Rating: 5 stars 4.8
13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
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Zucchini is not very exciting, interesting, or fun to eat, which is basically the opposite of a taco. But what we're going to do here is use the same filling used to make tacos to stuff zucchini and turn something that's generally unremarkable into something that is incredibly remarkable. This isn't some kind of low-carb substitute gimmick--these really were amazing. Serve topped with diced tomato, green onions, sour cream, and cilantro, or any toppings you prefer.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
40 mins
15 mins
1 hr 25 mins
8 zucchini boats


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Taco Meat Stuffing:
For the Rest:


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine olive oil, onion, and ground beef in a skillet over high heat. Cook, stirring, until onion turns translucent and the beef is browned and broken up into very small pieces, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno pepper and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, cumin, dried oregano, cornmeal, and black pepper. Cook for 1 minute more.

  • Stir in tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens to your desired texture, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

  • Use a teaspoon or melon baller to scoop out about half the center of each zucchini to create a "boat." Sprinkle generously with remaining kosher salt and let sit, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner.

  • Use a paper towel to blot any moisture that the salt draws out of the zucchini. Place boats on the prepared baking sheet and fill each one with as much taco meat mixture as will fit. Top evenly with pepper Jack cheese.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is browned and the zucchini is just barely tender, about 20 minutes. Test for doneness with a sharp knife. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes:

You can substitute any kind of pepper you like for the jalapeno or cook this with no pepper. Feel free to add corn, beans, or both to the taco meat mixture.

If you are concerned with salt content, you can rinse the zucchini under cold water before drying, but I don't, since the squash is bland and needs to be well seasoned.

You can cook these for less time if you prefer a firmer zucchini texture.

Nutrition Facts

263 calories; protein 17.7g; carbohydrates 11.1g; fat 17.1g; cholesterol 62mg; sodium 731.4mg. Full Nutrition