve perfectly cooked zucchini boats with melted, golden cheese.

How to garnish with fresh oregano: Suggestions for adding a finishing touch to the zucchini pizza boats with fresh oregano, enhancing the overall flavor and presentation.

How To Make Zucchini Pizza Boats

Have fun whipping up these pizza boats to serve at your next party! It comes with classic pizza ingredients loaded on a fresh zucchini half.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • lbszucchini
  • 1tbspolive oil
  • 1garlic clovefinely minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1cupmarinara saucelike Classico Four Cheese
  • cupsmozzarella cheeseshredded
  • cupparmesan cheesefinely shredded
  • ½cupmini pepperoni slices
  • 2tbspfresh oreganochopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner, then set aside.

  3. Cut each zucchini into halves through the length, then pat the insides dry with paper towels.

  4. Line them on the prepared baking sheet.

  5. In a bowl, stir together olive oil and garlic, then brush them lightly over tops of the zucchini.

  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Brush a heaping 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce over each zucchini, leaving a small rim near edges uncoated.

  8. Sprinkle tops evenly with mozzarella cheese then with parmesan cheese.

  9. Top with pepperoni slices.

  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes.

  11. Remove from oven, then sprinkle with chopped fresh oregano.

  12. Serve warm, and enjoy!


  • Calories: 411.06kcal
  • Fat: 29.88g
  • Saturated Fat: 14.83g
  • Trans Fat: 0.31g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10.25g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.85g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.55g
  • Fiber: 3.37g
  • Sugar: 7.92g
  • Protein: 24.41g
  • Cholesterol: 84.01mg
  • Sodium: 1105.20mg
  • Calcium: 538.90mg
  • Potassium: 770.02mg
  • Iron: 2.03mg
  • Vitamin A: 179.63µg
  • Vitamin C: 35.02mg

Helpful Technique for Preparing Zucchini Pizza Boats

When preparing your zucchini boats, it's crucial to pat the insides dry after halving them. This step helps to remove excess moisture that could make your pizza boats soggy. Using a paper towel, gently press on the flesh to absorb any liquid. This will ensure that your zucchini boats maintain a firm and crisp texture, even after being loaded with sauce and cheese and baked in the oven.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Zucchini Pizza Boats

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pan wonders: Opt for recipes that can be made in a single pan to minimize cleanup time.

Batch cooking: Make larger quantities and freeze individual portions for quick and convenient meals later.

Organized workspace: Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you cook to save time and reduce stress.

Efficient tools: Use kitchen tools and gadgets that can help speed up the cooking process, such as a food processor or mandoline slicer.

Substitute Ingredients For Zucchini Pizza Boats Recipe

  • zucchini - Substitute with eggplant: Eggplant has a similar texture and can be used as a base for the pizza boats.

  • marinara sauce - Substitute with homemade tomato sauce: Homemade tomato sauce can be used as a healthier alternative and allows for customization of flavors.

  • mozzarella cheese - Substitute with cheddar cheese: Cheddar cheese can provide a sharper flavor and melt well, adding a different dimension to the dish.

  • parmesan cheese - Substitute with pecorino romano cheese: Pecorino romano cheese has a similar salty and nutty flavor, which can be a great substitute for parmesan.

  • mini pepperoni slices - Substitute with sliced cooked sausage: Sliced cooked sausage can provide a different flavor profile and texture to the dish.

  • fresh oregano - Substitute with fresh basil: Fresh basil can add a different herbaceous flavor and aroma to the pizza boats.

Presentation Ideas for Zucchini Pizza Boats

  1. Elevate the zucchini boats: Carefully arrange the zucchini pizza boats on a sleek, rectangular serving platter, ensuring they are evenly spaced and visually appealing.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a generous amount of freshly chopped oregano over the zucchini pizza boats, adding a pop of vibrant green color and a burst of aromatic flavor.

  3. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Create an elegant design on the plate using a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, enhancing the visual appeal and adding a touch of sophistication to the dish.

  4. Use a minimalist approach: Embrace simplicity by incorporating negative space on the plate, allowing the vibrant colors and textures of the zucchini pizza boats to take center stage.

  5. Employ precision in plating: Ensure each element of the dish is meticulously placed, showcasing attention to detail and culinary finesse.

  6. Highlight the ingredients: Artfully arrange the zucchini pizza boats to showcase the vibrant colors and textures, allowing the natural beauty of the ingredients to shine through.

  7. Emphasize symmetry: Create a visually stunning presentation by arranging the zucchini pizza boats in a symmetrical pattern, exuding a sense of balance and harmony on the plate.

  8. Utilize complementary serving ware: Select elegant, minimalist serving dishes that complement the aesthetic of the zucchini pizza boats, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Essential Tools for Making Zucchini Pizza Boats

  • Oven: An essential appliance for baking and roasting dishes.
  • Baking sheet: A flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking and roasting in the oven.
  • Parchment paper: A non-stick paper used for lining baking sheets and pans to prevent food from sticking.
  • Silpat liner: A non-stick baking mat used as an alternative to parchment paper for baking.

