Easy Vegan Zucchini Boats | Minimalist Baker Recipes

Fork and knife on a plate of Italian-Inspired Zucchini Boats

Our vegan sausage knows no bounds, and zucchini is no exception. Though we’ve done zucchini noodle pasta in the past, zucchini boats felt more substantive. After all, they can be stuffed with goodies and baked!

This versatile dish can be served as a main, or paired with pasta dishes, salads, pizza, and more! The best part? Just 10 simple ingredients required!

Slicing into a zucchini surrounded by vegan sausage, onion, vegan parmesan, red pepper flakes, and marinara

Start by halving your zucchinis lengthwise and removing the seeds to make room for the filling. For added color, season zucchini and sear in a skillet. This helps soften them slightly and creates more flavor and texture.

Baking pan of zucchini boats with marinara

For the filling, we sautéed onion and garlic for flavor and added red pepper flake for some heat.

Then we added our fan favorite, whole-food-based Easy Vegan Sausage and crisped it up a bit in the skillet. Store-bought vegan sausages would also work here, but we prefer the crumbly texture and complex flavors of homemade.

Marinara sauce is then added to the zucchini boats along with the sausage mixture.

Baking pan with three Zucchini Boats sprinkled with vegan parmesan

Lastly, the zucchini boats are sprinkled with vegan parmesan cheese and baked until tender, golden brown, and slightly crispy. Swoon!

Garnish with fresh basil for an extra pop of green and freshness.

Vintage spoon resting in a pan of Vegan Zucchini Boats

We hope you LOVE this recipe! It’s:

SUPER flavorful
& Delicious!

While hearty enough to be served as an entrée, these zucchini boats would also work well alongside other Italian-inspired dishes.

What to Serve with Zucchini Boats

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Fork spearing a halved Italian-Inspired zucchini boat

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 50 minutes

Servings 6 (Boats)

Course Entrée or Side

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan

Freezer Friendly No

Does it keep? 2-3 Days


  • 3 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1-2 tsp avocado oil (if avoiding oil, omit)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 healthy pinch red pepper flake


  • 2 Tbsp oil (or sub water but double the amount)
  • 1/2 cup diced white or red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake (reduce or omit for less heat)
  • 1 ¼ cup Easy Vegan Sausage (or sub store-bought)
  • 1 cup Favorite Marinara (or sub store-bought)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Vegan Parmesan Cheese
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and set out a baking dish large enough to hold your halved zucchinis (as original recipe is written, a 9×13 should be sufficient — or use a parchment-lined baking sheet).
  • Halve zucchini lengthwise and use a spoon or measuring spoon to scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh (enough to comfortably fit ~1/2 cup of sauce and vegan sausage).

  • Spray or brush the zucchini with a bit of oil (just enough to lightly coat all sides), and season each with salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flake.

  • Heat a large skillet (we prefer cast iron) over medium-high heat. Once hot, lay the zucchini cut-side down (only as many as will fit comfortably at once), and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the edges appear browned. This will create more flavor and start to help soften the zucchini before baking. Once all zucchini have been seared (on the cut side), transfer to your baking dish cut-side up.
  • To the same skillet over medium heat, add oil (or water), onion, garlic, and pepper flake and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Turn down heat if browning too quickly.

  • Add vegan sausage and crumble into small chunks with your spatula or wooden spoon so it cooks more evenly. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the sausage has begun to brown and crisp up a bit. Turn off heat and set aside.

  • Divide your marinara evenly between the zucchini boats and top with the sausage mixture. Then use a spoon to mix the two a bit (keeping the sausage mostly on top).

  • Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes (or until golden brown, crispy, and the squash is tender). Depending on the size of your squash and how tender you prefer it, you may need to bake longer.
  • Serve as is, or with additional vegan parmesan cheese and red pepper flake. Fresh basil would also be a delicious garnish.

  • Best when fresh. Store leftovers up to 2-3 days and reheat in a 375 degree F (190 C) oven until hot. Not freezer friendly.

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of vegan parmesan cheese, with 1/2 batch homemade vegan sausage, and without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 boat Calories: 203 Carbohydrates: 18.5 g Protein: 5.8 g Fat: 13.1 g Saturated Fat: 1.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.45 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 591 mg Potassium: 599 mg Fiber: 4.6 g Sugar: 5.9 g Vitamin A: 521 IU Vitamin C: 27.22 mg Calcium: 64.86 mg Iron: 1.75 mg

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