Zucchini Taco Boats

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Zucchini Taco Boats are full of flavor and cheesy goodness. Let’s face it tacos make everything better, especially zucchini.

Taco filled zucchini halves

Taco Boats

Tacos make a regular appearance on the menu around our house but every once in a while we need to mix things up a bit. Usually mixing it up means hard or soft shells but zucchini makes a good option my kids actually really like.

For filling the zucchini taco boats our preference is ground beef. I do like to go a bit leaner on the ground beef for these. A 90/10 works really well with little to no grease to discard.

To season the meat I always keep homemade taco seasoning on hand. Here is my favorite recipe for taco seasoning, it is so simple and packed with flavor. You can also use prepackaged.

The great thing is you can mix up the meat you use. Ground turkey works well as well as leftover shredded pork and even shredded chicken.

When making taco boats use medium-sized zucchini that is even in thickness and of similar length. This makes baking so much easier as they will cook more evenly, resulting in everyone having a perfect zucchini boat.

Zucchini boats filled with taco beef

Really large zucchini are great to shred and use in baked goods. I find that the more mature zucchini container more water and can get “soggy” when baked. So shredding and squeezing out water is a great way to use them.

To make the boats start by scooping out the seeds and a little bit of flesh. Leave about a 1/4 inch of zucchini along the skin. This will give you a hollowed out spot for the filling as well as remove the part that can get a bit mushy when cooked.

Roast your zucchini before adding the taco filling. Be careful not to overcook the zucchini. Keeping the zucchini a little firm gives a nice texture and a slight crunch to the taco boat.

Taco stuffed zucchini boats are perfect served on their own. Sometimes I serve it on a bed of rice or top it with avocado, sour cream, or fresh crema. Maybe some black olives and jalapenos, have some fun with what you have on hand.

Zucchini halves on sheet pan

Taco Zucchini Boats

  • zucchini
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ground beef
  • taco seasoning
  • onion 
  • black beans
  • tomato sauce
  • Mexican blend cheese
  • fresh cilantro
taco meat filled zucchini boats

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and part of the zucchini flesh. Leave about ¼-inch of zucchini along the skin of each halved squash.
  2. Place the zucchini halves on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and rub with your hands to coat. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. While the zucchini is baking, start the filling. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef. Add the onion to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften.
  4. Add the black beans and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and add 1½ cups of shredded cheese. Generously fill each zucchini half with the filling, pile it on top to use all the filling. Top each zucchini with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm.
Taco Zucchini Boats

Zucchini Recipes

When zucchini season is in full swing having an arsenal of recipes with variety is good to keep at your fingertips.

BBQ Chicken Zucchini Boats are a saucy, cheesy, deliciously hearty meal that is a refreshing change from the typical sandwiches we usually make with leftover chicken.

Zucchini Pizza Boats are proof that anything can be a carrier for the amazingness that is cheesy pizza toppings.

Fresh zucchini is shaved thin and tossed with olive oil and lemon juice before being sprinkled with salt, pepper, basil, and Parmesan to make this easy, fresh from the garden Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Parmesan zucchini can best be described as crispy, and delicious, the best way possible to eat zucchini. Seriously so good my kids devoured seconds.

And if you have an abundance of summer squash on hand, there are a lot of great ways to cook it! From roasting to sauteeingsteaming to grilling, you really can’t go wrong using up your zucchini harvest. You can even air fry it.

Zucchini boats filled with taco beef

Zucchini Taco Boats

Zucchini Taco Boats are full of flavor and cheesy goodness. Let's face it tacos make everything better, especially zucchini.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 4 large or 6 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided, adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided adjust to taste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 small onion diced very small, into ¼-inch pieces, ¾ cup worth
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed OPTIONAL
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and part of the zucchini flesh. Leave about ¼-inch of zucchini along the skin of each halved squash.
  • Place the zucchini halves on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and rub with your hands to coat. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • While the zucchini is baking, start the filling. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef. Add the onion to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften.
  • Add the black beans and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and add 1½ cups of shredded cheese. Generously fill each zucchini half with the filling, pile it on top to use all the filling. Top each zucchini with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 442kcal · Carbohydrates: 40g · Protein: 35g · Fat: 17g · Saturated Fat: 8g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 6g · Trans Fat: 0.4g · Cholesterol: 63mg · Sodium: 813mg · Potassium: 1330mg · Fiber: 10g · Sugar: 5g · Vitamin A: 606IU · Vitamin C: 20mg · Calcium: 576mg · Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @bestvegetablerecipes or tag #bestvegetablerecipes!
Cheesy Taco Zucchini Boats on baking sheet

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  1. Jo says

    Hi! These look delicious! Question – how many zucchini halves does each person get? The size of the zucchini isn’t clear from the photographs (there isn’t anything easy to scale against), and it feels like half a hand length zucchini (the size of the medium to large ones here in our local market) wouldn’t be enough to feed a person as a complete meal, even with rice. But your recipe says it makes eight servings from four zucchini… Is it more filling than it looks? Thanks!