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What To Serve With Zucchini Boats – 45 Tasty Side Dishes

If you’re wondering what to serve with your zucchini boats, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I list 45 of the most popular and tasty side dishes for stuffed zucchini boats.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best side dishes to serve with zucchini boats include chicken skewers, corn salad, crispy kale, and summer Panzanella salad. For a really easy to cook side dish, go for pesto pasta or cilantro lime rice. Go for cheesy mashed potatoes or garlic knots for something more indulgent.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.


Serve your zucchini boats with a starchy side for a deliciously satisfying meal! 

Mashed potatoes are my go-to, of if you’ve got a saucy stuffing you can use a slice of crusty bread to mop up and leftover juices.

Cilantro lime rice

This zingy rice dish is satisfying without being heavy.

The lime livens the rice up and goes well with the grassy, slightly sweet flavor of zucchini.

Want your cilantro lime rice to taste just like Chiptoles? Rasa Malaysia has a great copycat recipe!

Psst… other rice dishes you could have with zucchini boats include buttered rice and rice and peas.

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Cilantro lime rice
Go Greek
Lemon rice
Make it low-carb
Garlic herb cauliflower rice

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are the ultimate side dish – they go with everything.

And they’ll turn your zucchini boats into a plate of warming comfort food.

My favorite thing about mash? How many different varieties there are.

Truffle mash, garlic mash, mustard mash, even french onion mashed potatoes!

But for me, nothing can beat cheesy mashed potatoes (this recipe uses 3 different types of cheese!).

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Cheesy mashed potatoes
Add a tangy twist
Sour cream and chive mashed red potatoes
Make it low-carb
Parsnip puree

Pesto pasta

What looks more healthy than a plate full of green things?

Pesto pasta is the perfect side dish if you’re in a hurry. It’s super easy to make and it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

You can even drizzle some of the pesto sauce over your zucchini boats to tie the two dishes together.

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Fresh pesto pasta with peas
Make a classic
Spaghetti aglio e olio
Make it decadent
Sun-dried tomato and mushroom pasta

Garlic knots


If you have saucy zucchini boats then you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got something you can use to mop up any leftover sauce. 

That’s where garlic knots come in.

Pro tip: bake double because these garlic parmesan knots are super additive – no one will leave the table hungry.

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Garlic parmesan knots
Make it easy
Cheesy garlic bread
Make it quick
Irish soda bread

Sweet potato fries

I like regular potato fries, but I LOVE sweet potato fries.

Their natural sweetness combined with the garlicky seasoning makes for the most addictive sweet-savory combo. 

Just remember to add cornstarch to your spice mixture – it’s one of the keys to giving your sweet potato fries that extra crispy bite. 

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Sweet potato fries
Make it unique
Smashed sweet potatoes
Make it low-carb
Baked jicama fries


Zucchini is already packed with tons of nutrients, but why not add more with a veggie side dish? 

I like keeping it simple with an elegant green bean almondine, but you can also go with roasted veggies or braised red cabbage for a tangy addition. 

Sauteed cabbage

Side dishes don’t have to be fancy.

This simple side will ensure your zucchini boats remain the star of the show, and you only really need one ingredient!

Cabbage is a great replacement for the more traditional carb-heavy sides.

Psst… Natasha uses paprika to give her sauteed cabbage a pop of color.

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Sauteed cabbage
Make it tangy
Braised German red cabbage
Fire up the oven
Roasted cabbage wedges 

Sweet and sour cipollini onions

This dish is as simple as it is scrumptious.

Cipollini onions are sliced, sautéed for a few minutes, and then tossed with balsamic vinegar and sugar. 

The result is sweet and sour perfection!

Serve these sweet and sour cipollini onions alongside zucchini boats for an easy weeknight dinner.

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Sweet and sour cipollini onions
Make it crispy
Fried onion strings
Make it no-cook
Pickled red onions

Green bean almondine

Bring a healthy, delicious French twist to your zucchini boat meal with this classic green bean almondine.

The brown butter and almond slices give this dish a delectable nutty twist that makes it stand out from the usual veggie sides.

Pssst… I use haricot verts when I make this dish because they cook faster, but you can also stick with green beans for a more budget-friendly option. 

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Green bean almondine
Fire up the oven
Garlic parmesan roasted green beans
Make it indulgent
Green beans in creamy sauce 

Steamed vegetables 

Did you know that steaming veg is the healthiest way to cook it?

