Cheesy Grilled Zucchini Boats

September 8, 2020

These Cheesy Grilled Zucchini Boats are the zucchini craze you need to get behind! Tender summer zucchini is stuffed with cream cheese and Italian sausage, drizzled with pesto, and topped with loads of melty mozzarella.

Zucchini Boats

This simple, 5-ingredient recipe is ready in under 30 minutes and kills as a main course, impresses as an appetizer, or plays the perfect starring role as a side dish. Honestly, I can’t think of a time that would be inappropriate to make and eat these. I even had some the next morning for breakfast. It’s a versatile recipe that pleases anytime of the day.

Zucchini is great as a side dish; I love crisp Grilled Zucchini with most of my BBQ. But sometimes zucchini can get a little boring or bland. That’s where these zucchini boats come it. Add a little sausage, cheese, pesto, and seasoning, and BAM! Flavor attack.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

If you’re in middle of summer/beginning of autumn, you (or your neighbors) likely have an abundance of zucchini. If you’re like me and frantically trying to use up ALL THE ZUCCHINI, this recipe is a tasty way to go.

Not only are these stuffed zucchini boats a unique way to enjoy your seasonal crop of garden zucchini, they’re a great way to sneak in some veggies with your BBQ. The zucchini has a perfect bite to it to compliment the creamy cheese and savory sausage. Got any picky eaters in your house? Kids who won’t eat veggies? Try serving these stuffed zucchini boats on the grill. I betcha the kids won’t even know they’re eating vegetables. 

How to Make Zucchini Boats

Ready to make your own delicious zucchini boats? Here’s the step-by-step process. For a full, printable recipe card, scroll below!

  1. Turn on the grill. Preheat your grill to High heat (around 400-450 degrees F). Preheat a 12″ cast iron skillet in the grill.
  2. Make the filling. Cook the ground sausage in the preheated skillet (don’t forget the oven mitts!). Drain the fat and stir in softened cream cheese.
  3. Stuff the zucchini. Make the zucchini boats by using a spoon to scrape out the seeds and pulp to form a boat shape in the zucchini. Spoon the filling into each boat. Spread 1/2 Tablespoon of basil pesto on the top of the filling, and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  4. Grill! Place the prepared zucchini boats directly on the grill grates of your grill. Close the lid, and grill for 4-5 minutes. Rotate the boats (to prevent any hot spots from overcooking some of the boats), close the lid, and cook for 4-5 more minutes. Remove the zucchini boats from the grill when the cheese has melted and the zucchini is tender, but still has a bit of a bite to it.
  5. Serve. Allow the boats to cool slightly before serving with some chopped Italian parsley.

It doesn’t get much easier than that, I tell ya! Easy, fast, and only 5 ingredients?! Make sure to bookmark this recipe page. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner!

What to Serve with Zucchini Boats?

Wanting to make these zucchini boats a main course, but not sure what to serve with them? Try some grilled fruit, baked potatoes, or tasty bread for a full meal!

Grilled Zucchini Boat Recipe

Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own zucchini boats at home. If you’re looking for the ultimate way to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero, join my members-only group The Grill Squad for full access to all my meat, rubs, sauces, and meat buying masterclasses, podcasts, and so much more.

Making good food should be easy, and Hey Grill Hey is here to help! Over at Patio Provisions, we have sauces, rubs, and more to save you time and energy when you’re busy at the grill. Check it out today!

Two cheesy grilled zucchini boats stacked on a wooden cutting board.

Cheesy Grilled Zucchini Boats

These Cheesy Grilled Zucchini Boats are the zucchini craze you need to get behind! Tender summer zucchini is stuffed with cream cheese and Italian sausage, drizzled with pesto, and topped with loads of melty mozzarella.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 10 mins
Total Time : 25 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 846kcal


  • 4 medium zucchini (sliced in half lengthwise)
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage (sweet or hot, whichever you like)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 Tablespoons basil pesto
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Preheat the grill. Preheat your grill to High heat (400-450 degrees F). Place a 12" cast iron skillet on your grill and allow that to preheat as well.
  • Make the sausage filling. Cook the ground sausage in the skillet until golden brown. Drain off the rendered fat and then stir in the softened cream cheese until evenly incorporated with the sausage.
  • Stuff the zucchini. Use a spoon to scrape out and discard the seeds and pulp from inside the zucchini to form the boat shape. Spoon the cream cheese sausage filling into each of the zucchini boats. Spread about 1/2 Tablespoon of basil pesto on top of the sausage mixture in each boat. Sprinkle each boat with 1/4 cup of the shredded mozzarella.
  • Grill the zucchini boats. Place the stuffed zucchini boats onto the grill and close the lid. Grill for 4-5 minutes, then rotate the boats around the grill to avoid any hot spots. Close the lid and grill for 4-5 more minutes. You want the cheese to be melty and the zucchini to be tender-crisp. It should be softened, but still firm enough to remove from the grill to your serving tray without falling apart.
  • Remove from the grill and serve. Promptly remove the zucchini from the grill. Top with chopped Italian parsley before serving, if desired.


Calories: 846kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 74g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 194mg | Sodium: 1518mg | Potassium: 919mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1834IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 414mg | Iron: 3mg
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**This post was originally published in August 2017. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

Cheesy Grilled Zucchini Boats

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