To Ukrainians, eating perogies is second nature. I honestly can’t ever remember a meal at Baba’s that didn’t include perogies. And that’s okay when you’re a kid, but as a health conscious adult, pierogies at every meal isn’t exactly the healthiest of choices.
I am Ukrainian, grew up on perogies and love anything remotely related to a perogy! And since perogies (and Ukrainian food in general) aren’t particularly healthy, I created these Pierogi Zucchini Boats. They are not only delicious, they are healthy and gluten-free too.
Sadly, I never got Baba’s perogy recipe; the best perogies in the world and I have no clue how she made them. But thankfully, I did manage to get something just as good!
I am always in search of healthy and delicious recipes and recently discovered stuffed zucchini boats. I fell in love with them. And since I like to create, modernize and make Ukrainian foods healthier, perogies and zucchini boats just seemed like the perfect pairing. Your holiday leftover mashed potatoes can also do double duty in this recipe. But if you don’t have any, you can easily use the gluten-free instant mashed potatoes in the ingredient links.
The New year brings new health goals and if you are hoping to start off on the right foot, then zucchini is a wonderful choice because it’s low-calorie and chock-full of vitamins and minerals.
Health Benefits of Zucchini
This veggie has just 25 calories, compared to a baked potato, which has 130 calories!
And if you love healthy zucchini recipes, give my 5 Ingredient Shredded Zucchini & Feta Saute a try! You can also read more about the health benefits of zucchini in this post.
Healthy Ukrainian Recipes
I know this recipe would make Baba proud, although she wasn’t exactly health conscious herself. She didn’t eat very healthy or exercise. She also had a plethora of health concerns, including diabetes, and passed away after having a stroke at the young age of 66 (when I was only 12 years old). I am assuming she would have eaten healthier if she had known what we know now. Either way, I want to be around for my grandchildren as long as possible so I try to eat healthy and although it’s no guarantee, it definitely increases the odds. And since longevity is said to be 1/3 lifestyle, 1/3 genetics and 1/3 dumb luck, it’s the one thing I can control!
I didn’t get my Baba’s perogy recipe (or any of her recipes) but I was ever so fortunate to get my husband’s grandma’s incredible perogy recipe! And not only do we have her authentic recipe, we had the opportunity to watch her make them and wrote down every step! She always used dry curd cottage cheese in her perogies and that’s why I use it in most of my Ukrainian recipes. You can find those Ukrainian recipes and many more on my Ukrainian Food Board on Pinterest!
As for my recipes, I am doing everything I can to preserve them. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog. Not only do I want to eat healthy so I can increase my odds of living longer to enjoy my future grandchildren, I want to make sure my recipes live on so they can enjoy making them!
You will have some leftover Dry Curd Cottage Cheese (see NOTES) so here are a few other recipes you can make to use it up!
Pierogi Zucchini Boats
- 4 medium zucchini about 1¾ pounds
- dollop sour cream
- dill *fresh is best
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non- stick cooking spray.
- Prepare mashed potatoes, as per package directions. Cool. NOTE * use a low-fat milk and margarine to reduce calories
- Add remaining filling ingredients.
- Wash and cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and centre out of each zucchini half, leaving at least ¼ inch thick zucchini boat.
- Place the zucchini in the baking dish cut-side up.
- Spoon the perogy filling mixture into the zucchini boats. Press the mixture down into the zucchini using the back of the spoon.
- Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until soft enough that fork can easily go into zucchini, but is still firm.
- If desired, add a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle with dill and serve.