Stuffed Zucchini Boats

This keto-friendly stuffed zucchini boats recipe is loaded with tuna and cheese for a low-carb, healthy dinner option. Perfect for lunches, too! Ready in under 30 minutes.

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a tray of stuffed zucchini boats.

We love quick and easy healthy dinner recipes like these keto zucchini boats that use veggies instead of bread or pasta. Other dinner faves include this keto BBQ chicken casserole or these Zucchini Pizzas. Check out all of our Dinner Recipes for some inspiration.

roasted zucchini boats on a plate.

IN THIS POST: Everything you need to make Zucchini Boats

Ingredients for this recipe:

  • zucchini – try to choose smallish zucchinis that are around the same size so the portions are equal.
  • olive oil – this is to rub on the zucchini when it roasts
  • tuna – look for pole and line-caught tuna
  • celery – buy just the single stalk at the grocery store instead of chucking the rest in the garbage 😉
  • red onion – you could also use a shallot
  • fresh lemon juice – about half a lemon
  • dill – use fresh or dried
  • sea salt and pepper
  • cheese – use what you have – I use both parmesan and feta cheese

This is a spin on the old-school tuna melt. You know the one. We are turning it into zucchini boats – keto version.

How to make Stuffed Zucchini Boats:

Start by lining a baking dish with parchment paper and setting it aside. Then get started on the stuffed zucchini.

First, using a sharp knife, slice the stalk off the top of the zucchini and then slice it in half.

a zucchini sliced in half on a cutting board.

Second, using a spoon, scoop out the zucchini flesh and add it to a bowl.

a spoon scooping out the middle of a zucchini.

Third, place the sliced and hollowed zucchini onto the lined baking sheet and bake until it is tender.

Meanwhile, prepare the tuna salad stuffing. Add the tuna, minced celery and onion, fresh lemon juice, and dill to the bowl with the scooped-out zucchini and mix it up well.

a bowl of tuna salad being mixed with a fork.

Once the zucchini is roasted, remove it from the oven and set the oven to broil. Add the tuna stuffing to the boats and top with the cheese.

tuna stuffed zucchini boats on a parchment lined baking tray.

Next, broil until the cheese is melted, browned, and bubbling.

a tray of stuffed zucchini boats.

Finally, serve with your choice of side – or on its own as a light lunch! We love these keto zucchini boats. Lots of good nutrition, such as protein and fiber yet low carbohydrates and low calories.

a tray of stuffed zucchini boats.

FAQs, Tips, and Substitutions:

  • Can you use different protein besides tuna? Yes! There are so many variations that can be made with these zucchini boats. Use cooked ground beef, ground turkey, or Italian sausage with some tomato sauce or marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese for a pizza boat. Top with fresh basil!
  • Try a bbq version with a pulled pork and bbq sauce mixture or tex mex flavors with shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, cumin, corn, and black beans, and top with shredded lettuce.
  • If you want a more rich-tasting tuna melt experience with these keto stuffed zucchini add a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise to your tuna mixture before broiling.
  • Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.

More healthy low carb recipes:

a tray of stuffed zucchini boats.

*This recipe was originally posted on July 2, 2014, updated on August 7, 2019, and updated again on May 9, 2022, with recipe notes, writing, and new photos.**

If you’ve tried my stuffed zucchini boats, please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out by leaving me a comment below. I’m always interested in feedback!

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a tray of stuffed zucchini boats.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats – Easy + healthy meal recipe

Sharon Rhodes
This keto-friendly stuffed zucchini boats recipe is loaded with tuna and cheese for a low-carb, healthy dinner option. Perfect for lunches, too! Ready in under 30 minutes.
4.80 from 60 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 353 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 can of tuna drained
  • 1 celery stalk minced
  • ¼ medium red onion minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about half a lemon
  • ¼ tsp dried dill *or 2 tsp fresh dill
  • ½ cup shredded or crumbled cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the zucchini in half and using a teaspoon, scoop out the center, about an inch deep. Place them on the lined baking sheet and brush the four zucchini halves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Put the sheet in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes. This will depend on the size of your zucchini. You want them to be tender, but not mushy. Use a fork to see how easily you can pierce the side and do a little touch test. Look for them to begin browning slightly on the sides.
  • Meanwhile, mix together the tuna, celery, onion, and dill with the other tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice.
  • Once the zucchini is done, take it out of the oven and turn on the broiler. Fill your canoes with the tuna mixture and top with the cheese.
  • Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has browned and is crispy on top.
  • Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  • There are so many variations that can be made with these zucchini boats.  Use cooked ground beefground turkey, or Italian sausage with some tomato sauce or marinara sauceItalian seasoning, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese for a pizza boat. Top with fresh basil!
  • Try a bbq version with a pulled pork and bbq sauce mixture or tex mex flavors with shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, cumin, corn, and black beans, and top with shredded lettuce.
  • If you want a more rich-tasting tuna melt experience with these keto stuffed zucchini add a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise to your tuna mixture before broiling.
  • Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 26gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 402mgPotassium: 711mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 725IUVitamin C: 41.9mgCalcium: 250mgIron: 2.3mg
Keyword keto zucchini boats, zucchini boats
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56 Comments

  1. I really love stuffed zucchini boats! They look so delicious. :-)I usually cook them with mince and cheese.

  2. 5 stars
    Perfect way to use Zucchini .. can’t wait to make this for my family. Absolutely delish.

