vegan stuffed zucchini boats baking pan 2

Vegan stuffed zucchini boats + secret trick

Homecooked zucchini boats – all vegan and easy to make

Zucchini boats are a great vegan main course option and the best thing is, they can be so versatile! You can use many different ingredients for the stuffing. You can pack them full of veggies and bake. Or, like me, you can make them more filling with some rice among the veggies. You can mix and match to find you favorite stuffing recipe.

vegan stuffed zucchini boats close up

What makes my zucchini boats recipe unique is two things I tried this time and it turns out they work so good together. I love how this recipe turned out and I would definitely recommend you to try it out this way.

  • First, I scoop up the zucchini flesh and I use it in the stuffing
  • Also, instead of regular onions or shallots which I usually used, I swapped it this time for pearl onions

I usually peal the pearl onions and either cut them in half or use them whole as they are. To my taste, the pearl onions are sweeter than the other types of onions. It works great with this specific type of stuffing. If you haven’t tried pearl onions before – these zucchini boats are your chance!

With no further ado – let’s take a look at the recipe!


  • 3-4 zucchini, halved
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled and cleaned
  • Half a cup of white rice
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbps olive oil (optional)


As I mentioned, my trick here is to use the zucchini flesh in the stuffing. The reasons are two: you don’t waste food and your stuffing gets more volume with less carbs from the rice.

Very clever, right?

To scoop up the zucchini flesh, I cut the zucchini in half. Then, using a spoon, I gently but firmly start “drilling” with the spoon in order to remove the insides. This way only the zucchini boats are left. 

vegan stuffed zucchini boats stuffing 3

When you half and spoon up all the zucchini boats, finely chop the zucchini flesh for future use in the stuffing.

Heat your pan (medium heat will do) and add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. This is optional, you can use veggie broth if you are oil-free. Sautee the peeled and cleaned pearl onions for 3-4 minutes until golden.

Add the zucchini insides and stir. Add salt, pepper and the can of chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil – about 5 minutes. 

Add half cup of rice and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until the rice is well cooked.

When the stuffing is ready, let it cool down for at least 10 miniutes. This will also allow the rice to soak up more of the water.

vegan stuffed zucchini boats stuffing 2

Fill in your zucchini boats with the stuffing using a tablespoon. Bake on medium oven for about 30 minutes. 

When ready, serve hot with a salad as a side dish. You can eat the zucchini boats skins – they are very delicious and slightly roasted at this point. Yummy!

How others make it – check these recipes for the same dish on other cooking blogs and let me know which one you like the best!

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Vegan stuffed zucchini boats + secret trick
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