Zucchini boats are customizable and low-carb, so they’re an excellent choice for dinner. However, if you’ve made too many zucchini boats, or you have zucchini that’s about to go bad, you may wonder if you can freeze this tasty dish for later.
You can freeze zucchini boats for up to six months. Stuffed zucchini boats are made with zucchini, cheese, vegetables, and meat, which are all ingredients that can freeze and thaw well.
In this article, I’ll explain zucchini boats freeze so well and how to do it for the best results. Additionally, I’ll tell you why zucchini boats are a great option for dinner, especially if you like to make meals ahead of time.
If you’re ready to eat and freeze some yummy zucchini boats, keep reading!
Do Zucchini Boats Freeze Well?
Zucchini boats are perfect for freezing because each of the ingredients freezes and thaws well. You can freeze completely assembled stuffed zucchini boats for up to six months. After six months the zucchini boats will still be safe to eat but their taste and overall quality will begin to suffer.
There are many zucchini boat recipes, but the basic zucchini boat is simply hollowed-out zucchini filled with meat and/or vegetable mixture and topped with cheese. Each one of these ingredients does nicely in the freezer, making it possible to freeze your stuffed zucchini fully prepared.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients of zucchini boats and how they freeze and thaw:
- Zucchini: Of all the ingredients of a zucchini boat, the zucchini itself is the ingredient that is the most difficult to freeze. Ensure the zucchini you use for your boats is bright-colored and free of blemishes, soft spots, and wrinkled skin. The healthier the zucchini, the better it will freeze. You can blanch the zucchini before freezing it to avoid losing its texture and flavor.
- Cheese: Almost all zucchini boat recipes call for cheese. The cheese will go on top of the zucchini boat. You should consider doing the same! But if you plan to freeze your zucchini boats, you should top your boats with a cheese that freezes well, like mozzarella or shredded pizza cheese. Hard and semi-hard cheeses such as cheddar and swiss cheese become crumbly and mealy when frozen.
- Vegetables: Most zucchini boats are filled with a vegetable mixture, which is good news for freezing. Most vegetables freeze well, including corn, peas, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, onions, squash, and peppers. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about the vegetable filling when you’re freezing your zucchini boats.
- Meat: If you want your zucchini boats to have meat in the mixture, the most common meat to use is either ground sausage or ground beef. Both of these freeze well.
- Sauce: Most zucchini boats have marinara sauce in the mixture that the zucchini is stuffed with. Luckily, sauces typically freeze well, including tomato-based sauces.
Thawing these ingredients is not an issue, though you should put the zucchini part of the boats in a small amount of water to help them thaw right before baking. I’ll explain more below.
How To Freeze Zucchini Boats
To freeze zucchini boats, you’ll need to keep them in an airtight container. I recommend the Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container from Amazon.com because these containers are stackable, saving space in your freezer, and the lids are airtight.
Additionally, these containers are all long enough to fit most medium-sized zucchini, so you won’t need to cut up your boats to store them.
If you want to store more than one zucchini boat in each container, make sure to put a sheet of wax paper between them so that they don’t get stuck together.
Ensure that you let the cooked zucchini cool completely before putting it in the freezer. Hot food makes condensation, which turns into moisture that will make your zucchini soggy. Likely, the vegetable will already be soggier after you thaw it than it would’ve been if you’d eaten it fresh, so it’s best to do everything you can to avoid excess moisture.
How to Thaw Frozen Zucchini Boats
When you’re ready to thaw and eat your zucchini boats, take the frozen boats out of your container and place the zucchini part in an inch or less of cool water for fifteen to twenty minutes. Doing so will help the zucchini part (the most solidly frozen part) thaw a bit before baking.
Then, bake the boats in a casserole dish at 350°F (176.66°C) until they are heated. Remember that you’ll probably need to bake them for longer than the original recipe calls for because they’ll still be cold. The total baking time will probably be around 20 to 30 minutes.
