These healthy Zucchini Taco Boats are the perfect low-carb recipe when you’re craving Mexican food. Zucchini is stuffed with ground beef or turkey, shredded cheese, and other Southwest flavors and baked into a cheesy keto dinner! Serve this delicious stuffed zucchini with spicy salsa, guacamole, or sour cream. 

Low-carb and healthy zucchini boat recipe with a Mexican taco filling.

Zucchini Taco Boats Recipe

Zucchini boats…stuffed with Mexican-flavored taco goodness?!

Need I say more?

OK. I’ll say a little more.

Actually, I’ll say A LOT more, because these taco-stuffed zucchini boats have been ALL the rage in my house lately. If any of you don’t know, I am a TACO LOVER.

Mexican flavors and ALL types of tacos are often on the menu. (Please see these Roasted Cauliflower TacosEasy Shredded Chicken Tacos, Instant Pot Tacos al PastorSheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Lasagna, or these Easy Migas if you need further evidence.)

But sometimes I want it all—the delicious spicy flavors of Mexican cuisine WITH more healthy ingredients and WITHOUT all of the carbs.

Let me introduce you to the BEST and EASIEST zucchini taco boat recipe. Taco night just got a lot healthier.

If you haven’t dabbled in the world of stuffed zucchini recipe-making, your mind is about to be blown! They are SO good, SO easy to make, and the perfect vessel for different variations. (Check out these Zucchini Pizza Boats and these Cilantro Lime Chicken Stuffed Zucchini.)

This time of year, summer zucchini is EVERYWHERE (including gardens, the local farmer’s market, and grocery stores), and this easy, low carb recipe is a great way to use them up!

Zuchcini squash, cheese, ground turkey, and taco seasoning for a stuffed zucchini boat recipe.
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The simple ingredients needed to make this stuffed zucchini recipe include: 

  • Zucchini Squash. It’s best to get zucchini that are about the same size and shape so they cook at a similar rate in the oven.
  • Ground Meat. Ground beef, turkey, chicken, or even venison can all be used interchangeably. A 93/7 ground meat is ideal for the right balance of fat content and flavor.
  • Bell pepper. A red, yellow, or green bell pepper can all be used.
  • Onion. Red, yellow, sweet, or white onions all work equally well. Be sure to use finely diced onion
  • Taco Seasoning. You can either make your own Homemade Taco Seasoning or buy a packet of Mexican seasonings at the store if you’re in a rush. Just make sure you adjust the amount of salt you add if using a packaged kind, as they tend to have more than homemade seasoning mixes.
  • Cheese. Shredded mild or sharp cheddar cheese, Monterrey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend will all taste great in this dish.

How to Make Mexican Zucchini Boats

Here are the step-by-step instructions for preparing taco zucchini boats:

Prep the Zucchini Boats

Preheat the oven to 400℉.

Cut both of the ends off and slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. 

Scoop the seeds from the middle of the zucchini using a small spoon or a melon baller, leaving about ½-inch around all sides. Put the zucchini flesh to the side.

Drizzle some oil over the insides of the hollowed-out zucchini, then sprinkle some salt and pepper. Place the zucchini flat-side down on a baking sheet. Spread them out so they’re not touching.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Make the Taco Filling

Sauté the chopped veggies with some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add 1 cup of the zucchini flesh you scooped out along with the minced garlic. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add in the ground meat. Cook for 7 to 10 more minutes, just until it is cooked through. 

If you’d like, drain any liquid from the pan.

Turn off the heat and sprinkle in the spice mix and the salsa along with ¾-cup shredded cheese.

Fill and Bake the Boats

Turn the zucchini over so the hollowed-out side is facing up. Stuff ’em with equal amounts of the tasty filling. Then, sprinkle with the remaining cheese over the center of the zucchini halves.

Place the pan back in the heated oven and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

A row of zucchini boats stuffed with ground beef and taco ingredients.

What to serve with Mexican zucchini boats?

While these stuffed zucchini taste incredible on their own, there are a few easy ways you can freshen them up once they come out of the oven:

A row of zucchini boats stuffed with ground beef and taco ingredients.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already gluten-free and low-carb as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Keto: Look for a lower-carb salsa. 
  • Dairy-Free: Use a dairy-free cheese alternative.

