Zucchini Pizza Boats

Zucchini Pizza Boats

You know that feeling when you are anxious about doing something because you expect it to be really hard? And then you try it and it’s not so bad after all?  That is the feeling I had about CrossFit this week.

Remember last week when I was telling you how scared I was about transitioning into the “real” CrossFit classes?  Heck, I even created my own green tea and chia energy drink because I was so freaked out that I wouldn’t survive the workouts!

After completing two of them now I can tell you that yes, they’re tough, but they’re not impossible and they are completely worth it. The workouts are really challenging (in a good way!) and you can’t beat the sense of community and support. I know CrossFit isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve been curious about trying it, don’t let my own panic from last week scare you off. You can totally do it. :)

On another note, you know that feeling when you are so confident about doing something because you expect it to go really smoothly? And then you try it and it turns out to be a total mess? That is how I am with making pizza.

Have I ever told you how terrible I am at making pizza dough? Like really terrible. Last December I was on a big pizza kick and made several attempts at pizza crust with whole wheat flour and spelt flour. It was a big bust. Flour everywhere. Dough not rising. The oven causing the smoke alarms to go off… repeatedly. I even tried buying the premade dough packs from Trader Joe’s with no luck.

So, now that I’ve made some changes to my diet and aren’t eating gluten/grains, I was considering creating some sort of almond flour pizza. Then I remembered how terrible I am at making pizza dough and decided to spare myself the pain. After all, why go through all that trouble when there’s a vegetable in season right now that makes an amazing and healthy base for a “pizza”? Enter Zucchini Pizza Boats…


Zucchini Pizza Boats

Zucchini Pizza Boats

Zucchini Pizza Boats

Start by slicing the ends off the zucchini, cutting it in half lengthwise, and then scooping out the seeds. Then fill up with your favorite sauce and a variety of toppings! Since I wasn’t adding cheese to my pizza, I mixed nutritional yeast with my marinara sauce to create a “cheesy” base.  I also added some red onions and kalmata olives for a little extra flavor and color.

These pizzas are perfect for this time of year since zucchini, tomatoes, and basil are in season – such a great combo! Feel free to adapt the recipe and add your own toppings of choice! There are so many fun combinations.

Now that you’ve seen how easy it is, you have no excuse not to enjoy this oh-so-delicious and healthy version of your favorite comfort food!

Psst: If you like this recipe, you should check out The Inspired by Zucchini Cookbook for other zucchini pasta recipes for paleo/primal diets and folks with food allergies/dietary restrictions.

The Inspired by Zucchini Cookbook

Zucchini Pizza Boats
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • ½ cup marinara or pizza sauce
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup kalmata olives, chopped
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside seeds.
  3. To help them lay flat on the pan, you can also cut a piece off the bottom of the "boat" to create a flat surface.
  4. Mix tomato sauce and nutritional yeast (if using).
  5. Spread a light layer of sauce (about 1 tablespoon) inside each zucchini
  6. Top with onions, olives, and tomatoes.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until zucchini is tender (but not mushy).
  8. Top with basil and serve.


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  1. Samantha says

    I made these for dinner last night and they were really delicious! My boyfriend had me add some pepperoni and he sprinkled a little cheese onto his halves, but I was perfectly happy with mine (red pepper tomato sauce, black olives, a rainbow of cherry tomatoes). So easy, satisfying, and guilt-free!

    • Sonnet says

      The funny thing is I used to hate zucchini! It’s amazing how our taste buds sometimes change without us even noticing. They’ve got so many good toppings this way I don’t think the zucchini flavor is as noticeable so that’s a plus. :)

  2. Tasha says

    I am having a homemade pizza party in two weeks, and these will make an excellent addition to it! I can’t wait to try them out!

  3. Becky Kirchner says

    I do something similar but use portobello mushrooms and pesto. They are DELICIOUS! Can’t wait to try these tasty tidbits. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Roxannie says

    This was sooooo delicious! Thank you for sharing.
    My husband loved it and I will be making it again tonight. This is a way to make the usual vegetable into something interesting.

  5. Sara Michelle says

    Soooo delish! I did a variation and it turned out great! I did a tomato basil marinara sauce and definitely used the nutritional yeast. I used cherry tomatoes, shallots, and baby bella mushrooms! a little basil and red pepper flake to top it off! So incredibly easy! Thank you for a quick and easy meal to add to my recipes!

  6. Joni says

    I just made these and they were outstanding! I put low-fat mozzarella cheese on mine and honestly just as good, if not better than regular pizza! My husband ate them as well and after joking that adding a little peperoni would be great, he scarfed them down and said he would definitely eat them again.

    My sister just wrote a book that I think you might be interested in. I am happy to send you a free copy. The book is called Before the Store, A guide to knowing what’s in your grocery cart. by Jaclyn Taverna and Jennifer Lucas, both NP’s.

  7. says

    Oh wow! That looks absolutely delicious. I love how it has tons of veggies, and is loaded with flavor. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Catherine says

    These look absolutely amazing: beautiful, and simple to make. I love it!

    Are you willing to share your recipe and that gorgeous, gorgeous photo, in exchange for a link back to your site? Please email me, if so! Thank you!

  9. says

    Do you have any nutritional values to share? We monitor our intake quite rigorously (sodium and sugar especially). Just curious as to what the counts may be…also calories.

    • Sonnet says

      Great question, sorry I don’t currently have a calorie counter or nutritional values attached to recipes. It’s definitely something I’m looking into! :)

  10. Sandy Carpenter says

    I’ve made these a few times now since going dairy and grain free 6 weeks ago. I still eat meat so I added ground turkey to the sauce plus the nutritional yeast is so yummy. My daughter loves it too. Thanks for this awesome quickly-becoming-one-of-my-favorite recipes!

  11. Younky says

    I am going to grow zucchini ……and use this recipe….delicious way of using a sometimes bland vege….very useful when I have heaps….homemade pizza sauce…toppings and a sprinkle of cheese and herbs…….yum no…thanks for recipe..

    • Sonnet says

      Nutritional yeast can be found at the health food store. It’s a by-product of making molasses and has a “cheesy” flavor to it – even though it contains no dairy. It’s often used in recipes to replace the flavor of cheese and add extra nutrients. Hope that helps! :)

  12. Bear says

    My mum gave me a pair of zucchini when I visited her this weekend. This is going to be part of my lunch for the next few days. I never would have thought of doing this with zucchini, thank you for sharing this lovely recipe!

  13. says

    Hi Sonnet,

    Thank you for ALL that you do! What do you recommend to replace the marinara sauce for the zucchini boats with as sadly, I can’t have tomatoes or sauce at the moment and man do I love marinara… :(…

    • Sonnet says

      Hi Laurie,
      Aww, thank you! :) Maybe try subbing with a pesto (it can be dairy-free if needed) or a garlic-infused oil of some sort? Hope that helps!

  14. zulfiya says

    I cooked this zukkini this evening as a started , all my family liked it!
    Thank you for the healthy and tasty recipe.

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