Zucchini taco boats topped with cheese are a great dinner idea packed with flavor! Ground beef or turkey stuffed inside your favorite summertime vegetable.
Have a bunch of these green veggies in your garden? Make zucchini taco boats for dinner, they’re packed with tons of flavor I tell you! One of our favorite cheap zucchini dinner recipes. (affiliate links present, originally published 8/20)
Zucchini Boats with Taco Meat
We started this with making air fryer zucchini boats. Then went on to make air fryer zucchini fries. Still had more than we could eat in a batch of mixed vegetables in the air fryer so we went on to continue brainstorming.
I will say I rarely use my oven in the summertime because UM….it’s hot! But decided to this time.
Taco Zucchini Boats
I realize not everyone is like me, using small kitchen appliances to make everything. SO I did want to show how these were made in the oven too. Yes it does take a bit longer but I like to share options when it comes to favorite leftover taco meat recipes.
- There is a huge range in what you can make stuffed zucchini of sorts.
- If you like ground beef, then use that. I prefer spicy ground sausage so that’s what I used here.
- Want a vegetarian version, skip that and just add your choice of cheeses to the middle.
Here’s where we are going to start.
I used my Mealthy stainless steel frying pan to get started. You’ll need to pre cook the meat with any diced onions and/or bell peppers you want too. Soften these and brown meat.
To add the whopping flavor you’ll want taco seasoning, that is key!! I seriously use this stuff for everything including air fryer fried shrimp coating and roasted chick peas.
Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Ground beef
- or sausage, or ground turkey
- Diced onions
- Taco seasoning
- Olive oil
- Large skillet
- Baking dish or cookie sheet
Other add ins could be diced bell peppers, drained black beans, salt and pepper aren’t really necessary if you use suggested seasoning.
Zucchini Boats in Oven
Here’s a quick step by step but there’s a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post as well. On the stovetop over medium high heat you want to add lean ground beef, turkey or sausage. Include onions if you’d like now with olive oil. Cook until meat is no longer pink.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Rinse and dry outsides. Slice in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the middle where there are seeds. Put cut side facing up on baking sheet.
- Scoop turkey taco meat into hollow middle areas.
- Add ground beef taco filling meat mixture so it fills it but not overflowing too much. Zucchini halves need a bit of room for cheese on top too.
- Rub a bit of olive oil on edges that are exposed on top. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes until cheese is melted and vegetable is slightly softened. Enjoy for taco night!
This is a fun way to jazz up a boring veg to serve really as a main dish. Mixing it up is always great like we do with our roasted zucchini and squash together. Give it a whirl and let us know how you might tweak yours.
Sausage Zucchini Boats
You can see the basic steps above in the photographs. Don’t want to scoop out all of the flesh and just leave the dark green skins or it won’t taste very good. You just need enough of a boat to fill with goodness.
Absolutely, that is the only way it is going to really stay together. You can slice the ends off if you really want to but ensure that when you scoop insides out the ends stay in tact so filling doesn’t escape.
It’s really easy, even a child can do this part. Once you slice them in half, hold it with the flesh up and use a small spoon to scrape out the middle. leave 1/4″ or so left on the sides.
Just like any other type of vegetables, they are in fact quite healthy to eat. They have vitamins C and A, potassium, folate, and fiber.
Can I freeze zucchini boats?
I wouldn’t. If you do the veggie portion will be quite mushy upon thawing. BUT, you can absolutely freeze the taco meat filling for up to 2 months. It’s great thing if you’re batch cooking for sure.
Tip: Whenever using this green vegetable, try to pick just the right size. Too small and there’s not enough room to fill it. Too large and they don’t really taste good. I’d choose ones the size of your hand from tip of finger to wrist.
If you’re just loaded up with a bunch of these beauties in your vegetable garden I would highly suggest trying this!
Zucchini boat recipe
- Want to mix it up??? There are a ton of other filling options you could do once you try these like:
- Zucchini pizza boats would be fun stuffed with a bit of spaghetti sauce mixed into the meat. Add pepperoni and cheese on top!
- Chicken zucchini boats could use leftover chicken breasts. Use the same steps and seasoning to coat, stuff, and bake.
Once you try our baked zucchini boats and STILL have more to use up, then shred it and make our famous pumpkin zucchini muffins!
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Printable zucchini boat recipe is below. Of course you can just come back here because we love “seeing you” every time you’re here. 😉 Let us know if you stuff them with something else so we can try that too!
Zucchini Taco Boats
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 lb sausage
- 2.5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 2-4 zucchini medium to large size, sliced lengthwise with middle scraped out
- 1 c cheese
- In a pan add your olive oil, sausage and diced onions. Add taco seasoning halfway through. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
- Could add 3/4 c drained petite diced tomatoes into mix as well if desired.
- Slice zucchini lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out middle where seeds are so they become "boats" and there is room to fill with meat mixture.
- Put foil on a baking sheet and set oven to 375 degrees.
- Put zucchini on sheet and rub outside edges with olive oil with a brush or your finger.
- Fill insides with taco meat mixture. Then sprinkle with cheese on top and bake for approx 15 minutes in oven or until cheese has melted and zucchini becomes tender.