Taco Zucchini Boats

Zucchini boats are a great way to use up zucchini from your home garden or from the cheap and plentiful seasonal sales this time of year.
Course dinner
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Author Rachel Singer


  • 4-6 medium zucchinis (about 2 lbs total)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (or 1 tsp minced)
  • 1 lb ground beef (or substitute ground turkey)
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoned salt
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped green onions


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the stem end off each zucchini and slice them in half lengthwise, and then scoop out the seedy pulp to create a boat shape. (Discard the pulp, save it for zucchini bread or another recipe, or give it to the backyard chickens -- some people like to add the insides to the beef mixture, but I think that this makes the zucchini boats too watery.) Arrange scooped-out zucchinis on the baking sheet, cut side up.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes, then add bell pepper and garlic and saute another 3 minutes or until veggies are softened. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up as you go, until meat is browned and cooked through, then drain. Reduce heat to medium and stir in corn, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, cayenne, crushed red pepper, sea salt, pepper, tomato sauce, and one cup of cheese, then saute another couple of minutes. Turn off heat.
  3. Brush the top of each zucchini boat lightly with olive oil and season lightly with seasoned salt. Fill each zucchini with the beef mixture, then bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, top with additional cheddar, and bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is nicely browned and zucchini is cooked through.
  4. Fill a small ramekin with sour cream and top with chopped green onion to create your "moon" with its craters, and arrange taco zucchini boats around or to the side of the sour cream like the rays of the sun. Top zucchini boats with the sour cream, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Taco Zucchini Boats are naturally gluten free, but if you're low carb you'll want to omit the corn.