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Our next Zucchini Week recipe is all about the Italian spin: Zucchini Pizza Boats. This quick and easy dinner recipe is kid friendly (hello, PIZZA), adult approved (also PIZZA! plus a built-in serving of veggies and skinny topping options), and the kind of satisfying weeknight meal we all need more of in our lives.

A sheet pan of healthy Zucchini Pizza Boats

A zucchini boat features fresh zucchini that are split in half, hollowed out down in the center to create a “boat” opening, then stuffed with any manner of your favorite toppings. Once the zucchini boats are filled, you bake them to tender perfection and dive on in.

Zucchini is mild, so it lends itself well to a wide range of flavors (see this Zucchini Stir Fry for a delicious Asian-style prep).

You can make zucchini boats with just about any blend of fillings and toppings, but this pizza version is hard to beat.  I find that Italian ingredients pair with zucchini especially well (as evidenced by Zucchini Pasta and Zucchini Ravioli).

From the tomatoes in the pizza sauce to the basil on top to the bubbly, melty mozzarella cheese, each ingredient in this recipe works scrumptiously and naturally together.

After a few forkfuls of these Zucchini Pizza Boats, you’ll wish that eating your vegetables could always and forever be this effortless and tasty!

A sheet pan of healthy, cheesy Zucchini Pizza Boats

How to Make Zucchini Pizza Boats

Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you. Like many Italian recipes (including margarita pizza itself), a few basic ingredients yield marvelous results.

  • Zucchini. Whether you gather them from your garden, the farmers market, or the grocery store, Zucchini Pizza Boats are an ideal way to use up that surplus of squash. Pick zucchini that are similar in size so that they bake in about the same amount of time.
  • Prepared Pizza Sauce. Pick a store-bought brand you like. No shame in a shortcut here or to make Naan Pizza in a pinch!
  • Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese. Grating the cheese yourself from the block is SO worth it here. I used a blend of part-skim mozzarella and some provolone that we had hanging out in our refrigerator.
  • Parmesan. For the quintessential pizza flavor.
  • Italian Seasoning. One of my favorite one-stop spice blends. Bonus: It will make your house smell like an old-school Italian restaurant while the Zucchini Pizza Boats bake.
Hollowed out zucchini halves for Zucchini Pizza Boats

Once you have your basic ingredients gathered, split your zucchini in half and gently scrape out the seeds.

As someone who loathes having a kitchen gadget that only does one thing (I mean, how often am I balling a melon??), I was pleased to find another use for mine!

Zucchini Pizza Boats topped with cheese
  • Arrange the halved zucchini in a baking dish or on top of a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with salt. Seasoning the zucchini right away will give your pizza boats more flavor.
  • Fill with sauce. The exact amount of pizza sauce you need for each boat will vary based on the size of your zucchini. Fill them almost all the way to the top.
  • Cheese on. Shredded cheese is a must, as is the Italian seasoning I suggested (you’ll be glad!).

From here, you can play around with your toppings!

Healthy Zucchini Pizza Boats topped with many different kinds of toppings

Zucchini Pizza Boats—Topping Options

Part of the beauty of this recipe is how easy it is to customize. You aren’t committed to a single flavor. Everyone in your house can create the personal zucchini boat of his or her dreams!

A few of our favorite toppings:

  • Mini Pepperoni. My inner kid flipped for these. As the Pizza Zucchini Boats bake, the pepperoni becomes extra crispy. The effect is delightful.

A note on pepperoni: To save zucchini pizza boat calories, you can swap turkey pepperoni for the regular pepperoni. Honestly, I’m glad we splurged for the regular. It’s worth it here!

Can’t find mini pepperoni? Purchase regular pepperoni, then cut it into quarters. Voila!

  • Sausage. Another meaty option! Sauté the sausage first, then scatter the pieces over the top of the cheese just before you pop the Zucchini Pizza Boats into the oven. You might also love my Italian Stuffed Zucchini, which does call for sausage.

