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Grilled Zucchini Boats

So here we are in prime grilling season where beef, chicken, pork and seafood usually take center stage, but there are times when a vegetarian dish can share the limelight. The vegetable of choice is zucchini. It can stand up to the heat of the grill and still maintain a decent texture when hulled out like a boat. The filling adds full flavor with a combination of eggplant, portabella mushroom, tomato, chickpeas and basil to make this a very satisfying main dish. Adding the zucchini grilling boats to your summer grilling schedule is a welcome change of pace to the standard grilling fare.

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8 zucchini trim stem & root ends and halve lengthwise
2 large onions cut in 1/2″ dice
4 cloves garlic minced
2 eggplants peeled and cut in 1/2″ dice
4 tomatoes cut in 1/2″ dice
2 bunches parsley washed dried chopped
6 medium portabella mushrooms cut in 1/2″ dice
3 yellow peppers cut in 1/4″ dice yellow part only
2 bunches of basil roughly chopped
2 cups chick peas drained


1. Heat sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil. Lightly sauté onions & garlic. Season with salt. Once onions become translucent add diced tomatoes and basil.

2. Heat second sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil. Lightly sauté diced eggplant, diced yellow peppers & diced portabella mushrooms for four minutes. Season with salt. Add chick peas and sauté for another 3 minutes.

3. Combine sautéed onion mixture with sautéed eggplant mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add chopped parsley. Add 10 grinds fresh black pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

4. Let mixture cool completely wrap the mixing bowl and refrigerate.

5. Heat grill. Scoop flesh from zucchini to create boats. Brush zucchini boats with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt. Grill zucchini 3 minutes on the flesh side and 1-2 minutes on the skin side.

6. Transfer grilled zucchini to a parchment lined sheet tray and let cool. Wrap cooled sheet tray and refrigerate.

7. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Stuff zucchini with eggplant mixture heaping. Transfer to shallow pans and heat through in oven.

by: Aham Amachi
Aham is a graduate of The Restaurant School in Philadelphia. He has worked as cook at Cuvee Notre Dame in Philadelphia and Sous Chef at the former 'Stazi Milano' in Jenkintown. Currently, he is the Manager of Operations for The Philadelphia Catering Company.
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