Dice it and fry it, grate it and bake it,  no matter how you slice it, zucchini is one of those vegetables you can put in just about any dish. It’s perfect for vegetable lasagna, in quick breads, or battered and fried. Well, now you can add my Italian Pesto & Balsamic Zucchini Boats to your arsenal of recipes, especially if they are growing in abundance in your garden! One bite and your mouth will ooze with flavor. Super easy to make and delicious for a snack, appetizer, or main dish.

Hollowed Zucchini Boats
Scoop out the insides of each zucchini slice to allow room for the pesto mix.

You can use a large melon baller or a spoon to scoop out the inside of each slice. This gives room for the delicious filling that gives this dish so much flavor. I took a thin horizontal slice off the bottom to help the “boats” stay secure on the tray without rolling to the side.

Making Pesto
Making chunky pesto is as easy as chop, chop!

Next chop up the fresh herbs and walnuts, add fresh virgin olive oil or avocado oil, and a little salt and pepper and you have a delicious filling for your Italian Pesto & Balsamic Zucchini Boats! Pretty easy so far, huh?

Pesto Zucchini Boats
Chunky pesto is oh so delicious in these zucchini boats!

This would be a great recipe to get your kids or grand-kids involved in making. They go together so quick and easy.

Mozzarella Zucchini Boats
Add a little mozzarella for a true Italian taste.

Sprinkle the top of the chunky pesto with fresh mozzarella and you’re almost done!

Italian Pesto & Balsamic Zucchini Boats
The delicious final touches before heading to the oven.

Take your half-sliced tomatoes and lay them sideways on top of the mozzarella. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar (my favorite) just before placing in the oven.

Baking Italian Pesto Zucchini Boats
Bake them in the oven and indulge in the yummy smell wafting from the oven.

Seriously, so delicious! Hopefully you have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now just waiting to slide in the oven. I made these while my husband was away on a business trip. I ate one for dinner and heated the other the next day for lunch. It tasted a little like a veggie pizza. Mmm, I can’t wait to make them again and have my hubby try them. Speaking of hubby, we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this past week. Quite a milestone in today’s day and age. And it’s nice to know that after 30 years he’s not tired of my cooking yet!

Italian Pesto & Balsamic Zucchini Boats

Serves 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Dietary Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Main Dish, Side Dish
Region Italian
One bite of these Italian Pesto & Balsamic Zucchini Boats and your mouth with be bursting with delicious Italian flavor! Easy to make, easier to chow down!



  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (packed) (finely chopped)
  • 4 sprigs oregano (finely chopped)
  • 4 sprigs thyme (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese (finely grated)
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Avocado Oil


  • 3 Medium Zucchini (sliced lengthwise and hollowed out)
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarello (grated)
  • 12-16 Cherry Tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (Drizzle)


Step 1
Chop basil, oregano, thyme and walnuts. Place in a small bowl
Step 2
Add shredded cheese, minced garlic and olive or avocado oil to nuts and herbs. Mix
Step 3
Salt & pepper to taste.
Step 4
slice zucchinis in half length-wise. Slice a small strip off the bottom of zucchini to stabilize it on the cooking tray. Using a melon baller or a spoon, scoop out the center of each zucchini half.
Step 5
Place zucchini on a cookie tray scooped side up. Fill scooped out area with "pesto".
Step 6
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Step 7
Slice cherry tomatoes in half and arrange evenly on top of boat.
Step 8
Drizzle boats with balsamic vinegar.
Step 9
Place tray in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until zucchini is soft and tomatoes are slightly brown on the edges.


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