Feast your eyes! This is Squash Satisfaction…
These zucchini boats are the perfect low carb vehicles for any of your favorite protein stuffing. What if it has Mediterranean vibes? Today we are going light, fresh and flavorful.
Healthy can be stunning and gorgeous, just take a look at my platter…
Nowadays you see zucchini boats, aka stuffed zucchini, everywhere. I love the concept of these boats, as you can turn that humble simple looking squash into a million different versions. Some turn them into taco boats with taco meat, while others turn them into zucchizza boats with pizza toppings and lots of cheese.
With different stuffings and toppings there is a lot of scope for your imagination and creativity. We love them in all forms.
Today I feel like giving a miss to heaps of heavy melted cheese and sloppy sauces that can weigh the boat down. I want something light that highlights the simple flavors of meat and vegetables. I am keeping it super simple, though not compromising on flavors as this boat is studded with Mediterranean flavors. From your very first bite till the last it’s full of freshness and yum.
This is what goes in these simple Mediterranean style zucchini boats
- Ground beef
- Herbs & spices – Dried oregano, dried thyme, paprika, fresh parsley.
- Cherry tomatoes – If you find multicolored ones, the boats just get prettier.
- For garnishing – Feta cheese and pine nuts.
- Salt & pepper
That’s it!! Oh, did I forget to tell you they’re very quick and easy to assemble?
Now we are going to make these boats under 20 minutes. How? By not baking them in the oven, but just grilling them on a hot griddle or skillet.
Let’s start by making the filling
Simply brown the ground beef in a little olive oil. Keep on crumbing it as you go along. Stir in salt, pepper, chopped garlic, oregano, thyme and paprika. Cook till beef is fully cooked and remove from heat.
Once cooled a bit, stir in cherry tomato halves and parsley.
Coming to boat making
Cut the zucchinis into halves. Brush olive oil on both sides and season them with salt and pepper.
Place them flesh side down on a lightly oiled griddle or cast iron skillet on medium high heat and cook for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Turn and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Plate them out and let them cool.
Once ready to handle, with the help of a spoon scoop out the flesh to hollow out the zucchini to create the boats. You can add this zucchini flesh into the meat mixture.
Arrange the boats on a serving platter. Fill them generously with the prepared stuffing. Sprinkle on some feta cheese, pine nuts and parsley and voila… you have one good looking zucchini boat platter!!
Can I bake them instead of cooking on the stove top?
Sure you can. First preheat the oven to 375°F.
Cut the zucchini into halves. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil. Add the stuffing, minus the cherry tomatoes, and bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with cherry tomatoes, parsley, feta and pine nuts.
- Try different meat filling like ground turkey, chicken, or even sausage. They all go great in zucchini boats.
- Throw some chopped kalamata olives or black olives into the meat mixture towards the end of cooking it.
- Instead of cherry tomatoes, use sun dried tomatoes or even roasted peppers or artichoke hearts.
- If you happen to have fresh herbs, play with fresh thyme, oregano or mint.
How to serve these Mediterranean zucchini boats
If you don’t have time to whip up a salad, simple rice or orzo go great too.
Low carbers can try this by itself or over cauliflower rice.
Everybody tries their zucchini with tons of cheese. Try something new, fresh and wholesome!! Pin or bookmark these zucchini boats for some easy meal in the future!
Mediterranean Zucchini Boats, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Try these other great Mediterranean recipes!
Greek Meatballs (Soutzoukakia)
Portuguese Style Mussels
Mediterranean Braised Chicken
Spanish Garlic Shrimp
Greek Bean Soup (Fasolada)
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 Tbsp feta cheese, for garnishing
- 1 Tbsp pine nuts, for garnishing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium high heat and cook the ground beef. Crumble the beef it as you go along. Stir in salt, pepper, chopped garlic, oregano, thyme and paprika. Cook until beef is fully cooked. Remove from heat. Once cooled stir in cherry tomato halves and parsley.
- Cut the zucchini into halves, lengthwise. Brush olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Place them flesh side down on a lightly oiled griddle or caste iron skillet over medium high heat. Cook 3-5 minutes until soft. Turn the zucchini halves over and cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Plate them out and let them cool. Once ready to handle, with the help of spoon, scoop out the flesh to hollow out the zucchini to create the the boats. Stir this zucchini flesh into the meat mixture.
- Arrange the boats onto a serving platter. Fill the prepared stuffing generously into each boat. Garnish with feta cheese, pine nuts and parsley.
You can bake zucchini boats in the oven too. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cook the beef as normal. Cut the zucchini into halves. Scoop out the flesh with spoon and make the boat. Season with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil. Fill with stuffing mixture, minus cherry tomatoes, and bake for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, parsley, feta and pine nuts.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 438Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 107mgSodium 250mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 34g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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