Tuna zucchini boats

Tuna zucchini boats are a simple and healthy dish to enjoy especially in the summer. The combination of tuna and feta cheese delivers a flavourful baked zucchini dish the whole family will love. Plus, we’re pretty low on the carbs here, too!

Healthy baked zucchini boats filled with tuna and feta cheese. A summer dish the whole family will love.

Stuffed zucchini boats – or baked stuffed veggies at large – are a pretty common way to prepare vegetables in Italy. Stuffing up a vegetable with a delicious filling is probably the smartest way to get kids to appreciate new foods. Plus these are not just zucchini, these are boats! You get your kids to eat delicious boats!

While there are various recipes for the filling, tuna is a popular one in Italy. Canned tuna is an unmissable pantry item that all Italian households have. It lasts forever and you can always whip up some nice recipe with it. It is not as popular in Sweden, but as an Italian I always have my tuna stocks at home. So that I can enjoy my tuna stuffed zucchini boats anytime.

Baked zucchini boats with tuna and feta stuffing on blue plate.

How to make tuna zucchini boats

To make these stuffed zucchini you will need:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 100 g tuna (drained)
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g feta cheese
  • 40 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients needed fot tuna stuffed zucchini boats placed on a wooden tray and around.

Halve the zucchini lengthways and proceed to carve out the interior. You can use a spoon, I find it easier with an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle some salt on the carved zucchini halves and let them rest until the filling is prepared. Mince the shallots and mince the zucchini pulp. Warm the oil in a frying pan.

Carved out zucchini halves on wooden board, other chopped ingredients laid around.

Sauté the onion in the oil for 3-4 minutes, then add the minced zucchini pulp. Cook until soft, 4-5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Thoroughly drain the tuna and the feta, crush the fish with a fork and crumble the feta. For this recipe I have used a locally sourced feta-like cheese preserved in oil; regular feta (in brine) works the same. Just drain all the oil if going for a preserved version, like mine.

In a mixing bowl combine the tuna, feta, onion and zucchini mixture, and the egg. Mix with a fork in order to break the egg and incorporate it into the mixture. Stir in 30 g of breadcrumbs, saving 10 g on the side. The feta and tuna are salty, so taste before adding any extra salt. Divide mixture between the 4 zucchini halves. Sprinkle the top of each stuffed zucchini with remaining breadcrumbs and freshly cracked black pepper.

Unbaked stuffed zucchini boats.

Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes. The filling may retract from the sides of the zucchini as it bakes; a slight shrinking of the filling is to be expected. Serve your tuna zucchini boats warm.

Tuna zucchini boats served on a blue plate.Tuna zucchini boats served on a blue plate with pea shoots as decoration.

These feta and tuna zucchini boats are very easy to make, yet sometimes even the most simple recipe can deliver a truly flavourful experience. A common filling to stuffed zucchini is meat, but tuna is a great alternative, quite popular in Italy. I like to make tuna stuffed zucchini boats for dinner, to get a nutritious meal that incorporates veggies, fish and cheese and is quite low on the carbs.

Leftovers can be warmed up the following day no problem, so double the recipe and take some tuna zucchini boats in your lunch box the day after. Add a grain-based salad as side, just to make it more filling for your lunch.

Related: cream cheese and hazelnut stuffed mushrooms.

Tuna zucchini boats

Baked zucchini boats stuffed with tuna and feta cheese. Healthy, nutritious and full of flavour.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Eva


  • 2 zucchini
  • 100 g canned tuna (drained)
  • 40 g breadcrumbs (divided)
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g feta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Halve the zucchini lengthways and carve out the pulp with a spoon or scoop. Sprinkle carved zucchini halves with salt and set aside.

  2. Warm the oil in a frying pan, mince the shallots and add to the pan. Meanwhile, mince the zucchini pulp and add to softened onion. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, then remove from the heat.

  3. Drain the tuna and crush it with a fork. Crumble the feta and add it to the tuna. Combine onion and zucchini pulp mixture and give a stir. Crack in the egg and stir to combine. Lastly, stir in 30 g of breadcrumbs, saving 10 g aside. Taste test and add salt if needed.

  4. Divide mixture between the 4 zucchini halves, then sprinkle the top with remaining breadcrumbs and black pepper. Bake at 200°C (392°F) for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

You can either use tuna in oil or in brine. I tend to prefer tuna in oil, as I find it more flavourful. Regardless, properly drain the tuna before adding it to the stuffing mixture.

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