Cheesy Mushroom Zucchini Boats Recipe

This recipe for cheesy mushroom zucchini boats is not only quick and easy to make but also versatile, packed with flair, and happens to be gluten-free! You won't be slaving away in the kitchen for hours. This is a straightforward recipe that doesn't require advanced culinary skills.

Here is what the recipe developer Milena Manolova thinks: "What makes this dish truly exceptional is the harmonious blend of flavors. The sautéed onions and garlic provide a rich, aromatic base while the earthy mushrooms and fresh thyme add depth. Sun-dried tomatoes contribute a hint of sweetness and tang, and it's all topped off with a delicious layer of melted mozzarella cheese."

But, it's not just about taste — these zucchini boats also boast versatility and ease. You can adapt the recipe to your liking, whether by adjusting the cheese quantity, experimenting with herbs, or even trying out different types of tomatoes. The boats are quick to whip up, making them perfect for busy weeknights. Whether you're a vegetarian or just in search of a tasty, meatless dish, these cheesy mushroom zucchini boats are an all-around winner.

Gather all the cheesy mushroom zucchini boats ingredients

For this delicious recipe, you'll need fresh zucchini, button or cremini mushrooms, yellow onion, sun-dried tomatoes from a jar, fresh parsley, fresh garlic, shredded mozzarella cheese, fresh thyme, salt, black pepper, and some olive oil for cooking the veggies and brushing the zucchini. 

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Step 2: Heat the olive oil

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.

Step 3: Add the chopped onion

Add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until it starts to brown.

Step 4: Add the garlic

Mix in the minced garlic.

Step 5: Add the chopped mushrooms

Add the chopped mushrooms and cook them until soft, about 3–4 minutes.

Step 6: Add the herbs, spices, and sun-dried tomatoes

Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, fresh thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, and parsley. Cook for 2 more minutes.

Step 7: Transfer and add mozzarella

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

Step 8: Prepare the zucchini

Cut the ends of the zucchini, then cut each squash in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop the flesh out of the zucchini using a spoon.

Step 9: Place the zucchini on a baking tray

Place the zucchini halves on a parchment-lined baking tray with the cut sides facing up.

Step 10: Season the zucchini halves

Brush the rest of the olive oil over each half and sprinkle on the rest of the salt and black pepper.

Step 11: Fill the zucchini boats

Fill each zucchini half with the mushroom mixture.

Step 12: Add shredded mozzarella

Sprinkle the top of each boat with the rest of the mozzarella cheese.

Step 13: Bake the zucchini boats

Bake on the middle rack for 30–35 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.

Step 14: Serve

Serve immediately.

Cheesy Mushroom Zucchini Boats Recipe
No Ratings
This meatless, gluten-free veggie dish doesn't skimp on flavor with a richness born from melty cheese, umami mushrooms, and other flavor-packed additions.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
6
zucchini boats
Cheesy Mushroom Zucchini Boats on a plate.
Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 cups chopped button mushrooms
  • ½ + ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ⅛ + ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes from a jar
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 + 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3 9-inch zucchini
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until it starts to brown.
  4. Mix in the minced garlic.
  5. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook them until soft, about 3–4 minutes.
  6. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, fresh thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, and parsley. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
  8. Cut the ends of the zucchini, then cut each squash in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop the flesh out of the zucchini using a spoon.
  9. Place the zucchini halves on a parchment-lined baking tray with the cut side facing up.
  10. Brush the rest of the olive oil over each half and sprinkle on the rest of the salt and black pepper.
  11. Fill each zucchini half with the mushroom mixture.
  12. Sprinkle the top of each boat with the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
  13. Bake on the middle rack for 30–35 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.
  14. Serve immediately.
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What do you serve with cheesy mushroom zucchini boats?

For sides, a crisp, fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette provides a refreshing contrast to the richness of the zucchini boats. Serve some warm, toasted garlic bread on the side to soak up the savory, mushroom-and-cheese goodness. For a heartier meal, you can serve the zucchini boats alongside cooked quinoa or rice. The grains will absorb the delicious juices from the boats. Couscous and orzo both cook quickly and make a great base for the cheesy mushroom mixture.

If you're looking for meat options, roasted chicken is a great pairing for the zucchini boats. A side of Italian sausages or chicken sausages can also be a flavorful addition, as grilled or roasted sausages add a hearty and slightly spicy element to the meal. Browned ground meat — such as ground beef, turkey, or pork — can be mixed into the mushroom stuffing for a meatier version of the zucchini boats. Sliced and seared steak strips, especially tender cuts like sirloin or filet, can be served alongside the zucchini boats. Crispy bacon strips or crumbled bacon bits can be sprinkled on top of the zucchini boats for an extra layer of smoky flavor.

Can you make cheesy mushroom zucchini boats in advance?

You can prepare cheesy mushroom zucchini boats in advance, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. While you can scoop out the zucchini and prepare the boats in advance, it's best to keep them in the refrigerator and fill them just before baking. Zucchini can release moisture, and they may become overly soggy if they sit too long with the filling.

If you want to prepare a larger batch and freeze some for later, assemble the zucchini boats but skip the baking step. Place them on a baking sheet in the freezer until they're firm, then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. When you're ready to enjoy them, bake from frozen and add a few minutes to the bake time.

You can also prepare the mushroom and cheese filling in advance. Sauté the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and other ingredients, and store the mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to use, fill each zucchini boat and bake according to the recipe instructions.

How do you store cheesy mushroom zucchini boats, and how should you reheat them?

Before storing, allow the zucchini boats to cool to room temperature. Place any leftover zucchini boats in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2–3 days. To reheat them, place the boats in the preheated oven at 350 F for approximately 15–20 minutes or until they're heated through. You may want to cover them with foil to prevent excessive browning or drying out. Check the internal temperature to ensure they're heated to your desired level. It should be around 165 F for food safety (per USDA).

Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave, although the texture may not be as crispy as when baked. For this, place the zucchini boats on a microwave-safe plate and heat them in 30-second intervals until they're hot all the way through. Remember that zucchini boats might lose some of their original texture when reheated, but they'll still be delicious. Enjoy your leftovers!