If you dislike mushy vegetables, you may have better luck freezing the filling for zucchini boats and then spooning it into fresh zucchinis instead of freezing the whole thing.
Why Should You Eat Zucchini Boats?
You should eat zucchini boats because they are a relatively healthy, low-carb meal option that you can customize according to your and your family’s tastes. The ability to freeze zucchini boats also makes them a quick option for busy weeknights.
Zucchini is a healthy vegetable packed with nutrients including folate, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. It also aids in digestion and helps your eyesight!
Furthermore, zucchini is low in calories and carbohydrates, so zucchini is good if you’re watching your weight. Zucchini boats are a great way to eat other foods you love, like meat and sauce, without the extra carbs accompanying these ingredients, like pasta or bread.
The filling of a zucchini boat could easily be put on a bed of noodles for a yummy pasta dish, but using the zucchini as a vehicle is a healthier option.
Furthermore, you can add more vegetables to your zucchini boat to increase the meal’s nutritional value. If you have kids, zucchini boats are an excellent way to get them to eat more vegetables.
Zucchini boats are also immensely customizable. It’s your zucchini, you can stuff it how you want to! Below are some ideas:
Add Cheese and Sausage to Your Zucchini Boats
This is the classic zucchini boat recipe, and it’s a good one because who doesn’t like some cheese on their zucchini boats? Cheese and sausage freeze easily. So if you plan to freeze your zucchini boats, this is a good route.
As discussed earlier, choose cheeses that melt easily. For the sausages, you may use ground sausages.
Include Chickpeas and Mushrooms in Your Zucchini Boats
Calling all vegetarians! Chickpeas and mushrooms pair well together, especially with a tomato-based sauce. These ingredients also freeze well, so no worries there. Chickpeas and mushrooms are excellent choices for a healthy meal because they both contain protein.
Make a Zucchini Boat Burrito
Who doesn’t love a good burrito? Toss some onion, garlic, beef, chili powder, paprika, black beans, cherry tomatoes, corn, and cheese together and throw it in a zucchini, and you’ve got a healthier burrito!
Make a Low-Carb Lasagna Zucchini Boat
Lasagna is delicious, but it is carb-heavy. To lighten up this Italian favorite, use zucchini instead of noodles. You’ll need ricotta, parmesan, marinara sauce, and mozzarella.
These ingredients freeze well, but the ricotta and parmesan might become a bit mealy the longer you freeze them. So I recommend only freezing this version of zucchini boats for a maximum of one month.
Use Buffalo Chicken in Your Zucchini Boats
There are many buffalo chicken lovers out there, and there’s a good reason! Buffalo chicken is delicious, and you can enjoy this flavor profile in your zucchini boat by mixing rotisserie chicken, cream cheese, and buffalo sauce.
You don’t need to worry about freezing rotisserie chicken or buffalo sauce, but I’d recommend using these zucchini boats within the week because of the cream cheese.
Make a Meatball Zucchini Boat Sub Minus the Carbs
If you’re a fan of a good, old-fashioned meatball sub but don’t like all the carbs, trade the bread for hollowed-out zucchini, and you have a healthier option for your favorite meal!
As a bonus, meatballs are easy to freeze.
Make Jalapeno Poppers Zucchini Boats
Jalapeno poppers are my favorite appetizer, so once I learned there was a way to turn this treat into a full meal, I was sold! You can mix cream cheese, Monterey jack cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and jalapenos and put them in a zucchini boat for a healthier favorite take on a fried appetizer.
The ability to freeze zucchini boats makes them a great meal choice because you can spend one afternoon making a bunch and then freeze them until later. If you have particularly busy weeknights, spending a Sunday afternoon making zucchini boats for dinner on a busy night later in the week will be well worth it.
Zucchini boats are easy to freeze. If you want to have a low-carb and healthy dinner on hand, you can make zucchini boats in bulk and freeze them in an airtight container for up to six months.
To thaw, all you need is to place the zucchini in a little water for twenty minutes and then bake the boats!