Thai Inspired Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats

I accidentally bought roasted, salted cashews to garnish this recipe. I usually get raw cashews to limit the pesky added salt/oils, but this oversight was a happy one. The extra pop of salt was amazing. Raw cashews will work just as well, and a little squeeze of lime at the end adds extra pop without the added salt. Or rock the boat until it capsizes with this vegan pine nut “parmesan“. You’ll never look back.

Thai Inspired Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats




  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and scooped out (middles reserved for filling)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger (about a 1-inch knob)
  • 2 carrots, cut into small cubes
  • 4-5 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of the scooped out zucchini, diced
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos), thinned out with 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • ¼ cup cashews or pine nuts, for garnish (optional)
  • Squeeze of lime to finish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9”x13” baking dish. Place scooped out zucchini “boats” in the dish, cut-side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt on pepper, to taste. Place in oven to bake while you prepare the filling.

In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add the sesame oil followed by the garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots begin to soften slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Next add the scallions followed by the zucchini and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce and stir to combine with the veggies. Top with cooked quinoa and stir well to mix into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Carefully remove the zucchini boats from the oven and spoon the filling into each of the boats. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until zucchini softens and quinoa begins to crisp slightly on the top, about 20-30 minutes. To serve, place a boat on the plate and top with plenty of freshly chopped cilantro and chopped cashews. A squeeze of lime never hurt either. Enjoy.

DO AHEAD: Grains like quinoa can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Click the images below to see this recipe in action:

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