Hearty yet light, these EASY vegan zucchini boats are seared then stuffed with flavorful marinara and our homemade vegan sausage, then baked until bubbly and tender. The ultimate side or main for Italian night. Just 10 ingredients required!
Heat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and set out a baking dish large enough to hold your halved zucchinis (as original recipe is written, a 9×13 should be sufficient — or use a parchment-lined baking sheet).
Halve zucchini lengthwise and use a spoon or measuring spoon to scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh (enough to comfortably fit ~1/2 cup of sauce and vegan sausage).
Spray or brush the zucchini with a bit of oil (just enough to lightly coat all sides), and season each with salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flake.
Heat a large skillet (we prefer cast iron) over medium-high heat. Once hot, lay the zucchini cut-side down (only as many as will fit comfortably at once), and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the edges appear browned. This will create more flavor and start to help soften the zucchini before baking. Once all zucchini have been seared (on the cut side), transfer to your baking dish cut-side up.
To the same skillet over medium heat, add oil (or water), onion, garlic, and pepper flake and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Turn down heat if browning too quickly.
Add vegan sausage and crumble into small chunks with your spatula or wooden spoon so it cooks more evenly. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the sausage has begun to brown and crisp up a bit. Turn off heat and set aside.
Divide your marinara evenly between the zucchini boats and top with the sausage mixture. Then use a spoon to mix the two a bit (keeping the sausage mostly on top).
Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes (or until golden brown, crispy, and the squash is tender). Depending on the size of your squash and how tender you prefer it, you may need to bake longer.
Serve as is, or with additional vegan parmesan cheese and red pepper flake. Fresh basil would also be a delicious garnish.
Best when fresh. Store leftovers up to 2-3 days and reheat in a 375 degree F (190 C) oven until hot. Not freezer friendly.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of vegan parmesan cheese, with 1/2 batch homemade vegan sausage, and without optional ingredients.