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Zucchini Boats with Pesto Turkey
and roasted green beans

Active: 45 min Total: 45 min
Zucchini boats are always a fun way to make a vegetable the star of the meal. This version uses roasted zucchini filled with flavorful pesto turkey.
Smarts: In past versions of zucchini boats, community members said they wanted to use all of the zucchini in the finished dish, so that's what we've done here. Once you scrape out the zucchini filling to form the 'boats' be sure to set it aside to saute with the turkey.


Basil Pesto:
  • Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
  • Garlic - 1 clove , peeled
  • Basil leaves, fresh - 1 1/2 oz
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
Turkey Pesto Zucchini Boats:
  • Zucchini, medium - 4 (~½ lb / 227 g per zucchini)
  • Tomatoes, medium - 1 , chopped
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Turkey, ground - 1 lb
  • Basil pesto (ingredients listed separately) - 1/2 cup
Roasted Lemon Green Beans:
  • Green beans - 1 lb , trimmed
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Coriander, ground - 1/2/ tsp
  • Red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp


  1. Make pesto - (Skip if made ahead on Monday.) Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves (portion for pesto). Place nuts, garlic, basil leaves, and lemon juice (portion for pesto) in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil (portion for pesto) until smooth. (Add some additional olive oil if needed to help everything blend.) Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Green beans - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Trim green beans. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Zucchini - Slice in half lengthwise and then use a spoon to scoop out the center of each zucchini half, leaving ~1/2” / 1.25 cm thick shell on all sides. Chop the filling of the zucchini and reserve it in a separate container. Check out this video. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  4. Tomatoes / Garlic (portion for green beans) - Prep as directed.

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  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C. Set out two sheet pans.
  2. Toss green beans with olive oil (portion for green beans), garlic (portion for green beans), ground coriander, red pepper flakes, and some salt and pepper. Spread out on first sheet pan. Roast, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until green beans are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Once green beans are roasting, place zucchini halves on the second sheet pan, cut-side facing up. Brush zucchini halves with first portion of cooking oil and season with some salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer zucchini to oven and bake until zucchini halves are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. When zucchini halves and green beans are about halfway done roasting, heat a large skillet with second portion of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the reserved chopped zucchini and saute until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add turkey and saute, breaking turkey apart, until cooked through, ~8 minutes.
  7. Stir in tomatoes just until any excess liquid has cooked off. Move pan off heat and allow turkey to cool slightly.
  8. Stir pesto into turkey. Season with some salt and pepper.
  9. When zucchini is tender, remove from oven and fill zucchini halves with turkey (mound the filling over the tops if needed).
  10. Squeeze lemon juice (portion for green beans) over green beans.
  11. Serve zucchini boats with green beans on the side. Enjoy!



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