Zucchini Boats – Connor Cooks

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
5 Min Read

Zucchini Boats

By Connor Forbes

This is my second summer with a garden. The first year was just figuring things out and trying to get in a rhythm of the garden. Organizing, planting seeds, watering, learning, and hoping for things to grow. It was mostly a learning year. 

Now in my second year, there is still a world of learning going on, but I am much more comfortable with getting plants to survive and even thrive. 

What is really thriving in my garden right now? Crook neck squash and Zucchini. And tomatoes and a smattering of other vegetables and herbs as well. 

The heat has helped my well-established plants. But has hindered my efforts to plant new seeds. So, I am in a holding pattern there. I will likely plant starters inside and have sprouts ready to put in the ground come September when the weather starts to cool down a bit.

Because I have so much squash and zucchini, I have been looking for different ways to cook it. I have been cooking it in some form almost every night. Roasted, fried, sauteed, blended into meat sauce, you name it.

In fact, I have so much, I have been growing tired of it. I have even thought about pulling it out of my garden to make space for new crops. It has taken over about 2/3 of my raised bed. But without much success planting seeds right now, and other plants benefitting from the shade they provide, I think that it would be premature. So, in it stays giving me tons of squash and zucchini on the daily. 

The previous night, I had made pasta and meat sauce and had a bunch of sauce left over. I didn’t want it to go to waste so I racked my brain for options. The squash was staring me right in the face. “Make squash boats” it said. And so, I did. Let’s Make squash boats!

For The Tomato Sauce (make vegetarian by removing the meat)


  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey or ground beef
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • 5 heads garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

To Make

Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven on a stovetop over medium heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat up until it is shimmering. Add the onions and cook until translucent, stir occasionally. Add in the ground meat over the onions and brown a couple of minutes, then flip and brown for a couple more minutes on the other side. With a spatula break up the meat into small bits. Add the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Add in the garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, salt and water and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

For the Squash Boats


  • 1 zucchini or crook neck squash per person
  • tomato sauce
  • rosemary (optional)
  • parmesan
  • basil to garnish

To Make

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds to make a boat. Place on to a sheet pan. Fill the zucchini with tomato sauce. Sprinkle rosemary over boats. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Remove foil and cover boats in parmesan. Switch oven to broil. Broil 5- 10 minutes until parmesan is bubbling and slightly browned. Pull out of the oven. Let cool for 5- 10 minutes. Garnish with basil. And EAT!

Find more Connor Cooks recipes on www.zapinin.com/connor-cooks.

Zucchini Boats - Connor Cooks
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