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Change up weekly pizza night with this 30-minute meal! These Pepperoni Pizza Zucchini Boats, paired with garlic and butter rice, are a favorite dinner recipe!
Everyone tells my husband all the time that he is such a lucky guy. I know that these friends and family are referring to the fact that he is lucky to have such a beautiful, smart, independent, caring and talented woman to spend his life with; but they are also referring to the fact that I prepare amazing over the top desserts or delicious dinners, like these Pepperoni Pizza Zucchini Boats, on a regular basis. lol!
I am so grateful that all of our friends and family are so loving, complementary and supportive. But it wasn’t until a few years ago, that I realized that the reason that so many people told my husband he was lucky to get so many delicious home cooked meals and treats, was because in this day in age, with long commutes and over loaded schedules, that a lot of families don’t have time to make a home cooked dinner, let alone sit down to dinner together as a family.
And even though I am a food blogger and former chef, I get it. Because the truth is, we have busy schedules too. In fact, the past month or so, it seems like we’ve been on opposite schedules. I’ve had various work commitments or meetings a few nights a week and it seems like my husband has had evening or weekend work commitments the opposite days.
Or that we are both working so hard, to better our life in the future, and are often so tired when it comes time to cook dinner, that we don’t want to cook or clean up.
But that’s exactly why I started this blog. I not only wanted a place to put all of my favorite family recipes, but to show people that you can prepare a homemade meal and sit down to dinner together as a family, even on a busy weeknight.
One of our favorite meals, especially in the summer when zucchini is at its prime, is zucchini boats. They are so easy to prepare and are a great way to transform some of our favorite dishes.
Our recent favorite zucchini boat concoction are these Pepperoni Pizza Zucchini Boats. Not only are these faster to prepare than having pizza delivered (seriously from start to finish, these only take 30-minutes) I love how fresh and flavorful they are!
To keep this weeknight dinner recipe simple, I paired these zucchini boats with some Uncle Ben’s® Garlic & Butter rice that I got when grabbing groceries at Walmart. Rice is one of our favorite dinner side dishes, and I like how these new Flavor Infusions™ come in a variety of flavors (like Uncle Ben’s® Chicken & Herb and Uncle Ben’s® Spanish Style), have no preservatives or artificial flavors, and the best part? they are ready in 10 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights!
I hope you like zucchini boats as much as we do, because I have several more zucchini boat recipes in my arsenal that I’ll be sharing soon. But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this version and feel inspired to make dinner at home, at least a few nights a week!
Helpful Tips and Information:
Serving Suggestion: I served these Pepperoni Pizza Zucchini Boats with a side of Uncle Ben’s® Garlic & Butter rice but the Uncle Ben’s® Parmesan & Butter rice would be equally delicious with this recipe. You could also serve this with a simple garden or Caesar salad.
Recipe Substitutions: I used plain marinara sauce that I “doctored” with fresh onion and garlic. However, you could use your favorite flavored jarred pasta sauce and omit the onion and garlic called for in the recipe below. Also, if you want to add more protein to this dish, mix some cooked ground Italian sausage into the marinara sauce filling.
- 4 medium zucchini
- ½ tablespoon oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup mini pepperoni
- For serving:
- 2 cups prepared Uncle Ben’s® Garlic & Butter rice
- ¼ cup parmesan, optional
- Fresh basil or parsley, optional
- Preheat broiler to high. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out the center flesh of the zucchini, leaving the outer skin approximately 1/4-inch thick.
- Place hollowed out zucchini into boiling water and boil for 5-8 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Remove zucchini from water and transfer to a paper towel lined plate and pat dry.
- Transfer boiled zucchini to prepared baking sheet and set aside.
- Drain water from pot and return pot to burner. Add oil and heat to medium high. place zucchini cut size up on prepared baking sheet. Add onion and cook until translucent, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and chopped zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add marinara sauce and cook until heated through, about for 3-4 minutes.
- Using a spoon, fill each zucchini boat with approximately 2-3 tablespoons marinara mixture. Top marinara with grated mozzarella cheese and top mozzarella with desired amount of mini pepperoni.
- Broil zucchini boats for 2-3 minutes or until cheese melted.
- Serve with prepared Uncle Ben’s® Garlic & Butter rice and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and chopped parsley or basil, if desired.