I have a weak spot for French bread pizza and was so excited to find the low carb version, zucchini boat pizza, on several low carb Pinterest boards. But then I thought, “Houston, I have a major problem!”
While clicking through others’ creative, scrumptious-looking versions, I couldn’t help noticing that most were very light on toppings. Traditionally, zucchini boat pizza is covered with sauce, cheese and only a tiny bit of carefully placed toppings like pepperoni or chopped basil. It’s easy to see why: unlike pizza crust, open-faced zucchini has a tiny surface area without much room for favorite toppings. The traditional zucchini pizzas look great, but I can’t help imagining each bite as a big chunk of baked zucchini with a little topping on it. And I didn’t look to this recipe because I want a low carb pizza that mostly tastes like zucchini. I want a low carb pizza that tastes like pizza!
Zucchini has a wonderful flavor, but it’s just a vessel in this case; and I found an easy way to incorporate more toppings and flavors in this fun dish. The secret? Make a low carb stuffed pizza by putting the majority of the toppings under the cheese in the hollowed-out center of the zucchini, for a delicious pizza experience without any guilt!
Zucchini Boat Stuffed Supreme Pizza
(See below for the vegetarian version!)
Cut zucchinis in half length-wise, cut off the ends and use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and create the “boats”. Then begin frying ground beef seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and an Italian seasoning blend. After about four minutes, add chopped green and red bell peppers, onion and a little extra salt to the pan and continue cooking until the beef is slightly browned and the veggies are tender. Then stir in just enough pizza sauce to coat the meat and veggie “stuffing” mixture.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and begin assembling the low carb stuffed pizzas. On a foil-lined baking sheet coated with non-stick baking spray, lay out the zucchini boats and tightly pack them with the meat, veggie and sauce stuffing. (Packing is important because you want a flat top to prevent the melted cheese from completely dripping off during baking.). Top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and zucchini boats are tender. Serve with a fork and knife and enjoy!
Note: Be careful not to overcook it unless you like soggy zucchini!
If you’re a vegetarian or just enjoying a Meatless Monday, try the mouthwatering veggie version below!
Zucchini Boat Veggie Supreme Stuffed Pizza
Stuff the zucchini boats with chopped and sauteed Portabello mushrooms, red and green bell pepper and onion, all seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and an Italian seasoning blend, and mixed with pizza sauce. Top with mozzarella and feta cheeses and thin slices of roma tomatoes. After baking, sprinkle with fresh, chopped basil or other Italian herbs.
This concept is so flexible, and I already have a huge handful of other flavor and ingredient combination ideas for stuffed zucchini pizzas. I definitely plan to post more on this in the future, just as soon as I test my interpretations and find my favorites!