Last Updated on May 16, 2022 by Kathryn Donangelo
Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats make a wholesome and easy dinner. Tender zucchini is stuffed with homemade taco seasoned ground turkey mixture and melted cheese. You can prepare these ahead of time to make dinner on busy nights even easier!
These Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats make a perfect addition to your summer dinner menu or whenever you need to use up zucchini. Serve these Taco Boats with a side of beans, rice, salsa, and guacamole, for the ultimate Taco Tuesday meal.
I love zucchini especially when they are stuffed, make a healthy dinner option, and packed with taco flavor! This is the perfect meal to prepare ahead to make dinner time extra easy with minimal time in the kitchen. Both kids and adults will love these boats and it’s a great way to get an extra serving of veggies!
Zucchini: I use medium-size zucchini to ensure there’s enough room for the taco filling. Yellow squash is a great alternative. If you use large zucchini, you will need to adjust the baking time to ensure the zucchini gets cooked enough.
Ground turkey: I always prefer some fat in the turkey meat (I like to get the 90-95% lean meat) so it won’t make the filling too dry and it will add more flavor.
Yellow onions: adds flavor, you can also use white onions.
Olive oil: any type of neutral oil will work to saute the onions.
Salsa: Use your favorite salsa, I prefer to use chunky salsa for more texture. Use either mild, medium, or hot depending on how much spice you want.
Cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and black pepper: adds the taco flavor.
Rice: white or brown rice can be used. If you want to make these boats low-carb, use cauif0lwer rice instead or omit the rice completely.
Cheese: I use extra sharp cheddar but you can use a Mexican blend. I also shred my own cheese so the cheese is extra melty.
HOW TO MAKE STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS
PREPARE ZUCCHINI. Trim off the stem ends of the zucchini and cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully scoop the center flesh out.
RECIPE TIPS & VARIATIONS
Instead of zucchini, you can use yellow squash. They are both very similar in flavor so there won’t be much of a difference in taste.
You can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground beef for the filling. If using ground turkey, I recommend using 93% lean so the fat can add flavor and moisture.
Make this an extra low-carb meal by omitting the rice or using cauliflower rice instead.
Other ingredients to add to the mixture are black beans, corn, green chilies, and bell peppers. Simply add any other ingredients to the taco filling.
If you have leftover taco filling, top on lettuce to make a Taco Salad or serve with corn or flour tortillas to make tacos.
LEFTOVERS & STORAGE
To Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When ready to heat, warm in the microwave or oven.
To Make and Prep-Ahead: Prepare the zucchini boats and taco filling, then separately in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Stuff, top with cheese and bake according to recipe directions.
To Freeze: Make the turkey boats according to the recipe and let the boats cool completely (I recommend adding the cheese when ready to bake the boats). Place cooled boats in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, let the boats thaw completely then bake at 350 degrees until warm.
OTHER DELICIOUS DINNER RECIPES
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
- Cheese Enchiladas
- Dutch Oven Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken and Potatoes
CAN’T GET ENOUGH
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Zucchini Taco Boats
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1/3 cup yellow onion diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup mild chunky salsa
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup white or brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- optional toppings avocado, cilantro, salsa, pico de galo, olives, sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Trim off the stem ends of the zucchini and cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully scoop the center flesh out.
- Heat a large pan or skillet on medium-high heat and add olive oil and onions. Let cook until onions are translucent, then add ground turkey meat.
- Add salsa, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Let the meat for 4-5 minutes until completely cooked through.
- Divide the cooked taco meat equally into the hallowed cooked zucchini boats. Press the meat firming into the boats with a spoon. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and top with shredded cheese, place back in the oven until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
- Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!