How long to bake zucchini boats?

If you prebake the zucchini boats, when filled, they’ll need about 10 to 15 more minutes. By cooking the zucchini before adding the taco mixture, you ensure a perfect texture.

A zucchini squash that has been made into a boat and stuffed with ground beef and taco filling.

Can you freeze zucchini boats?

Yes, you can! Let the boats cool, then seal in a freezer-safe, airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. You can even store excess zucchini for use in the Winter months. Learn more details about How to Freeze Zucchini.

How to reheat zucchini boats?

You can use either the microwave or the oven to warm zucchini boats back up. Use a lower temperature in the oven so they don’t dry out.

A row of taco stuffed zucchini boats on a dinner platter.

How long do zucchini boats last in the fridge?

Keep leftover taco boats in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. If you aren’t enjoying these immediately, prepare the boats and taco filling and store separately. When ready to eat, stuff and bake. 

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Leave a little. You want at least ¼-inch thickness of the boats left and a lip on each end to keep the filling in.
  • Pick medium-sized. All of the zucchini need to be about the same length and width so they cook up evenly.
  • Switch up the meat. Use either ground beef, ground turkey, venison, or even chicken.
  • Add more flavor. Sprinkle in some chili powder or garnish with guacamole, salsa, or sour cream. 
  • Save time. Prepare the zucchini boats and taco filling in advance, then all that’s left to do is stuff and bake!
Mexican ground turkey stuffed zucchini boats with tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro.

More Zucchini Recipes

If you still have plenty of zucchini on hand, here are some delicious recipes you can try!

Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups are perfect for a main course.

Crispy Zucchini Fritters and Air Fryer Zucchini Chips are fun ways to enjoy this veggie.

Look no further than Sautéed Zucchini and Squash, Sautéed Zucchini, and Zucchini Noodles for super healthy sides.

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Mexican Zucchini Boats Recipe

These healthy Mexican Zucchini Taco Boats are the perfect low-carb recipe when you're craving Mexican food. Serve this delicious stuffed zucchini with spicy salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.
A zucchini squash that has been made into a boat and stuffed with ground beef and taco filling.
Yield 8 boats
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 1 hour
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  • 4 zucchini squash about the same size
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Taco Filling:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 sweet onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 lb. ground meat beef, turkey, or chicken
  • 2 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup salsa mild or medium
  • 1 cup shredded cheese divided, Cheddar or Mexican blend
  • Green onions or cilantro finely chopped (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut both the stem and the blossom ends off of each zucchini and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out using a spoon with a slightly sharp edge, leaving about ½-inch of zucchini around all sides. (Reserve the zucchini flesh that was scooped out.)
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil over all of the insides of the zucchini boats and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Place zucchini flat-side down on a large baking sheet in a single layer and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Taco Filling:

  • Saute chopped bell pepper, onion, salt, and pepper in 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large stainless steel skillet for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of chopped zucchini flesh that was previously removed from the boats, and 2 cloves of crushed garlic. Continue sauteeing for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Push vegetables to the side of the skillet and add ground meat. Cook for 7-10 minute or until meat is completely cooked through. Drain any excess liquid from the pan when meat is done cooking.
  • Turn off heat and mix in seasoning ingredients, salsa, and ¾ cup shredded cheese.
  • Flip over all of the pre-baked zucchini boats so the hollow cavity is facing up and fill all 8 zucchini boats with equal amounts of the ground meat taco filling mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Return the zucchini to the oven and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve with chopped green onions or cilantro and enjoy!
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  • This recipe can easily be made dairy-free.  Simply substitute a dairy-free cheese in place of the regular cheese.
  • To Store: Keep leftover taco boats in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: Let the boats come to room temperature, then seal in a freezer-safe airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 214kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 671mg, Potassium: 462mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1183IU, Vitamin C: 40mg, Calcium: 105mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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    1. Hi Michelle! You can use either the microwave or the oven to warm zucchini boats back up. Use a lower temperature in the oven so they don’t dry out.