Storing and Freezing Zucchini Pizza Boats

  • Let the zucchini pizza boats cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • To store in the refrigerator, place the cooled zucchini boats in an airtight container. They will keep well for up to 3-4 days.
  • For longer storage, freezing is a great option:
    • Wrap each zucchini boat individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, making sure to seal tightly.
    • Place the wrapped zucchini boats in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
    • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy reference.
    • Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • To reheat frozen zucchini pizza boats:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Remove the desired number of zucchini boats from the freezer and unwrap them.
    • Place the frozen zucchini boats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
    • If you prefer a crispier texture, you can broil the zucchini boats for an additional 1-2 minutes after baking. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the zucchini pizza boats in the microwave:
    • Place the desired number of zucchini boats on a microwave-safe plate.
    • Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Cooking times may vary depending on your microwave's power.
  • Enjoy your reheated zucchini pizza boats as a quick and delicious meal or snack!

How To Reheat Zucchini Pizza Boat Leftovers

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This temperature will help reheat the zucchini pizza boats evenly without overcooking or drying them out.

  • Place the leftover zucchini pizza boats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. This will prevent them from sticking and make cleanup easier.

  • If the cheese topping looks dry, sprinkle a little water or brush a thin layer of olive oil over the top. This will help keep the cheese moist and prevent it from burning during reheating.

  • Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil. This will trap the heat and moisture, ensuring that the zucchini pizza boats reheat evenly and don't dry out.

  • Place the covered baking sheet in the preheated oven and reheat for 10-15 minutes, or until the zucchini pizza boats are heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat the zucchini pizza boats in a microwave. Place them on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high power for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. However, keep in mind that microwaving may result in a softer texture compared to oven reheating.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can also use it to reheat the zucchini pizza boats. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the zucchini pizza boats in the basket. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

  • Once reheated, let the zucchini pizza boats cool for a minute or two before serving, as the filling will be hot. Garnish with fresh herbs like basil or oregano for added flavor and visual appeal.

Interesting Fact About Zucchini Pizza Boats

The zucchini pizza boats recipe is a great way to incorporate vegetables into a pizza dish. Zucchini is a versatile ingredient that can be used as a healthy alternative to traditional pizza crust. This recipe is a delicious and nutritious option for those looking to cut back on carbs and increase their vegetable intake. Zucchini is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a beneficial addition to any diet. Try this recipe for a fun and creative way to enjoy pizza while getting a serving of vegetables.

Is Making Zucchini Pizza Boats at Home Cost-Effective?

This zucchini pizza boats recipe is a cost-effective option for households. The use of affordable ingredients like zucchini, marinara sauce, and cheese makes it budget-friendly. The versatility of zucchini allows for easy customization with various toppings, catering to different preferences. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$15, making it an economical choice. The overall verdict rating for this recipe is 8/10, considering its affordability, nutritional value, and delicious taste.

Are Zucchini Pizza Boats Healthy?

The zucchini pizza boats recipe is a healthier alternative to traditional pizza, as it uses zucchini as a base instead of a high-carb pizza crust. Zucchini is low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. The recipe also includes a moderate amount of cheese, which provides calcium and protein. However, the use of pepperoni adds saturated fat and sodium to the dish, making it less healthy.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace the pepperoni with lean protein sources like grilled chicken, turkey, or tofu
  • Use a low-sodium marinara sauce or make your own sauce using fresh tomatoes and herbs
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used or opt for low-fat cheese varieties
  • Add more vegetables to the toppings, such as bell peppers, onions, or mushrooms, to increase the nutrient content
  • Use a whole-grain breadcrumb topping for added fiber and nutrients

Editor's Opinion on This Zucchini Boat Recipe

The zucchini pizza boats recipe is a delightful and healthy twist on traditional pizza. The combination of fresh zucchini, savory marinara sauce, gooey mozzarella, and zesty pepperoni creates a burst of flavors in every bite. The recipe is easy to follow and allows for customization with various toppings. The use of fresh oregano adds a pop of freshness to the dish. Overall, this recipe is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet while still enjoying the flavors of pizza.

Why trust this Zucchini Pizza Boats Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delightful and flavorful experience. The zucchini is a versatile and nutritious ingredient, while the use of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese ensures a rich and satisfying taste. The addition of mini pepperoni slices brings a savory and indulgent touch. Furthermore, the incorporation of fresh oregano enhances the dish with aromatic and herbaceous notes. With a careful selection of high-quality ingredients such as marinara sauce and olive oil, this recipe promises a delicious and trustworthy outcome.

Want to share your own twists on this zucchini pizza boats recipe or discuss other creative ways to turn veggies into delicious meals? Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our cooking forum and join the conversation!
Can I use a different type of cheese for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use different types of cheese to suit your taste. Cheddar, provolone, or even a blend of different cheeses can work well in this recipe.
Can I substitute the pepperoni with a different topping?
Absolutely! You can customize the toppings to your preference. Try using cooked sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, or any other pizza toppings you love.
How can I make this recipe vegetarian?
To make this recipe vegetarian, simply omit the pepperoni and use a variety of your favorite vegetables as toppings. Options like bell peppers, onions, olives, and mushrooms work wonderfully.
Can I prepare the zucchini pizza boats in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the zucchini pizza boats in advance by assembling them and refrigerating until you're ready to bake. This can be a convenient option for meal prep or entertaining.
Can I freeze the zucchini pizza boats?
While it's best to enjoy the zucchini pizza boats fresh, you can freeze any leftovers. Simply wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Reheat in the oven when ready to enjoy.

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