Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

You’re going to love these Sausage Stuffed Zucchini boats.  It’s a great way to use up your summer fresh zucchini.  Just hollow out zucchini halves, stuff them with a delicious sausage mixture and bake!  Watch the video showing you how to make this recipe, then scroll to the bottom of this post and print out the recipe so you can make it at home.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

My son Brooks acquired a new hobby one summer while we were on vacation: fishing. He hooked up with his East Coast cousins and their fishing neighbor named Eric. Eric had all kinds of gear that he let the kids use, and he taught them how to catch fish off the docks and the jetty of Boston’s South Shore. Brooks spent a lot of time with Eric and those fishing poles that summer. He was on a mission to catch the biggest fish around, and I think he’d have fished all day every day if we’d let him.

Brooks came home from fishing one day and told us he’d already eaten dinner- Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats- at Eric’s house. “Did you say, Zucchini Boats??” I asked him. “Yep,” he said.

Now, you have to understand that my boy would no sooner eat small piece of zucchini floating in a bowl of soup… let alone an ENTIRE ZUCCHINI stuffed with stuff. Yet, he came home from fishing and happily told me how much he looooooved Eric’s Stuffed Zucchini Boats.   Surely he was just being polite, right??


So at this point I decided that obviously Eric had obviously been catapulted into “God” category because he was so generous with his time and fishing equipment. Brooks lived for fishing that summer, and Eric was his ticket to have fun fishing with his cousins.

I decided that I simply must re-create this God-like zucchini dish that Brooks loved so much.  I asked him a bunch of questions about what could have been in that magical zucchini boat he ate, and he gave me some tips.  Here’s what I came up with…

Scooping out zucchini pulp

I scraped out the insides of the zucchini and saved them to sauté with a little bit of onion and garlic and sweet Italian sausage.  I drained the mixture after that since the zucchini brings a lot of moisture into the mix. Then I mixed it all with fresh basil, marinara sauce and cheese.  That’s it.

Sausage stuffed zucchini

The zucchini boats were stuffed.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini with cheese on top

A little bit of cheese sprinkled on top too.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

And then baked for 30 minutes.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

I served these Sausage Stuffed Zucchini boats over a some Parmesan Rice (just the stuff you buy in the box- a quickie).  I could hardly believe my eyes when I observed Brooks eating bite after bite of my zucchini boats.  The kiddo said he loved them and gobbled up more than one.

I’m thinking I might need to bake Eric some cookies next summer to thank him for all of that fishing, but most importantly- to thank him for finding a delicious way to get my son to eat and enjoy zucchini.  Yay for Eric!

If you’re looking for more recipes using zucchini, you might also enjoy my Zucchini- Beef Enchiladas or this Roasted Zucchini with GarlicPineapple Zucchini Bread and Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries are also good choices.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

A great way to use up your summer fresh zucchini!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword zucchini
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 zucchini boats
Calories 177 kcal


  • 3 medium (8-inch) zucchini, end trimmed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 pound lean turkey sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup tomato- basil marinara sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • additional cheese to sprinkle on top
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Use a small spoon to scrape out the insides of each zucchini half - the pulp. Don't scrape the zucchini all the way to the skin- just make a deep pocket where you'll be able to put the stuffing. Save the pulp and chop it.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and spray with nonstick spray. Add the zucchini pulp, onion, garlic and sausage. Cook together 4 to 6 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened and the sausage is cooked through. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve to drain the excess moisture. Transfer the meat mixture to a medium bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the cheeses together. Remove two tablespoons of the cheese and set aside. Add the rest of the cheese to the meat mixture, along with the marinara sauce and basil. Add salt and pepper, as desired.
  5. Divide the meat mixture between the hollowed out zucchini, filling and mounding into each one. Set the stuffed zucchini into the prepared pan and sprinkle the reserved cheese on top.
  6. Bake 30 minutes, or until baked through and tender.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PER ZUCCHINI BOAT: Freestyle SmartPoints: 4, SmartPoints: 4, Points Plus Program: 6, Old Points Program: 5
  • These are delicious on their own, but they're also good served over herbed rice.
  • If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, just be sure to use sausage and marinara sauce that are known to be GF.
Nutrition Facts
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini
Amount Per Serving (1 zucchini boat)
Calories 177 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Sodium 825mg 34%
Potassium 413mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 10.2%
Vitamin C 40.6%
Calcium 17.1%
Iron 33.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: this recipe was originally published in 2012.  The post has been updated and re-published in 2018.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe: 241 calories per serving and 4 Weight Watchers SmartPoints (per boat). recipe from
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  • Bree wrote:

    These look fantastic–Love the combinations!

