Taco Zuccini Boats
I’ve been on the lookout for healthy recipes, specifically, ones that have a lot of flavor. I don’t exactly want to mask that a dish is good for me, but I want to prove that not all healthy food is bland. And I want to cook something my family will enjoy.
These Taco-Stuffed Zucchini Boats are chock full of veggies – I left out the bell pepper because I’m not a fan – protein and flavorful Mexican spices. If you’re a weekend food prepper, something I really should start doing, then this recipe is a good one to prep ahead of time. You could stuff the zucchini and freeze them until the day you’re going to cook them, then top with cheese before popping the dish in the oven. Whether you prep ahead or not, the time it takes to make this recipe is totally worth it.
Taco-Stuffed Zucchini Boats (adapted from this recipe)
- 4 medium (32 ounces) zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup mild salsa
- 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
- 4 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions or cilantro, for topping
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 1/4 cup of salsa in the bottom of a large baking dish.
Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell on each half. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside 3/4 of a cup to add to the taco filling, (squeeze excess water with a paper towel) discarding the rest or save to use in another recipe. Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.
Brown turkey in a large skillet, breaking up while it cooks. When the meat is no longer pink, add the spices and mix well. Add the onion, bell pepper, reserved zucchini, tomato sauce and water. Stir and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats dividing the taco meat equally, about 1/3 cup in each, pressing firmly. Top each with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. Top with scallions or cilantro (or both!) and serve with salsa on the side.