Zucchini Taco Boats

Looking to take your taco night to the next level? These Zucchini Taco boats are a great way to enjoy that taco flavor you love, while also keeping dinner on the healthier side.

diagonal shot of zucchini taco boats


 

Much like in zucchini bread or baked zucchini fries, fresh zucchini is a healthy alternative to enjoy some of your favorite recipes without all the carbs.

Tacos are a staple in our house, and whether I’m on a diet or not, sometimes it’s nice to put a fun twist on a classic dinner. And this recipe does just that.

The best part about this recipe is that when you swap out the taco shells for zucchini, you’re getting an extra helping of vegetables! Taco Tuesday will never be the same!

Why These Zucchini Taco Boats are the Best

We love these taco boats and we know you will too. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Healthier option – We all love a good taco night, but these taco boats are a healthier alternative to enjoy your favorite meal. And then I might eat two servings. LOL.
  • Easy to change up – Change up the meat, seasonings and toppings with ease! The options are endless and listed out below. There are tons of options!
  • Easily serve veggies to kids – Zucchini is great because it doesn’t have a ton of flavor. It’s a great way to get a serving of veggies into your kiddos. It is a blank slate that takes on the flavors of what you put in it.
overhead shot of zucchini taco boats

What You’ll Need for Taco Boats

Made with healthy, simple ingredients, this is a great recipe for meal prep or any weeknight dinner.

  • Zucchini – If it’s zucchini season, this is a great way to reap the harvest of your zucchini plant. If not, it’s easy to find at your local grocery store in the produce section.
  • Ground turkey – Chances are if you’re looking at this recipe, you’re trying to be a little healthier. Using ground turkey is a great way to do this because it’s very lean.
  • Onion – I like to use yellow onions for their sweet flavor. They pair perfectly with this zucchini taco boat recipe. Of course red will also work!
  • Olive oil – We need something to help oil the pan while we sauté the onions. any neutral oil will work, but I prefer to use olive oil.
  • Salsa – Use your favorite store bought brand, or make your own salsa! Chunky salsa works best just to pile it all up in the boat.
  • Seasoning – Have you ever made your own homemade taco seasoning? It’s a simple blend of garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, fine sea salt and black pepper… or just grab a packet.
  • Rice – You can use either white or brown rice. Both taste great, it’s just up to your personal preference. Quinoa is another protein-packed pick.
  • Cheese – I like to use shredded sharp cheddar cheese, but you can use mexican blend cheeses or whatever you prefer to top your tacos with. Queso fresco (crumbly cheese) is also good. Do freshly shred the cheese, preshredded is tossed in an anti-caking agent that makes it melt all wonky.
overhead shot of zucchini taco boats

How to Make Zucchini Taco Boats

There’s nothing I love more than an easy dinner recipe, and it doesn’t get much easier than this one.

  1. Prepare oven and baking sheet. Preheat oven and coat a large rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. Prepare zucchini. Wash zucchinis, trim off the stem ends, and cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully scoop the center flesh out of zucchini halves. 
  3. Sauté onions and cook meat. 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. 
  4. Add rice and seasonings. Add rice, salsa, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add meat to zucchini. Divide the cooked taco meat equally into the hallowed cooked zucchini boats. Press the meat firming into the center of the zucchini halves with a small spoon. Cover with foil and bake. These can also be made on the grill!
  6. Melt cheese. Remove the foil and top with shredded cheese, place back in the oven until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. 
  7. Add toppings. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

What to Serve with Zucchini Taco Boats

You can serve these taco boats with just about anything you would serve with regular tacos. I like to serve ours with some sort of rice. Spanish rice or Mexican cauliflower rice are two of my favorites.

In addition to the rice, a side of beans also pairs nicely with this dish. Refried beans are my favorite, but black beans are great too.

overhead close up of zucchini stuffed with beef taco meats

Variations

This zucchini boat recipe can be made many ways; so feel free to experiment and make it your own!

  • Meat – I used ground turkey for my taco zucchini boats, but you can use any taco meat mixture you’d like to. Lean ground beef, ground chicken, sausage or even shredded chicken will all work well for your taco filling. Or go with all veggies!
  • Toppings – Make these taco-stuffed zucchini boats your own by adding a sprinkle of your favorite taco toppings. Some suggestions include: romaine lettuce, green onion, spicy salsa, red onions, bell pepper, black beans, tomatoes, black olives or anything you’d put on traditional tacos.
  • Rice – If you’d like to make this easy dinner even more low carb, consider using cauliflower rice in place of the white or brown rice.
zucchini taco boats in a baking dish

Storage and Freezing

How to Store Zucchini Taco Boats

You can store leftover Zucchini Taco Boats in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three to four days.

Can I Freeze Zucchini Taco Boats?

While you can freeze this recipe, zucchini tends to become much softer after freezing and thawing, so keep that in mind. Store in an airtight container.

More Easy Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini is one of those ingredients that it super versatile and easy to add to almost anything. Here are a few of our favorite zucchini recipes.

overhead of zucchini lasagna

Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna

Satisfy your craving for Italian with this amazing low-carb EASY Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna. It's comfort food minus the carbs!
See The Recipe!
zucchini fritters with sour cream topping

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters, also known as zucchini pancakes, are the best way to use shredded zucchini to make a delicious summer snack!
See The Recipe!
angle view bite shot of zucchini brownies

Chocolate Zucchini Brownie Recipe

These EASY Zucchini Brownies are easy to take on the go for picnics, cookouts, and parties, but they’re also a delicious evening dessert!
See The Recipe!
overhead shot of baking dish of zucchini taco boats with text overlay for pinterest
diagonal shot of zucchini taco boats

Zucchini Taco Boats

5 from 3 votes
These Zucchini Taco boats are a great way to enjoy that taco flavor you love, while also keeping dinner on the healthier side.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 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 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Optional toppings: avocado cilantro , salsa, pico de galo, olives, sour cream

Instructions

  • 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 rice, 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!

Nutrition

Calories: 398 kcal, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Protein: 22 g, Fat: 30 g, Saturated Fat: 12 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 82 mg, Sodium: 586 mg, Potassium: 581 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 4 g, Vitamin A: 687 IU, Vitamin C: 19 mg, Calcium: 244 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 398
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: zucchini taco boats
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of taco zucchini boats for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

5 from 3 votes

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    What a fun way to get the kids to eat more veg! Thanks for the variation information. I don’t use a lot of ground turkey so it was helpful to know what else I can use.

  2. 5 stars
    These were delicious, and we chopped up leftovers for lunch and had them with salad greens. Both ways were great!