Zucchini boats are a great way to turn standard, ordinary zucchini into something fun and exciting.
They can be stuffed with all sorts of things: meat, rice, vegetables, and other assorted goodies.
The classic Italian version of stuffed zucchini boats is stuffed with ground meat and ricotta cheese.
The boats are then baked in the oven until they are heated through, and the cheese has melted over the top.
They come out of the oven looking like a great creamy bowl for dipping bread into or just eating by itself.
Making zucchini boats can be a bit of a pain, but it is definitely worth the trouble.
They can be served as a main course, which is great if you serve them during the day.
But if it’s dinner time and you want to serve something lighter, they can also be served with other side dishes such as salads or fruit.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the best side dishes to serve with zucchini boats, and we’ll give you some ideas for other things you might want to do with your leftovers.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Stuffed Zucchini Boats?
It’s important to look at the flavor options for veggies before choosing what to put inside of them.
Some people swear by cheese as a stuffing, but it’s important to consider the flavor of this cheese as well if serving side dishes.
The flavor of the whole dish is based on what you choose for your stuffing.
If you think about the flavors in cheese, though, that’s an important part to consider when pairing side dishes.
Some people love garlic flavors, while others are split between simple cheddar or pickier cheese choices.
Another reason to consider side dishes when serving stuffed zucchini boats is to add different textures and types of veggies.
This helps create a colorful dish that will look great in any dinner spread.
Hence, for stuffed zucchini boats, side dishes should be considered in terms of flavor and texture.
If you’re craving something sweet, there are some great options like iced cinnamon rolls or apple crisp.
If you need fresh greens with your meal, try salads or green juice.
The flavor of your side dishes is up to you.
What to Serve with Stuffed Zucchini Boats – 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here are the eight best side dishes that you can serve along with Stuffed Zucchini Boats.
1 – Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a classic dish, one that everyone knows and loves.
It’s comfort food for many people, and it can be easily adapted to fit different dietary needs.
For instance, if you need a dairy-free meal, you can use almond milk or vegan butter instead of cow’s milk or butter.
You can also make it nut-free by using sunflower butter instead of almond butter.
The lovely thing about this dish is that if you have picky eaters, they can choose their ingredients to customize their macaroni and cheese.
You can also make it ahead of time and have it ready to eat in minutes after it has baked in the oven.
2 – Fried Plantains
Plantains are a popular dish in many countries, including throughout Central America and much of Africa.
They’re often used as a side dish or sometimes fried to be eaten as a snack.
The ripe plantains are much sweeter than their unripe counterparts, so they are perfect for desserts or to be eaten as a side dish.
You can find plantains at most major supermarkets though you may have to go to a specialty market.
For the best selection, try international markets where you’ll likely find them sold by the pound already sliced and ready to serve.
This is a great accompaniment for dishes with a little bit of spice, like Mexican or Indian meals.
Since plantains are sweet, you don’t need to worry too much about the heat from the spices clashing with them.
3 – Potato Salad
Potato salad is a German dish that has been adopted in many countries throughout the world.
This dish is a must-have for picnics and parties.
You can easily alter the recipe to your tastes, including adding different vegetables you enjoy or experimenting with dairy substitutes.
It’s a great side dish that can be thrown together quickly on a weeknight while you’re cooking up some other parts of the meal.
In addition, this dish can be made in large volumes, and it’s almost impossible to go wrong.
It’s one of the few dishes that are just as good cold or at room temperature, so you have more flexibility when serving it for parties.
4 – Veggie Skewers
If you have vegetarians coming over for dinner, it’s great to give them their side dish.
One of the best options is some nice marinated veggies on a skewer.
You can prepare these ahead of time and grill them just before serving or do it after they arrive so that they’re fresh off the grill.
It’s also nice to have a sauce on the side, like peanut satay for dipping or some mint chutney that goes well with any Indian meal.
5 – Green Beans with Bacon
Green beans are a great dish for pairing with stuffed zucchini boats because they’re easy to find, they’re healthy, and you can add other ingredients that will complement your meal.
For instance, crispy bacon is a great addition to green beans.
You can cook the bacon first and then cook the green beans in the same pan for an easy meal without any additional cleanup.
You can also serve this dish with some grated Parmesan cheese on top if you want it to be a bit richer, or you can go lighter and make it with lemon juice instead of butter for a healthier dish.
6 – Bread and Butter
Bread and butter is a classic Italian dish that even kids tend to love.
It’s a great appetizer on its own, or you can pair it with some nice marinated veggies as an alternative to the skewered green beans.
You can also prepare this dish in advance so that everything is ready when dinner time comes around.
The key to this dish is finding a nice crusty bread that isn’t too thick.
It should be soft enough to cut with a butter knife, but you can also toast it in the oven for 10-15 minutes if you prefer the crunch of toast over the soft consistency of fresh bread.
7 – Garlic Breadsticks
Garlic breadsticks are an easy addition to any meal, as long as you’re fine with having garlic breath for the rest of the evening.
Grab some pre-made pizza dough from your supermarket and spread it out on a baking sheet to make these yourself.
Once the dough is nice and thin, sprinkle it liberally with garlic salt and then top it with some grated Parmesan cheese.
These are great with just about any meal, but they’re delicious when paired with Italian dishes like pasta or lasagna.
They’re also a nice addition to salads if you have some on hand since the sharp flavor of the garlic can liven up most light dishes.
8 – Mushroom Risotto
Risotto is a wonderful dish that you can make in large batches, so it’s great for feeding a large group of people.
It has the benefit of taking some time to cook, so it gives you something to focus on while you’re waiting for dinner to finish up.
It also has a lot of different options that you can mix and match to create a unique dish every time.
For instance, you can cook some mushrooms with the rice at the beginning to give it a rich flavor, or you could add some truffle oil for an earthy kick.
Once your risotto is ready, be sure to serve it up immediately so that you can appreciate it at its best, but you can also prepare this dish in advance and heat it back up before serving if need be.
Once you have got all your zucchini boats stuffed and ready to go, it is important to choose a side dish that will complement and enhance your main course’s flavors.
While some dishes can hold their own, others are destined to be mere afterthoughts.
It is also worth considering how long certain sides take to cook in comparison with your zucchini boats – you don’t want to serve your guests’ raw vegetables on the side.
So don’t hesitate to try out some of these dishes or get creative and think of your own.
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Fried Plantains
- Potato Salad
- Veggie Skewers
- Green Beans with Bacon
- Bread and Butter
- Garlic Breadsticks
- Mushroom Risotto
- Choose your favorite recipe from the list of options.
- Organize all required ingredients and prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!