Margherita Zucchini Boats
Margherita Zucchini Boats- a light and healthy take on the delicious Margherita Pizza. One serving has just 260 calories + 16 grams of protein! (gluten-free + vegetarian with vegan option)
Isn’t it amazing how the simplest of ingredients can taste so incredible together?
These Margherita Zucchini Boats are a perfect example of that. They’re based off of the famous Italian Margherita Pizza. Those of you that have tried it know what I’m talking about. Fresh basil, ripe juicy tomatoes and creamy mozzarella make for the most basic, yet amazing combination of flavors that scream summertime.
I’ve been so fortunate to see what I have of Europe, but Italy is still sitting pretty at the top of my bucket list. One of the first things I want to do (if and when I hopefully get a chance to visit one day) is sit down at a local cafe and enjoy an authentic Margherita Pizza. Ugh, just imagining it is making me swoon!
I definitely won’t hold back from eating all the carbs if I’m given that opportunity. However, when I’m cooking a meal at home I like to mix it up with something a little healthier. That’s not to say that we don’t eat pizza at least once per week because we do. I have zero shame. But sometimes it’s nice to have an alternative for dinner that’s light and easy to make. These zucchini boats fit the bill!
They’re stuffed with fluffy quinoa mixed with garlic salt, fresh basil and olive oil, then they’re topped with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. If you don’t eat dairy, feel free to leave out the mozzarella and top them with diced avocado and balsamic syrup after they’ve finished cooking. Either way, they’re delicious and satisfying!
Margherita Zucchini Boats
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30
Cook Time: 30
Total Time: 1 hour
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed*
4 large zucchini
2 tablespoons high heat oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 ounces mozzarella**
In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with a pinch of salt plus 1 and 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat then cover with a lid and let sit for at least 10 minues. Fluff with a fork then set aside.
Meanwhile, wash and slice the stems off of each zucchini. Slice each one in half then use a metal teaspoon or a scooper to scoop the inside out, as pictured above. Grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish with one tablespoon of the oil. Brush the inside of the zucchini lightly with the oil then arrange them in the baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Once the quinoa is done cooking, add the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon garlic salt (or a mixture of garlic powder and salt) to the pot and stir to combine. Add the halved cherry tomatoes and chopped basil then stir to combine. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the zucchini boats then top with sliced mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Carefully transfer the zucchini from the baking dish to separate plates and garnish with fresh basil. Serve warm and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts are for two zucchini boats. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
*Feel free to substitute your favorite grain in place of quinoa. Barley or wheat berries would both be delicious if you’re not gluten-free!
**To make this recipe vegan, omit the mozzarella and serve with cubed avocado and balsamic syrup after cooking.
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by rating the recipe, leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
Gf you’re making me miss Italy already! I have a feeling you’ll make it there one day and, when you do, definitely eat all the pizza. <–not like I have to tell you. I love the idea of these zucchini boats, and you really can't go wrong with Margherita flavors. ughhh so good.
Yeeeees I love how fresh produce can fit together so nicely. Tomatoes + zucchini is such a winning combo, and I’m loving the caprese spin on these gorg boats! I’d happily enjoy them while fantasizing about a trip to Italy ;)
Love! Eating pizza in Italy is also on my bucket list. I think our 10 year anniversary will be Italy, unless I can convince Riley to move it up a couple years.
These are so fun! I love how healthy they are. Italy is definitely at the top of my bucket list…if not just for the wine and cheese…ha ha!
These boats look delicious! love the quinoa :)
Oh yea girl, pizza in Italy is one of my top food memories! I really want to go to the birthplace of pizza, Naples – which is also where my ancestors are from – and eat a ton of pizza. I plan on getting back to do that soon hopefully!
I love zucchini and love how short this ingredient list is… perfect for a simple, healthy dinner!
I love margherita pizza and it’s such a great idea to recreate those flavors another way like this! YUM!
I love margherita pizza, and eating some in Italy would take it over the top! I like lightening things up at home too, and these zucchini boats look just perfect! Once my zucchini and cherry tomatoes come up in my garden I’m making this.
I’ve never been to Italy either, but I would definitely love to go some day. For the pizza. And pasta. And gelato. And everything, basically :mrgreen: Until then, we can enjoy tasty eats like these little boats on this side of the pond, eh?
These were very good. I cooked them uncovered and, although they didn’t look as pretty as yours, I loved that the cheese got a little golden on top. Thanks for a delicious, healthful and simple recipe!
I’m so happy you liked them, Vivian! Thanks for the feedback. :)
There should be a song about zucchini… Ode to Zucchini! It’s just started showing up at the markets here… I’ve yet to get my hands on some, but it will be happening this weekend! Hooray! These little boats are a perfect way to enjoy them, Sarah. They make a perfect little vessel for a good stuffing! No doubt, pizza happens once a week here too.. and I have margarita pizza pretty regularly too… no shame! hehe.
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Beautiful and healthy ideas .recipes I liked. I am from Saudi Arabia
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