Lamb Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Romesco Inspired Sauce

These lamb stuffed zucchini boats are served with Romesco-inspired red sauce and make for a wonderful dinner meal or can be prepared as finger-food or appetizers. They are paleo, Keto and Whole30 friendly.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Lamb & Romesco Sauce

Having a surplus of zucchini in the fridge, I decided to make something a little different. I’ve made lots of other stuffed vegetables like eggplant and red peppers but I’ve never done stuffed zucchini before. This experiment turned into a very nice, light dinner meal, which can be served with an extra side of veggies or sweet potatoes.

For this stuffed zucchini recipe, I opted for ground lamb mince, pine nuts and Mediterranean flavours of garlic, paprika and olive oil. You can use ground beef or even chicken or turkey instead.

You will need a food processor or a blender to make the Romesco-like sauce, which I really like as a condiment to the meaty zucchini. Plus, it’s made with leftover zucchini flesh, red peppers and tomato, so we reduce the waste along the way. Please note, the traditional Romesco sauce is made with nuts but I left those out of this version.


Paleo, Keto & Whole30 Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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Lamb Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Romesco Sauce

Lamb Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Romesco Sauce

  • Author: Irena Macri | Eat Drink Paleo
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
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These lamb stuffed zucchini boats are served with Romesco-inspired red sauce and make for a wonderful dinner meal or can be prepared as finger-food or appetizers. They are paleo, Keto and Whole30 friendly.



6 zucchinis (see notes)

2 tbsp pine nuts

1/2 medium brown onion, finely diced

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small red chill, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp chill flakes (use less for milder spice)

1 tsp paprika powder

400500 g / about 1 lb of ground lamb or beef mince

8 Kalamata olives, chopped (pits out)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed

For the Romesco Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 large red bell pepper (capsicum), seeds out and diced

1 small brown onion, chopped finely

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup zucchini flesh (you can leave it out if cooking the sauce at a different time)

1 garlic clove, crushed or chopped

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup water


Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F.

Slice zucchinis in half, going lengthways. Using a small teaspoon or a small melon scoop, remove the flesh making sure the skins stay intact, maybe 10mm thick. They should look like boats. Scooping out the flesh is a delicate process, you can always use a knife to carve it. Chop 1 cup of zucchini flesh and reserve for later.

Carving zucchini for stuffing

Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan for 1 minute (stir around until golden brown). Remove to a bowl.
Using the same frying pan, sauté the onions, salt and chili in olive oil for 1 minute, then add paprika and cook for another minute on low heat.

Combine the ground lamb mince with pine nuts, sautéed onions, chopped olives and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add another half teaspoon of salt.

Stuff the zucchini boats with lamb mixture using your fingers, building just a little hill of mince over the top.

Stuffing zucchini with ground beef or lamb

Place the stuffed zucchinis on a baking tray sprayed or brushed with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Zucchini will let out some juice in the oven, which is okay.

To make the sauce, preheat a frying pan to medium-high. Sauté the onions and red peppers in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the salt, chopped zucchini flesh and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes together.

Finally, add the vinegar, tomato paste, and water, mix well and cook for 2 more minutes until soft. Take off the heat and transfer to a food processor, blender or a container to puree in. Puree until all ingredients are completely ground and the mix is fairly smooth.


Pick medium to large zucchini, not too small as they will be harder to scoop the flesh out of.

Ground beef, chicken or turkey can be used in place of lamb. Pine nuts can be omitted for a nut-free version.

For AIP version, omit chili and paprika from the stuffing and serve with a salsa verde sauce or basil pesto instead.


SAVE THIS RECIPE TO PINTERESTLamb Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Romesco-Inspired Sauce | Paleo, Whole30, Keto, Gluten-free | Can be made with ground beef, chicken or turkey

Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share easy, delicious recipes with a healthy twist. I’ve been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition & Weight Management. I believe in a balanced diet with an occasional cookie and cheesy pasta. More about me here. Sign-up for my newsletter and subscriber freebies.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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  1. Lovely recipe! I really like all of the Mediterranean flavors that you have going on. The lamb/pine nut/romesco sauce combination sounds amazing.

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