  • Mary Miller / A Passionate Plate wrote:

    When I was growing up my mom always had a garden full of zucchini. When we couldn’t eat any more of them, she would work her way around the neighborhood and leave one in every mailbox. Surprise! Too bad she didn’t have this recipe to attach to her gifts. It sounds absolutely delish!!

  • lulu wrote:

    why didn’t you just ask the person that fixed them at erics (who i am assuming is family) for the recipe?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Eric was a next door neighbor to our relative’s beach house. I don’t know him!

  • Jennifer | Mother Thyme wrote:

    What a fun and delicious way to serve Zucchini! I love the ingredients used in this recipe! A definite must try!

  • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers wrote:

    Yum! I love zucchini and putting the trukey sausage on it, is a wonderful idea! I love it!!

  • Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray wrote:

    I love stuffed zucchini and these look so good!

  • Lesley wrote:

    These look great. I can’t wait for summer to
    use our zucchini in this recipe.

  • Jeny_Nour wrote:

    I’ve made these a few times with scrambled eggs as the protein source. I really like the idea of trading eggs for Italian sausage. It seems a bit more robust and more ‘dinner-like’, plus the bed of rice is a great presentation touch.
    I try not to use packaged rice items though -because of the sodium levels. Do you have a recipe for Parmesan Rice that’s made from scratch?

  • ciaochowlinda wrote:

    I’ve made zucchini boats several ways, but never using sausage. It’s high time to try these delicious looking veggies in a new way.

  • patsy wrote:

    yum! I’ve been seeing different versions of these all over the place and just might have to give them a try soon… just wish I had really good zucchinis here this time of year… they can be hit-or-miss in the winter months in NJ.

  • Tabetha Jones wrote:

    I have made these for years,only do this way,starts out the same, then cook shells in microwave 2/3 minuets, finely chop zuchinni, add green onions, mushrooms, both finely chopped, to this add a bunch of parmesean cheese and a bunch of seasoned croutons, mix really well, then add at least 1 medium tomato finely diced and drained, mix well again, now stuff boats with mixture add some sliced mozzarlla and some sliced ‘old’ cheddar on top, do all on microwavable tray, nuke for 3-5 min on med-high or until cheeses are melted, allow to sit a few min., and enjoy ! Very good with chicken or pork steak

  • Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist’s Kitchen wrote:

    Omg, this looks incredible!! I love the idea of making vegetables enjoyable for kids (and adults)! 🙂

  • Emilie @ Emilie’s Enjoyables wrote:

    These look awesome. I feel like if you stuffed it into an eggplant it would almost taste like eggplant parm!

  • Cookbook Queen wrote:

    Doesn’t it drive you crazy when someone else gets your kid to eat something that you never could? On a good note, it sounds like you figured it out and it looks AMAZING!!!

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga wrote:

    The boats look awesome and way to go, Mom, for “capitalizing” on a situation where Brooks’ idol served up some veggie-centric food, and it was an automatic winner in his eyes.

  • Bev Weidner wrote:

    Oh. Muh. Gush.

  • Tracy wrote:

    If this will get a kiddo to eat something green, I’m all for it! Great idea!

  • Marnely Rodriguez wrote:

    What a delicious recipe!

  • Blog is the New Black wrote:

    Zucchini boats are a fav of mine!

  • Becki’s Whole Life wrote:

    Fishing is such a great sport for kids to learn and get into – how fun! I wonder if he ate these to be polite and then he discovered that they were pretty good? Funny how that works. Although anything stuffed with Italian sausage and cheese sounds good to me:-)…these sound fabulous though and a great way to get some veggies in there.