Easy Taco Zucchini Boats Recipe: A Healthy & Budget-friendly Recipe by Ann Marie Patitucci

Easy Taco Zucchini Boats Recipe: A Healthy & Budget-friendly Recipe

I’ve looked up to my friend Ali since middle school. She was a couple of years older than me and I thought she was the coolest. She’s still pretty cool, but in more grownup ways. Now she’s an English teacher, fitness coach and busy mom. She’s always posting great tips about wellnessfitness and nutrition on social media, including great recipes

Here’s one that I love: taco zucchini boats, modified by both Ali and me. One of the best parts about this one is the extra zucchini you can sneak into the meat mixture – your kids won’t even notice!

Cuisine: Mexican/American
Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
 Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 to 60 minutes
Serves: 3 (2 boats each)


  • 3 medium zucchini, cut length-wise
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 12 ounces lean ground turkey, ground chicken breast or ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning (we recommend low-sodium taco seasoning)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded taco cheese
  • 1/4 cup salsa (I use slightly more)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Remove inner flesh from zucchini halves using a spoon or melon baller. Chop zucchini flesh and set aside.
  2. Place the six zucchini shells in baking dish that's been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cut side up. Set dish aside.
  3. Lightly spray a medium nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion (and bell pepper, if using) and cook. Stir frequently, until onion is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook. Stir frequently, about 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken/turkey and cook, stirring frequently to break up the meat, about 5 minutes, until no longer pink. Reduce heat to low. Add taco seasoning, tomato sauce and zucchini flesh. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes, until heated through and well blended.
  5. Evenly divide the mixture into the six zucchini shells. Top evenly with cheese. Bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until zucchini is tender and the cheese is melted and golden brown. Top with salsa, green onions and cilantro.

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Donna John
What a great idea!!
Elisa Schmitz
This recipe looks absolutely delicious, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead . I love that it's got a boost of nutrition, too!

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