Only 5 ingredients for these easy and flavorful Whole30 Italian Beef Zucchini Boats! They make a simple gluten free, paleo, and low carb meal perfect for an effortless weeknight dinner or meal prep!
It’s almost zucchini season! And this year I actually have a garden which I’m SO PUMPED about! If you missed it, we built a raised bed and planted a bunch of things last month. I definitely don’t have a green thumb, but I’m really trying to grow some of my own veggies. We don’t have too many things – cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, carrots, and a bunch of herbs – but I think it’s best to start small.
Not only is it nicer on the wallet to grow some of your own produce, but it makes a fun project! Each day I need to water the garden and make sure everything still looks somewhat good. It’s super exciting to watch things grow as well.
So every year I see pictures on Instagram of people posting their homegrown zucchinis and they are massive. Like over 5 pounds, a foot long, kind of zucchinis. Definitely not anywhere near the regular size you see at the store. Honestly I’m really hoping I get at least 3 edible zucchini, but deep down I want a massive one. No idea what I would do with it, but it would be pretty cool to grow one that big.
As much as I would like a ginormous zucchini, these Italian beef zucchini boats calls for just your normal size. The key is to find a good size that will fit into the baking dishes you have. I ended up having to use two different pans since they couldn’t all fit, but if you have one large glass pan, it would work perfectly.
Whole30 Italian Beef Zucchini Boats
Besides getting your zucchini to fit into your pan, it is smooth sailing from there. First, you need to hollow out your zucchini. To do this, just cut off the ends and then cut in half lengthwise. Then take a spoon and just scoop out the center making a ‘boat’ to hold the beef filling.
Make sure you don’t throw away the inside of the zucchini too! You can always chop it up and use in a stir fry or omelets, or even freeze and throw in smoothies!
Then all you have to do is sauté the filling – I used ground beef, pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, and Italian seasoning to create Italian beef flavors. All you have to do is stuff the zucchini, toss them in your oven for 30 minute, and they are ready! Top with some optional toppings to pump up the flavors, but that is it!
From start to finish these around 40 minutes and make a super easy Whole30 and paleo weeknight meal. If you do dairy, I’m thinking a little cheese sprinkled on top would be a great addition. Zucchini boats also save great during the week so you can make a batch on Sunday to have for meal prep throughout the week!
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Whole30 Italian Beef Zucchini Boats
- 3 medium zucchinis (650 grams)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- optional toppings: fresh basil, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes...
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour 1/2 cup pasta sauce in a large glass baking dish and set aside.
- Make the zucchini boats. Cut bottom and top off the zucchini and then cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch shell. Place flesh side up in glass baking dish.
- Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once it gets hot, about 30 seconds, add in ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Sauté 4-5 minutes until browned. Add in diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and 1 cup pasta sauce. Stir to combine and remove from heat once incorporated.
- Stuff the zucchini boats with the beef dividing it up equally, about 1/2 cup per each boat. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes until zucchini is cooked through, but still has some firmness. Top with optional toppings and enjoy!
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