Margherita Zucchini Boats
Margherita Zucchini Boats- a light and healthy take on the delicious Margherita Pizza. One serving has just 260 calories + 16 grams of protein! (gluten-free + vegetarian with vegan option)
Isn’t it amazing how the simplest of ingredients can taste so incredible together?
These Margherita Zucchini Boats are a perfect example of that. They’re based off of the famous Italian Margherita Pizza. Those of you that have tried it know what I’m talking about. Fresh basil, ripe juicy tomatoes and creamy mozzarella make for the most basic, yet amazing combination of flavors that scream summertime.
I’ve been so fortunate to see what I have of Europe, but Italy is still sitting pretty at the top of my bucket list. One of the first things I want to do (if and when I hopefully get a chance to visit one day) is sit down at a local cafe and enjoy an authentic Margherita Pizza. Ugh, just imagining it is making me swoon!
I definitely won’t hold back from eating all the carbs if I’m given that opportunity. However, when I’m cooking a meal at home I like to mix it up with something a little healthier. That’s not to say that we don’t eat pizza at least once per week because we do. I have zero shame. But sometimes it’s nice to have an alternative for dinner that’s light and easy to make. These zucchini boats fit the bill!
They’re stuffed with fluffy quinoa mixed with garlic salt, fresh basil and olive oil, then they’re topped with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. If you don’t eat dairy, feel free to leave out the mozzarella and top them with diced avocado and balsamic syrup after they’ve finished cooking. Either way, they’re delicious and satisfying!
Margherita Zucchini Boats
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30
Cook Time: 30
Total Time: 1 hour
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed*
4 large zucchini
2 tablespoons high heat oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 ounces mozzarella**
In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with a pinch of salt plus 1 and 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat then cover with a lid and let sit for at least 10 minues. Fluff with a fork then set aside.
Meanwhile, wash and slice the stems off of each zucchini. Slice each one in half then use a metal teaspoon or a scooper to scoop the inside out, as pictured above. Grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish with one tablespoon of the oil. Brush the inside of the zucchini lightly with the oil then arrange them in the baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Once the quinoa is done cooking, add the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon garlic salt (or a mixture of garlic powder and salt) to the pot and stir to combine. Add the halved cherry tomatoes and chopped basil then stir to combine. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the zucchini boats then top with sliced mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Carefully transfer the zucchini from the baking dish to separate plates and garnish with fresh basil. Serve warm and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts are for two zucchini boats. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
*Feel free to substitute your favorite grain in place of quinoa. Barley or wheat berries would both be delicious if you’re not gluten-free!
**To make this recipe vegan, omit the mozzarella and serve with cubed avocado and balsamic syrup after cooking.
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by rating the recipe, leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!