A note on sausage: For Zucchini Pizza Boats with sausage, I do prefer chicken or turkey sausage over pork sausage as it is less greasy and is still ultra flavorful. You do you.

  • Mushrooms. This is a great option if you want the Zucchini Pizza Boats vegetarian but are craving something beyond cheese.
  • Green Peppers. For color and crunch.
  • Olives. Divisive, but this house loves them. Try combining them with green pepper, pepperoni, onion, and mushroom to make Zucchini Pizza Boats supreme.
  • [Insert Your Favorite Pizza Topping Here]. Your Zucchini Pizza Boats are limited only by your imagination. If there’s a topping you love on pizza, try it here.

Vegetable Tip: If your vegetables contain a large amount of natural moisture (like tomatoes or spinach) or are super firm (like diced sweet potatoes), sauté them first until tender and most of the liquid has cooked out, then top your zucchini and bake.

Golden brown Zucchini Pizza Boats on a sheet pan with herbs

Baking Zucchini Pizza Boats

Once your Zucchini Pizza Boats are stuffed, all that remains is to bake.

  • Bake Zucchini Pizza Boats at 375 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. The exact length of baking time vary based upon the size of the zucchini and how thick you left the “walls” of the zucchini shells.
  • You want the zucchini to be tender so that it’s pleasant to chew but not so mushy that it falls apart.
  • The cheese should be hot and melty.
  • Your kitchen will smell tantalizing.
A closeup of healthy Zucchini Pizza Boats

How to Store Zucchini Pizza Boats

Sadly, you cannot freeze Zucchini Pizza Boats. The zucchini will become mushy and watery.

You do, however, still have excellent storage options! Zucchini Pizza Boats taste great leftover (just not out of the freezer).

  • Zucchini Pizza Boats can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F, until the cheese is freshly melted and the boats are hot.
Baked Zucchini Pizza Boats on a sheet pan

In case you missed it, our first official Zucchini Week kicked off with Zucchini Enchiladas, and I’ll be back soon with another yummy zucchini recipe for you!

Still overrun with squash or craving a different zucchini recipe? I have a whole lineup of healthy zucchini recipes (like these Zucchini Fries) in my recipe index.

Zucchini Pizza Boats

4.80 from 30 votes
Healthy Zucchini Pizza Boats. All the flavor of pizza, stuffed into an easy, filling low carb meal! Add sausage, pepperoni or any of your favorite toppings.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

Servings: 8 zucchini boats


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup pizza sauce or similar prepared marinara sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or a blend of shredded mozzarella and provolone
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4–1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/4 cup mini pepperoni or mini turkey pepperoni or regular-size pepperoni, sliced into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, thyme, or other fresh herbs

More Optional Toppings:

  • Sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • Diced red onion
  • Sliced olives
  • Veggies of choice! sauté if they are watery or very firm


  • Place a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet or 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Halve each zucchini lengthwise. With a small spoon or melon baller, gently scrape out the center zucchini flesh and pulp, leaving a border of about 1/3 inch on all sides. Arrange the zucchini shells on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the insides of the zucchini with salt.
  • Spoon the pizza sauce into each shell, dividing it evenly. You may need a little more or less, depending upon the size of your zucchini. Put a generous amount, but don’t feel like you need to fill it all the way to the very top.
  • Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top, then evenly sprinkle with Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes (if using). Scatter on the pepperoni and any other desired toppings. Last, sprinkle with Parmesan.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is hot and bubbly and the zucchini is tender. If desired, switch the oven to broil and cook the zucchini for 2 to 3 additional minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil. Serve immediately.



Serving: 1boatCalories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 7gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 19mgPotassium: 380mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 458IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

4.80 from 30 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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  1. Oh, Erin, this sounds like such a fun and delicious recipe. Brilliant idea! I’m sure the GF people will be very appreciative, too! This will really come in handy when my neighbors shower us with zucchini from their garden! 

