It’s zucchini season again and if you are a gardener, you’re looking for zucchini recipes right about now. You would think that vegan zucchini recipes would be everywhere, but they’re not. I found a great Italian Zucchini Boat recipe online by Valerie Brunmeier, but it wasn’t vegan, so I made a few changes and voila! I really like this recipe first of all because it tastes delicious, second because it is a filling entree served with a side of brown rice or pasta, and third because it is beautiful.
3 medium zucchini, roughly the same size
1 (24 to 26 ounce) jar marinara sauce, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms or small jar of sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp dry parsley flakes
1/2 tsp pink sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper or to taste
1/2 lb hamburger style veggie crumbles
1 – 1 1/2 cups veggie mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Measure out 1 cup marinara sauce and set aside for later.
- Trim about 1/2 inch from each end of the zucchini and slice in half lengthwise. With a sharp knife lightly outline the center area you will remove to create the hollow of your boats (this will include the seed area, leaving about a half inch of solid zucchini around all the edges). Be careful to not cut through the skin. Using the tip of a spoon remove the zucchini flesh inside your outline, chop and set aside.
- Place the scooped out zucchini boats into a 13″x 9″ baking dish, and add about 1″ of water. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven 20 minutes or until just slightly fork tender but not soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool a bit.
- Meanwhile add olive oil to a 12″ frying pan and place over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cook a few minutes until veggies have softened, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chopped zucchini flesh, mushrooms, remaining marinara sauce, veggie crumbles, nutritional yeast and the spices. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the partially cooked zucchini boats from the baking dish and pour off water. Pour the reserved 1 cup marinara sauce into the empty baking dish and place the zucchini boats on top of the sauce.
- Generously divide the cooked filling between the 6 zucchini boats (if you have extra filling just spoon it into the dish around the boats). Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 – 30 minutes until zucchini boat is fork tender, but not soft and droopy.
- Remove baking dish from oven and set oven to BROIL.
- Remove foil and sprinkle zucchini boats with half the veggie mozzarella, panko bread crumbs, and more mozzarella.
- Place dish in oven and broil for just a few minutes (watch closely so it doesn’t burn) until the cheese melts and bread crumbs are golden brown.