Because the vegetable aren’t submerged in the hot water like they are in boiling, less of the nutrients leak out.

And best of all, you can steam most things in the microwave!

My favourite combo is broccoli and carrots.

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Steamed vegetables with garlic butter
Make it effortless
Roasted vegetables
Fire up the grill
Grilled vegetables

Crispy kale


Zucchini boats can be a little soft in terms of texture, so I like to have something crispy on the side.

Normally, crispy = fried and unhealthy, but not these kale chips.

They add a really nice crunch without being too filling or greasy.

Thebusybaker has a no-fail recipe, so you’ll never end up with soggy kale.

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Sea salt and garlic kale chips
Skip the kale
Roasted arugula chips
Back to basics
Homemade baked potato chips

Summer-inspired dishes

Zucchini boats are great anytime of year, but they’re best in the summer when zucchinis are in season. 

Serve them with a juicy panzanella salad or some fragrant grilled chicken for the ultimate summer–themed meal!

Summer Panzanella salad

This fresh and light Panzanella salad is perfect for pairing with zucchini boats.

The tangy vinaigrette provides a nice contrast to the mild flavor of the zucchini, and the croutons add some crunch.

Pro tip: if you want to make the salad a little more filling, toss in some mozzarella balls. 

Got some stale bread you want to use up? Consider this a sign – check out the recipe from Delish.

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Panzanella salad
Another Italian classic
Caprese salad
Make it different
Marinated cherry tomatoes

Chicken skewers 

If you’re looking for some protein to add to the plate, you can’t go wrong with chicken.

And making chicken skewers is way more fun than serving plain chicken breasts. 

You can use any flavorings you like on your chicken. If you have a Mexican stuffed zucchini boat, then use Mexican spices!

These Morrocan-inspired chicken skewers are marinated in a tangy yogurt dressing (yum!)

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Chicken skewers
Go Greek
Chicken souvlaki 
Skip the chicken
Grilled vegetable skewers with halloumi

Corn salad


One of my favorite vegetables is sweetcorn, so if they’re not already in your zucchini boats they need to be on the side.

The sweetness from the corn helps bring out the sweet notes in the zucchini.

And you can make a picture perfect dish by sprinkling the corn over the top of your zucchini boats.

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Corn salad
Go Mexican
Mexican street corn (elotes)
Add more veg
Corn succotash

Quick-pickled red onions

These pickled red onions are great for adding a fresh bite to your zucchini boats.

The overnight soak in the brine gives the onions a vibrant pink color that’ll brighten up your casserole.

And it infuses them with a zippy tangy-sweet flavor that makes them an excellent palate cleanser. 

These last for a month in the fridge, but they’ll be eaten long before that!

Why we love this recipe: you get so much use out of a batch. 

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Quick pickled red onions
Add more veg
Escabeche (pickled Mexican vegetables)
Add more heat
Hot pepper relish



Soup and zucchini boats might seem like a strange combination, but I think they actually go better with gazpacho than bread.

The soup is served cold, so is ideal for a hot summer’s day when you want something light.

And you can use it like tomato sauce and dip the zucchini boats into your bowl. Or serve it as a starter.

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Spanish gazpacho
Jazz it up
Sweet corn gazpacho
Another classic
Cauliflower soup

Best side dishes for zucchini boats

  • Cilantro lime rice
  • Cheesy mashed potatoes
  • Pesto pasta
  • Garlic knots
  • Crispy kale
  • Gazpacho
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Sauteed cabbage
  • Sweet and sour cipollini onions
  • Green bean almondine
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Summer panzanella salad
  • Chicken skewers
  • Corn salad
  • Quick pickled onions

What To Serve With Zucchini Boats – Crispy Kale

In this short recipe, I show you exactly how to make crispy kale to serve with your zucchini boats.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: crispy kale recipe, what to serve with zucchini boats, zucchini boat side dishes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 4 person
Calories: 550kcal


  • 1 medium-sized bunch of kale
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of garlic powder


  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. Wash the kale leaves and dry them thoroughly.
  • Tear the leaves off the stems and into smaller pieces. Arrange them on an unlined baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and gently massage it into the kale leaves. Only add a few more drops if you need more olive oil.
  • Season the massaged kale with sea salt and garlic powder and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Rotate the pan and flip any pieces that are crisping up and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent overcooking.
  • After baking, leave the kale chips to rest for 3-5 minutes to crisp up further.
  • Serve immediately or store in a paper bag.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 550kcal

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