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Mouthwatering Macro Friendly High Protein Marinara Zucchini Boats

Updated: Mar 27

low fat, high protein Marinara Zucchini Boats

I've made this recipe now 4 times for family and friends and it has proven to be a hit every single time!

These Marinara Zuchinni Boats are macro friendly, high in protein, low fat and make for the perfect meal prep because the sauce gets better and better each day it sits.

I first created this dish in January 2024 when my husband Nick was cutting weight for an upcoming Jiu Jitsu competition. As the main cook in our household, the weight cutting pretty much became my responsibility!😂 Which I love and am always up for the challenge!

We absolutely loved it and the first time I made it, I did so with ground Bison, which gave it a unique and savory flavor!

The next couple times I made it was with ground turkey, going for a leaner option with less fat. Then a month or two later, I was tasked by friends, being the Nutrition Coach of the group, to make a macro friendly dinner for a bachelorette party I was attending in March. So I tested this recipe a few more times along with a couple others, crunched the macros and this one came out to be the winner, by a landslide!

I made the sauce 2 days before, making it perfect to easily heat up in no time with less dishes--plus the sauce is always better when it sits for a few days--any Italian knows that! So the ladies and the family loved it an I know you will too!

Full recipe, video and macros are below. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as you enjoy making it because it is SO easy!

Full Marinara Zucchini Boat Recipe

🍽️Servings (based on ingredients below): 8-10

— you can cut in 1/2 and have a perfect size meal prep for 1 person for 1 week!

🍝Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2- 24oz Rao's pasta sauce (or other brands with no additives or preservatives, Rao's is my favorite & approved by my Italian in-laws!) I like to use roasted garlic and tomato basil, but any flavors you like will be great!

  • Pomi or Mutti chopped tomatoes (or other brands with no additives or preservatives)

  • Olive Oil

  • White, yellow or white part of scallions

  • 93-99% lean Ground Turkey, Beef or Bison (choose turkey for leanest option and based on macros below)

  • Old Bay

  • 3-4 garlic cloves

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder

  • Oregano or Italian herb blend

  • Old Bay

  • Paprika

  • Thyme

  • Red chilli flakes

  • Fennel (dried)

  • Bay leaves

  • Salt

  • Pepper

🛶For your Zucchini:

  • Choose the number of zucchini's needed based on how much you're meal prepping or how many people you're cooking for. Serving size (without adding protein pasta) is 1 whole medium sized zucchini, cut in half.

  • Cut in half and place in an oven pan with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.

  • Bake on 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.

  • Poke with a fork to ensure zucchini's are soft and cooked through. Cook in 5 min increments for larger zucchinis that need more time.

  • (Optional) Place face down on a sauce pan for about 5 mins until they have gill marks.

  • Place back in the oven pan and set aside until ready to serve.


- Scallions

- Red Chilli Flakes

- Shredded cheddar cheese or grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice your zucchinis in half and line out on an oven pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside as oven pre-heats.

  2. Start making your sauce: In a large sauce pan, sauté 1/2 onion until fragrant and slightly charred.

  3. Add in your meat and sauté until nearly browned. Before it's completely cooked, add in Old Bay, salt, pepper and paprika to taste.

  4. Once cooked, turn heat to low or simmer and add in pasta sauce, tomatoes and seasoning generously with: garlic powder, paprika, thyme, oregano or Italian herb blend, fennel, salt, pepper and red chili flakes (omit if you can't handle any spice, add as desired for spice level in about 1 tsp increments. Know that the sauce will get spicer as it simmers and be stronger each day the sauce sits).

  5. Mix everything together then add in bay leaves and push down so they are submerged in the sauce without breaking. Cover and let simmer until it comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.

  6. Once oven is pre-heated, place your zucchinis in for about 15 -20 mins until soft. You can test with a fork before removing. 

  7. (Optional) Place your zucchinis face down in a sauce pan pan for about 5 mins until they have grill marks.

  8. Plate your zucchinis and pour your meat sauce over the top.

  9. Top with scallions and other toppings of choice and enjoy!

Here's a full video below on this easy, macro friendly recipe, also linked here, to support you each step of the way!

Full Macros

1 serving, full zucchini, 93/10 lean ground Turkey, scallions toppings only, no additives or preservatives

Total Calories - 379

  • Fat: 22g

  • Carbs: 23g

  • Protein: 30g

To never miss a new, healthy, high protein recipe just like this one, subscribe to the MF Weekly, my weekly newsletter on all things health & fitness that goes out every Wednesday!

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