Puff Pastry Topped Zucchini Boats are hollowed out zucchini filled and baked with marinara sauce, meatballs, and cheese, and then baked some more topped with a puff pastry. Try my Pigs in a Blanket for another delicious recipe with buttery and flaky puff pastries.

Close up of Puff Pastry Covered Zucchini Boat
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Puff Pastry Topped Zucchini Boats

It just so happens to be zucchini season here in Minnesota.  If you have ever grown zucchini in your garden you know that it just keeps producing.  Let’s just say there is no shortage of zucchini around here. So, the more recipes that use zucchini, the better! And this recipe is almost like a meatball sub, but with a zucchini and puff pastry holding in all the deliciousness.

Cheesy Meatball Zucchini Boats Recipe

Choose large zucchini for this recipe. If you are purchasing them from the supermarket, they may not be as large as if you grew them. Or, check out your local farmer’s market.

Ingredients (full recipe below)

  • Zucchini – (Courgette) We obviously prefer to use our garden zucchini, but if you have to purchase at the supermarket, select medium-sized zucchini that are firm and feel heavy for their size. They should be green or yellow with shiny skin.
  • Marinara sauce
  • Meatballs
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Puff pastry sheets
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter

The first thing you will have to do for this recipe is to prepare the zucchini.

Adding Puff Pastry to Zucchini Boats

How to Make Zucchini Boats

The zucchini holds all the sauce, meat, and cheese, so the first thing you will need to do is make zucchini boats. 

  1. First, rinse the zucchini and cut off both ends.
  2. Next, cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise.
  3. Then, using a spoon, scrape out the insides of the zucchini halves, making sure you do not go through the bottom.
  4. Place the zucchini boats on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  5. If needed, you can take a thin slice off the bottoms of the zucchini halves to give them more of a flat surface. 

Puff Pastry Zucchini Boat in a Casserole Pan

How to a Zucchini Boat

Once you have the zucchini cut in half and hollowed out, it’s time to fill them. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Equally, divide the marinara sauce, frozen meatballs, and shredded mozzarella cheese (in that order) between the four halves of zucchini. Bake for 45 minutes.

IMPORTANT: The larger boats need to bake a bit longer… which how this recipe is written. If you are using small zucchini, please start checking for doneness at 30 minutes. When the zucchini is done baking it will be soft, appearing dry on the outside edges, and very moist and almost translucent on the inside. The skin (if you are using green zucchini) will be darker.

After the 45 minutes of bake time, remove the zucchini boats from the oven. Cover each zucchini boat with half a sheet of a puff pastry. You may need to stretch the pastry out a little bit so it covers the entire zucchini. Brush the egg over the tops of the pastries, adding some salt and pepper to taste.

Put the zucchini boats back into the oven to bake for another 20 minutes, or until golden brown and the pastry is puffy (not see-through). Brush the tops with melted butter. Slice each zucchini boat into three pieces (depending on the size of the zucchini) and serve.

One Piece of Meatball Zucchini Boat Covered in Puff Pastry

More Meatball Recipes

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Pastry Topped Zucchini Boats

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Pastry Topped Zucchini Boats are hollowed out zucchini filled and baked with marinara sauce, meatballs, and cheese, and then baked some more topped with a puff pastry.


  • 2 large (10-12 inches each) zucchini
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 32 homestyle meatballs, frozen
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 package (2 10-inch) puff pastry sheets, thawed and cut in half
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Wash each zucchini under cold or lukewarm water and slice the ends off of each.
  • Cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise, and use a large spoon to hollow out the centers of each zucchini half and set on a large, foil-lined baking sheet. (You could also use a large casserole dish if you have one big enough.)
  • Equally, divide and add the marinara sauce, meatballs, and cheese to each of the four hollowed-out zucchini.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cover each zucchini with half a sheet of puff pastry.
  • Brush the egg on the top of each pastry, adding salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Return the zucchini to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Remove the zucchini from the oven and brush the tops with the melted butter.
  • Cut each zucchini boat into about 3 pieces and serve.

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