Zucchini Taco Boats

by KetoFocus.com

Zucchini stuffed with Mexican seasoned beef and cheese

Enjoy taco night with a low carb and healthier alternative, Zucchini Taco Boats. High in protein and packed with vegetables, this healthy keto recipe will be on the table in 30 minutes!

Who doesn’t love tacos? They make a perfect meal (and even snack), anytime, anywhere. It’s probably why there’s an entire day dedicated to the meal.

A skillet filled with zucchini boats topped with taco meat, cheese and pico de gallo.

If you want to treat yourself to Taco Tuesday but also want to stick to healthy eating, zucchini taco boats are the perfect replacement for carb-loaded tacos. They’re incredibly easy to make, gluten-free, and the perfect way to use up leftover taco meat.

One of my favorite ways to plan easy meals is to make one staple and use it a few different ways throughout the week. A big batch of homemade taco seasoning and taco meat can mean taco salad early in the week and zucchini taco boats towards the end.

The meals are different enough that you won’t feel like you’re eating the same thing all week, and you can even reuse prepared toppings like onion, diced tomato, cilantro, avocados, tomatoes, or peppers.

How to make zucchini taco boats

  1. Cook the ground beef until browned.
  2. Season ground beef with taco seasoning.
  3. Make taco zucchini boats by slicing the zucchini in half vertically and using a spoon or melon baller to hollow out the center of the zucchini.
  4. Season each zucchini half.
  5. Stuffed zucchini – Spoon the cooked taco filling into the center of each zucchini boat.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle Mexican cheese on top and return to the oven. Bake until shredded cheese is melted.
  8. Add favorite toppings – Onion, pico de gallo, lime juice, cilantro, fresh salsa.

PRO TIP: You can discard the inside of the zucchini or you can dice and add to the taco meat for more filling, fiber, flavor and nutrition in your zucchini boats!

Zucchini taco boats filled with seasoned ground beef, melted cheese and salsa.

Key ingredients & substitutions

  • Ground Beef – lean ground beef is perfect for taco meat, look for 80-90% lean. The fat will not only give the meat a juicy flavor, but it will also ensure the meat doesn’t dry up. Leaner meats like ground turkey or venison will work but may be drier.
  • Zucchini – For stuffed zucchini, use small to medium-sized zucchini as they have softer skins. Large zucchinis tend to have tougher skin and a more bitter taste.
  • Taco seasoning – You can create your own taco seasoning or buy store bought, whatever works best for you. Look out for brands that have added sugar. In a pinch just use plain chili powder.
  • Shredded cheese – Cheddar cheese goes well with zucchini taco boats but you can also use Colby or mozzarella cheese.
  • Avocado oil – I use avocado oil, but olive oil works fine as well to brush on your taco boat.
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Zucchini Taco Boats Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

Zucchini Taco Boats Directions

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Cheesy stuffed zucchini with pico de gallo on a plate.

Taco seasoning

There are plenty of store-bought taco seasonings available, just make sure to choose one without added fillers and sugars. My personal favorite is Primal Palate.

If you want to control the heat or other flavors, feel free to adjust the ingredients and amounts in my taco seasoning recipe or just use plain chili powder for your taco stuffed zucchini.

What to use for taco meat

While taco meat is typically made with ground beef, here are a few keto alternatives you can use for taco zucchini boats:

  • Ground chicken
  • Ground turkey
  • Ground venison
  • Chopped steak
  • Pulled pork
  • Italian sausage
  • Cauliflower
  • Tofu
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP) – for a vegan alternative
Taco toppings scattered all over ground beef stuffed zucchini boats.

Toppings & variations

What I love about zucchini taco boats is that you can easily customize the toppings to fit your taste. Have these toppings ready to go so everyone in the family can choose their own!

  • cilantro
  • avocados
  • tomatoes
  • olives
  • guacamole
  • pico de gallo
  • sour cream
  • jalapenos
  • bell peppers
  • green onions
  • onion
  • salsa

Storage information & meal prep instructions

To meal prep zucchini taco boats, you can prepare the taco meat, let it cool and assemble the boats. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Then bake and top as directed.

To store stuffed zucchini boats, make sure to use an airtight container. Zucchini boats can last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and up to 3 months in the freezer.

To reheat zucchini boats, place them on a lined baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the stuffing is warmed through, about 8-10 minutes. Or air fry at 400 degrees for about 3-4 minutes.

Zucchini Taco Boats: FAQS

Do you eat the skin of the zucchini boat?

Yes, zucchini skins are safe to eat and easy to digest. Just make sure to wash them well. If using large zucchini the skins may be more tough and bitter than medium to small zucchini.

Can you freeze zucchini for stuffed zucchini boats?

Yes, you can. Zucchini boats freeze well and can be stored in the freezer completely assembled for 3 months. Just wrap them in plastic or foil and store them in an airtight container.

Can you reheat zucchini boats?

Taco stuffed zucchini can be reheated in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. This makes them perfect for meal prepping.

Nutritional information & Macros

Nutrition Information

Zucchini Taco Boats

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 499
Fat 39.6g
Protein 28.4g
Total Carbs 8.1g
Net Carbs 6.1g

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