These Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a simple vegetarian main dish that is fantastic for meal prepping, tastes amazingly cheesy and scrumptious and is high in protein and low in carbs.
In the life of a food blogger, there are two types of recipes– the kind you meticulously plan and photograph and the kind that you just throw together with food from your fridge. These Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats are the latter, but they tasted so good that I made them again and again and again. Eventually, I realized that although they aren’t the prettiest and most blog-worthy dish, they are scrumptious and deserve to be put on the blog.
Let’s talk about what inspired these simple zucchini boats. First, I’ve been trying to increase my protein intake while marathon training, and ricotta cheese helps me do just that. Second, zucchini is in season right now [check out these Zucchini Tacos with Radish Salsa], and I have a ton of it in my fridge. It’s not really my favorite piece of produce on its own, but it makes a fantastic vessel for stuffing. Third, my windowsill basil plant is growing uncontrollably, so I’m always looking for new ways to use basil [Use it in a Strawberry Salad]. Lastly, I like dinners that you can make ahead of time and stick in the microwave for a second or third night.
From that, these Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats were born. I scooped out some zucchini, created a simple mixture of ricotta cheese, basil, lemon juice and sun dried tomatoes and topped it with a walnut and parmesan cheese crumble. The result is absolutely delicious, high in protein and low in carbs.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m in the “pro carb” bucket of Dietitians, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to watch your carb intake every once in a while, especially on a plant-based diet.
I paired these zucchini boats with a simple side salad with some oil and vinegar, and I ate them everyday for 3 days straight. They are absolutely perfect for meal prepping, since there is no additional assembly required. And they are cheesy enough that even kids or meat eaters will enjoy them. The only downside is turning on your oven, but I think it’s totally worth it!
Although these may look complicated to make, they really come together quickly. Plus, they are the ultimate crowd pleaser. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and start scooping out your zucchini!
Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats
These Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a simple make-ahead vegetarian main dish that is oh-so-cheesy, scrumptious and high in protein and low in carbs.
- 4 large zucchini sliced in half
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted walnuts (use breadcrumbs or panko instead, if desired)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and seeds from zucchini. (Use it in a stir-fry or freeze to put in a smoothie.)
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, sun dried tomatoes, basil, lemon juice and salt. Scoop the mixture evenly into the hollowed out zucchinis.
Place the walnuts and parmesan cheese into a food processor and process until crumbly. (You can substitute panko or breadcrumbs for walnuts, if desired.) Evenly coat each zucchini boat with the walnut topping. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.