Nourish PA: Summer Squash Boats

While it’s typically quite easy to find or grow squash, knowing what to do with it can be a challenge. Mild and tender summer squash is often relegated to side dishes or shares the spotlight with a medley of other veggies. But here, it’s the star of the show.

These summer squash boats use hollowed zucchini or yellow squash as the “boats,” carrying a fragrant and flavorful mixture of yellow onion, tomato, black beans, couscous and seasoning. Easily substitute other cooked grains like rice, farro or quinoa for couscous! Sprinkle with cheese and pop in the oven for a delicious summer squash meal to remember.

Summer Squash Boats

Serves 3
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
5 min 34 min 39 min


  • 4 medium summer squash,such as, zucchini or yellow squash, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion or 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed, or 2 cups cooked black beans, patted dry
  • 2 cups couscous, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or chili powder or paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley or dried basil (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds and centers from each side of squash, creating a shell, leaving about 1/4-inch of flesh intact. Place onto prepared baking sheet, cut-side up, and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender and becomes light golden-brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, beans, couscous, cumin, salt and pepper and cook until tomatoes begin to release their juices and beans are warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Spoon couscous mixture evenly into prepared squash boats, packing tightly to fill.
  6. Top evenly with cheese and bake until squash is tender and cheese is melted, about 20-25 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.
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