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Air Fryer Zucchini Boats: A Quick and Healthy Snack Idea

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Air Fryer Zucchini Boats

If you’re looking for a quick, healthy meal, air fryer zucchini boats might be your new go-to. They are easy to make, packed with fresh summer flavors, and perfect for busy weeknights.

You only need a few simple ingredients to put this dish together. Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking to add more veggies to your diet, this recipe offers a tasty solution that doesn’t require much prep time. Plus, you can customize the fillings to fit keto and low-carb diets.

With the right combination of spices and toppings, your zucchini boats will be bursting with flavor. They make for a satisfying main course but also work well as a side dish or appetizer. Enjoy a nutritious and delicious meal that the whole family will love!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make delicious air fryer zucchini boats, you’ll need the following ingredients. Here are some possible substitutes to adjust the recipe to your liking:

Ingredients

  • Zucchini: 4 medium-sized, halved lengthwise.
  • Olive Oil: 1 tablespoon.
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced.
  • Tomato Sauce or Crushed Tomatoes: 1 cup.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: 1 cup, shredded.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: 1/2 cup.

Possible Substitutes

  • Zucchini: Instead of zucchini, you can use yellow squash.
  • Olive Oil: Use avocado oil or melted butter.
  • Garlic: Substitute with garlic powder if fresh garlic is not available.
  • Tomato Sauce or Crushed Tomatoes: Swap with marinara sauce or even salsa.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Try cheddar, fontina, or Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Use regular breadcrumbs or crushed crackers.

Optional Add-ins

  • Herbs: Oregano, basil, and parsley for extra flavor.
  • Protein: Cooked quinoa, ground meat, or chicken.
  • Veggies: Bell peppers, onions, or corn.

Customize the recipe based on what you have on hand or your dietary needs. It’s easy to make adjustments while keeping the dish tasty.

Instructions


  1. Prepare the Zucchini
    Slice your zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh to create a boat shape.



  2. Make the Filling
    In a bowl, mix your desired filling ingredients like cooked quinoa, chopped veggies, and shredded cheese. You can also use combinations like shredded chicken, hot sauce, and melted butter.



  3. Stuff the Zucchini
    Spoon the filling mixture into each zucchini boat. Ensure they are evenly filled.



  4. Preheat the Air Fryer
    Set your air fryer to 350°F (or 176°C). Let it preheat for a few minutes.



  5. Cook the Zucchini Boats
    Place the stuffed zucchini boats in the air fryer basket. Cook for 8 minutes. If using cheese, top with extra cheese and cook for an additional 2 minutes to melt.



  6. Check for Doneness
    Open the air fryer and check to see if the zucchini is cooked through. Adjust cooking time by 1-2 minutes if needed, based on the size of your zucchini.



  7. Serve and Enjoy!
    Carefully remove the zucchini boats from the air fryer. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your delicious creation!


Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips


  • Choose the Right Zucchini: Look for zucchini that are firm and free of blemishes. Medium-sized ones are easier to work with.



  • Prepping the Zucchini: Scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Pat the inside dry with a paper towel to help the ingredients stick better.



  • Flavor Boost: Lightly mist the zucchini with oil and sprinkle with salt to enhance the taste.


Tricks


  • Even Cooking: Make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. Leave enough space between the zucchini boats for proper air circulation.



  • Cheese Melting: Add cheese halfway through cooking. This helps to get a melted and slightly crispy top without burning.



  • Variations: Experiment with different fillings like quinoa, shredded chicken, or ground beef with marinara sauce.


Storing


  • Refrigeration: Store leftover zucchini boats in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll stay good for up to 3 days.



  • Reheating: Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F for about 3-4 minutes. This keeps them crisp instead of soggy.



  • Freezing: For long-term storage, freeze the zucchini boats. Place them on a baking sheet to freeze individually, then transfer to a freezer bag. They can last up to 3 months. Reheat directly from frozen in the air fryer, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.


Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

There are many ways to make air fryer zucchini boats more exciting. Here are a few ideas:

Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

  • Mix shredded chicken with hot sauce and melted butter.
  • Fill the zucchini boats with the buffalo chicken mixture.
  • Top with blue cheese or ranch dressing before serving.

Marinara Meat Sauce Zucchini Boats

  • Brown ground beef with onions, Italian seasoning, and marinara sauce.
  • Spoon the mixture into the hollowed-out zucchini.
  • Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top and air fry.

Vegetarian Quinoa Zucchini Boats

  • Combine cooked quinoa with chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion, and cheddar cheese.
  • Stuff the zucchini boats with this veggie mix.
  • Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then air fry.

Cheesy Panko Zucchini Boats

  • Mix mozzarella cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
  • Fill the zucchini with the cheese and breadcrumb mix.
  • Air fry, then top with more cheese and cook a bit longer.

Serving Suggestions

  • Side Dish: Serve your zucchini boats with a side of fresh salad or garlic bread.
  • Toppings: Top with fresh herbs like parsley or basil for extra flavor.
  • Dipping Sauces: Pair with dips like marinara, ranch, or blue cheese for added taste.

These variations and serving ideas make air fryer zucchini boats perfect for any meal!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.