  3. 5 stars
    This is perfect for using up all the zucchini I end up with in the garden. Much healthier and tasty too.

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious, we normally made baked potatoes with tuna on a Monday night, but this was a delicious and healthier option that tasted just as good, if not better! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Chop the scooped out zucchini and add it to the tuna mixture so as not to waste any food. The cheese combo I like is mozzarella and Parmesan. These are healthy and great tasting!

  6. This is seriously fantastic. I ended up cutting my zucchini into sticks and just put the tuna salad on top of it. The best meal I’ve had in a while. Keeping this on in the rotation.

  7. This was so yummy! I didn’t have dill, so I threw in salt pepper and turmeric. I used pepper jack cheese to top it off and it tasted great! Thank you for this recipe!

  8. I only had half a zucchini so chopped it up and mixed with the other ingredients and put mixture into 2 halved capsicums (peppers) – I haven’t cooked them yet I am looking forward to having for dinner tonight. The mixture is YUM, thanks Sharon.

    1. Great idea! I love the ingenuity. 🙂 You know its going to be good when the mixed ingredients are enough just to start eating! 😉 Thanks Pauline. 🙂

  9. Sharon,

    This was a fantastic recipe! I’m posted in Africa and as I am halfway through my tour I began to look at what I have left in my consumable shipment and was a little surprised to realize I still had over 100 cans of tuna left. I found your recipe during my search to find different ways to eat canned tuna (a man can only eat so many tuna salad sandwiches!). This recipe was an absolute winner. I had to substitute celery leaf instead of a stalk of celery, but it tasted fantastic! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Wow, Paul! Such a great comment. I’m always so amazed that my little website reaches to such faraway places such as Africa. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and have found a new way to enjoy your bounty of tuna. 😉 Stay safe!

  10. I tried making these and they turned out amazing! Note I did use mayo, but will try to leave it out next time and also tried colby & monterey jack cheese since I was a little skeptical of the feta/parmesan cheese combo; the colby monterey jack turned out ok but the feta/parmesan were amazing stick with the feta and parmesan cheese combo you won’t be sorry!

  11. I’m making this right now! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any canned tuna, so I used canned chicken breast instead. I didn’t know what to do with the scooped out zucchini, so I just threw it into the mixture. Added garlic powder, salt, pepper, spinach, and topped with tomatoes (I needed to use up some veggies, can’t ya tell?) Had some taste tests and it’s pretty yummy! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I love the additions, Stephany! Nothing better than a delicious way to use up your extra veggies. 🙂 Have a fabulous weekend!

  12. I am obsessed with every recipe on here! Even ones with foods I don’t care for! About the tuna, what size can do you use? I have a 2oz can but, that doesn’t seem like much?

    1. I’m so glad! I’m obsessed, too. 😉 For this recipe I use 170 gram tin which I think is about 6 ounces. Thanks so much for the nice comments, by the way. 🙂

      1. I’m not kidding when I say I literally go on this website everyday for way too long! Thank you for responding so quickly! I’m making this for my Dad this week and I can’t wait!

        1. I could say the same thing about being on this website everyday too! I’m always here. 🙂 I hope your Dad loves it! Report back. 🙂

  13. Sharon, I love this recipe. I am a huge fan of tuna. So I am sure I will love to try it. Thanks a lot for sharing 😉

  14. What a great idea! I actually can’t wait to try a vegetarian version of this 🙂

    1. Throw cheese on anything and I’m happy! 😉 I’ll be looking forward to your veggie version. Thanks, Lilli!

  15. This looks amazing! I love zucchini and I have 4 plants in my garden right now that I’m dying to grow! Zucchini season is almost here and I definitely want to try this recipe.
    p.s I also love tuna.
    and cheese. lolz! 🙂

    1. We are kindred spirits when it comes to cheese. 🙂 I love that you have your own veggies growing!

  16. Hi Sharon! It’s funny this recipe reminds you of home because this spring I have made a version of it once a week! Now I’m excited to try it with tuna! I can have my tuna salad fix without the carbs! So lovely! We are looking forward to seeing you!!! We can canoe the gorge again if you’re up for adventure! LOL! xoxoxo

    1. Ha! I don’t know about the canoe … although, it might be fun to do it in our Downton Abbey get-ups! Maybe add a parasol? 😉 Excited!!

4.80 from 60 votes (56 ratings without comment)

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