Zucchini is a no-brainer food. It’s super tasty, full of antioxidants and other beneficial vitamins and minerals that reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. A few servings of zucchini each week can boost your body’s immune system and literally slow down the aging process (yes please!). It’s also incredibly versatile and can be used as a healthy substitution for certain calorie-laden, nutrient-poor foods. Essentially, zucchini is a vegetable magician. The Houdini of the vegetable world, if you will. It can transform a high carb recipe into a satisfying, tasty, and filling low-carb doppelganger. I love using zucchini to transform some of my favorite comfort foods, like pasta dishes and fries. And now pizza!
These Zucchini Pizza Boats are super tasty and are a great comfort food hack for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake, or those on a clean eating or weight loss plan. Do they taste exactly like pizza? No, but they are very tasty and are close enough that they do help satisfy the pizza craving. These pizza boats are a super easy way to cut calories without sacrificing flavor. This is key, because sacrificing flavor often leads to over-eating. Using zucchini in place of refined carbohydrates, like processed pizza dough, dramatically reduces not only the processed foods in your diet but also the simple carbohydrates. Don’t get me wrong, I do eat some simple carbs, but I try to keep them to a minimum. I have a big appetite and don’t like feeling hungry, so I like to be smart with my carbs to maximize both the quantity and quality of the fuel for my body.
With a handful of simple, healthy ingredients, you’ll be able to have yummy “pizza” goodness guilt-free in less than 30 minutes. These are great as healthy little appetizers, or a meal. My family and I were very pleasantly surprised by how much we loved these. I think you’ll love it too. Try ’em!
- 6 small zucchini (2 1/2 lbs)
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup marinara sauce (optional - I did not use this)
- 1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan-Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup roma tomatoes (or turkey pepperoni, sausage, or other toppings you like)
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (I used dried and it was still very tasty)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, set aside.
- Cut each zucchini into halves length-wise (if they don't lie flat trim a thin portion from bottoms so that they will lie mostly flat).
- Carve a little out of the center of each zucchini halve with a spoon (optional).
- Pat insides dry with paper towels (cut portion).
- Align on prepared baking sheet.
- Lightly sprinkle minced garlic over tops of zucchini.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- If you are using marinara sauce, smooth about 1 Tbsp marinara sauce over each zucchini, leaving a small rim near edges uncoated.
- Place chopped tomatoes in the "boat".
- Sprinkle cheese evenly on top.
- Top with any additional topping, like turkey pepperoni.
- Sprinkle oregano on top.
- Bake in preheated oven 15 - 18 minutes (bake time will vary depending on how thick your zucchini are and how crisp/tender you want them).
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
- Serve warm. Enjoy!
- These are even good as leftovers, the next day. That is, if there are any left! Get creative with your toppings!