  2. What a great idea! We use lots of zucchini and have stuffed them in the past, but never thought to use pizza-like flavorings. Thanks for the inspiration and your recipe.

  3. Just made and ate these yummy  boats! So delicious! I used uncured mini salami because that’s what looked good in-store today. Perfect recipe for using up my CSA zucchini.

  4. I’m laughing because I just left a review for the wrong recipe. We made THESE(not the Italian sausage ones). We loved them and thought it was better than a “real” pizza. But my question (mistakenly added to wrong recipe) remains. Is there some use for the zucchini flesh and pulp? Felt wasteful throwing it out. I also need to try the Italian sausage zucchini boats!!! LMAO.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for the kind review, Lisa! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! As for the leftover zucchini, you could try using it in another zucchini recipe like my Zucchini Banana Bread or tossing it with pasta.

    2. I mixed the pulp with the sauce and spices, put it back in the Zucchini shells, put the cheese on top and baked them. They were delicious5 stars

  5. WIN!!! My husband ate this!!! (and he balks at just about every vegetable besides sweet potatoes!) These were so yummy! My 4 yo and I ate our with red peppers, red onion, and pepperoni. My hubby ate his w/ just cheese. They were much tastier than I expected. We will definitely have these again! Thanks, Erin!5 stars

  6. These are great! I wanted fathead (keto) pizza and my husband wanted zucchini and sausages- so I made these with sausage slices, mozzarella, Parmesan, olives and red onion. Yum! 5 stars

  7. Was great, I made it with yellow squash, they were a little smaller than I’d like but tasted great and was crunchy! I added sausage, peppers and onions to mine. I cooked with foil on for 15 min and then off for about 10.5 stars

  8. Great recipe, drawn my children into loving another vegetable. They absolutely loved these zucchini pizza boats! Pizza is their favorite dish.5 stars

  9. Absolutely amazing!! Made these twice this week! I used Rao’s Marinara Sauce, added chili flakes on some, added finely diced onion and Jalepeno on some, used Cajun seasoning on some, mini pepperoni on all. Love this recipe! I’ll try hot Italian sausage next time!5 stars

  10. I made these and they tasted great, but we’re quite watery. After they were salted I went to move them to the baking sheet and notice all of the water. I dumped the water out but by the time the sauce and toppings were on, it was all watery again. Even after baking.I was wondering if that’s how yours were or if there’s a way to cut some of that moisture. Either way I’m making them again. You can’t beat this zucchini pizza recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Courtney, some moisture will be present but it should not be mushy. You might want to let them sit a little longer with the salt before continuing to bake. The salt will draw out the moisture, so you could even skip that step if you need to. Hope this helps!

  11. We enjoyed the crustless pizza! I bought zucchini at the farmer’s market. I had fresh oregano on hand and it was great on the boats. I sprinkled garlic salt and pepper on the zucchini boats and lined them with slivers of provolone cheese. I used a small amount of marinara from a jar. Sprinkled the oregano. I halved pepperoni rounds. Veggies were small diced green peppers, thinly sliced mushrooms, small diced purple onion and sliced black olives. I sprinkled grated Parmesan on top. I wish I had cooked the filled boats 10-12 minutes before I added the parm because it got a little too brown. I’ll definitely make these again! Thanks for sharing the recipe.5 stars

  12. My family loved it! Even my picky toddlers ate well. I will definitely make this in the future.5 stars

  13. The zucchini needs to be partially cooked before making the boats and putting in the oven. “shell” was too tough.4 stars

    1. Hi JL! This method has worked well for myself (and others) but you can definitely do it that way if you’d prefer.

  14. I haven’t made the recipe, but am planning to tonight. Another use for your melon baller is to remove the core of apples and pears. It’s very neat. I’m sure you’ll love it once you try. Thanks for the recipe!