Stuffed zucchini boats with bell pepper, chickpeas, and vegan cheese! This is a simple vegetarian weeknight dinner, side dish or entrée which contains healthy wholesome ingredients. The recipe is meat-free, plant-based, relatively low-carb, and easy to make! You can use your favorite veggies and sub chickpeas for other beans or lentils.
Chickpea Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Do you like zucchini? I really do, because zucchini can be used in so many ways. Either baked or grilled or you can make zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) instead of spaghetti. I often also add zucchini to my green smoothies because they are packed with many nutrients.
These vegan zucchini boats are stuffed with hearty chickpeas, which add healthy plant-based protein.
I love this recipe because it is:
- A great vegan side dish, weeknight dinner or entrée
- Hearty, cheesy, flavorful, spicy
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
How To Make Vegan Stuffed Zucchini?
Check the following step-by-step instruction photos below:
- Cut the zucchini in half (lengthwise), scoop out some flesh, leaving a border around the skin.
- Chop the scooped-out flesh with a knife and set aside.
- Prepare the filling in a skillet and stuff each zucchini half with the filling.
- Add vegan cheese sauce (or store-bought vegan cheese) and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy!
Health Benefits Of Zucchini
Did you know that zucchini have many health benefits? They are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and are rich in antioxidants. I found an amazing article with 9 great facts about zucchini! I am going to share some facts with you:
1.) Improves digestion
Zucchini is high in water. It also contains significant amounts of fiber, electrolytes, and other nutrients that are necessary for a healthy digestive system…
2.) Slows down aging
Zucchini is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which help rid the body of free radicals and excess inflammation…
3.) Lowers blood sugar levels
By including zucchini in your diet, you increase the intake of fiber… Studies show that including at least 30 grams of fiber in your daily diet lowers your risk of getting diabetes significantly…
4.) Supports healthy circulation and a healthy heart
Zucchini is low in fat and sodium, but high in fiber and potassium. These properties help to maintain healthy blood circulation…
5.) Improves eye health
Zucchini is a good source of health-protecting antioxidants and phytonutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, zeaxanthin, and lutein…
6.) Boosts energy
Because zucchini is a rich source of B-vitamins, especially folate, riboflavin, and B6, it can help to boost energy production in the body. This reduces fatigue and improves moods…
7.) Weight loss
Because zucchini is low in calories and high in water and fiber, it is a great food for those wishing to reduce their body weight…
Check out this link to find out more incredible facts about zucchini.
As mentioned before, these zucchini boats are stuffed with a savory chickpea mixture, bell pepper, and vegan cheese. I also used the zucchini flesh because if you prepare it with different seasonings it actually turns out to be tasty and flavorful!
If you don’t like chickpeas, you can, of course, use beans (kidney beans, white beans, pinto beans, black beans…), refried beans, or lentils instead. You can either cook the chickpeas from dry or use canned chickpeas.
This Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Recipe is:
- Meat-free, dairy-free
- Relatively low-carb
- A great weeknight dinner or side dish
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
Should you recreate these vegan stuffed zucchini boats, please leave a comment and rating below and don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan and #elavegan because I love to see your remakes! 🙂
If you like stuffed dishes, definitely also check out the following vegan recipes:
- Stuffed Eggplant With Lentils
- Cheesy Stuffed Potato Cakes
- Stuffed Potato Skins
- Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers (Capsicum)
- Vegan Lasagna Roll Ups
- Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos
Vegan Stuffed Zucchini
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil or water, if oil-free
- 1 small/medium onion chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 small bell pepper chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (one 15 oz can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp hot sauce or more to taste
- 4-6 tbsp plant-based milk
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- Sea salt, ground pepper, and chili powder to taste
- Fresh herbs to garnish
- 1 batch vegan cheese sauce or 7 oz (200 g) store-bought vegan cheese
- Cut the zucchini in half (lengthwise) and scoop out about 2/3 of the flesh leaving a 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick border around the skin. Check the step-by-step photos above in the blog post.
- Chop the scooped out zucchini with a large knife and set aside.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 4 minutes.
- Add garlic, bell pepper, zucchini flesh, all spices, soy sauce, rice vinegar, tomato paste, hot sauce, and plant-based milk. Put a lid on the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegan cheese sauce or use store-bought vegan cheese.
- At the same time, preheat oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210 degrees Celsius) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add chickpeas to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add more salt/pepper/spices to taste.
- Stuff each zucchini half with the chickpea mixture.
- Add vegan cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven. Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy!
Video Of The Recipe
- Please check the step-by-step photos above in the blog post.
- Recipe serves 4. Nutrition facts are for one serving made with my vegan cheese sauce.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
If you are using Pinterest, feel free to pin the following photo:
Hello, How long does the chickpea mixture and the cheese sauce last in the fridge, just incase we want the stuffed zucchini over multiple days. Thanks
I would say up to 3 days is fine. 🙂
Havw not tried this because it has tomato paste. That and other ingredients have an asterisk – does that mean they are optional?
Hey! No, the asterisk just means that the link is an Amazon link. They are not optional.
Our family loved this dish. I doubled the seasoning.
Ps. Can it be successfully frozen? Has anyone tried?
Yes, it works fine! 🙂
Hi Kim, I am glad you like them! 🙂
Best stuffed zucchini ever. My kids loved these and have asked for more.
Yay, that’s wonderful, Melissa. I am glad your kids loved them! 🙂
These were great! Both my husband and I liked it; and will make again. We each had one full zucchini (2 halves) and wish it was more filling. You did say it makes a good side dish, what would be something else to serve with this?
Hi Chad, so happy you liked them. You can serve them with rice, for example, this turmeric rice or this tomato rice. Or maybe you prefer a quinoa pilaf. 🙂
For anyone wondering, bell peppers are capsicums;)
So, so good! I didn’t have time to make the sauce, so I sprinkled on some Follow Your Heart “cheddar”. It got kinda crispy, which was an added bonus. My zucchini were really small so I used 6 and the filling was just the right amount. I served them with tricolor quinoa, which was the perfect accompaniment. I will definitely be making these again. Did I mention I’m not vegan?
That’s awesome, Sasha! So glad you liked this recipe. 🙂
This dish tasted surprisingly good. I have tried a few stuffed zucchini and capsicum dishes and this by far is the best. Very tasty, very filling, very yummy. I couldn’t even get the boats into the oven before my son wanted to finish off the left-over filling! I just have one question. How do the boats freeze? There was no mention of them being able to be frozen successfully.. Thanks for a great recipe.
Hi Christine, I am so glad you liked the recipe! I haven’t tried freezing them yet, but I think it should work fine. 🙂
I tried this last week and I am in love! I didn’t have some of the ingredients you used for the stir fry so I used my own seasonings like curry powder and vegetarian oyster sauce and added A LOT of hot sauce haha. The entire thing was so soft! And bursting with flavour! And 2 boats were enough for my dinner even though I was super hungry! LOVE LOVE THIS! Love that it has so many veggies, and yet easy to make and so tasty!
That’s wonderful, Usha! I am so glad it was a hit. Thanks for your feedback! 🙂
I made this a couple of weeks ago for a family cottage weekend and it was a huge hit! I’d like to make it again without the boats… just the filling to serve on rice because that truly was the star of this flavorful dish for me! My question would be about the cooking process. should I stick the mixture in the oven to further cook it like the original recipe. Or would it be fine straight from the pan?
Hi Teresa, you can just leave it in the pan for a bit longer, no need to put it in the oven. I am so glad you like the recipe. 🙂