This stuffed zucchini recipe is sure to float your boat! Chicken Taco Zucchini Boats are loaded with tasty seasoned ground chicken and twice baked for tender flesh that rivals any soft tortilla. Keto stuffed zucchini boats are a healthy way to enjoy tacos with all your favorite toppings and fewer carbs.
Get ready for our latest edible vessel! We first conquered keto friendly taco alternatives with these ground beef lettuce cups and Mexican stuffed peppers. Then, we dabbled in stuffed zucchini with Italian zucchini boats, that boast sausage, spinach, marinara and mozzarella. Now we’re gonna marry the best of both worlds.
While we don’t see many zucchini-based recipes in our Americanized Tex-Mex cuisine, it plays a regular role in dishes south of the border. Though Mexican varietals are different, the sweet, firm flesh remains consistent, and builds a solid, neutral base upon which bolder flavors can take centerstage.
Zucchini is hardy enough to hold up to the tender filling, and the flavors from our tried, true, and tested homemade taco seasoning meld beautifully. While we don’t recommend eating them with your hands, we see no reason you couldn’t – once it’s cooled, of course.
How to Make Taco Zucchini Boats
Easy zucchini boats with taco stuffing are a low carb dream dinner. Pair ground chicken with homemade taco seasoning for a protein packed filling with no added fillers. Bake stuffed zucchini boats with your favorite melty cheese and top with sour cream, diced tomato, and anything else your li’l taste buds desire.
- Slice the zucchini lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds using a spoon or melon baller. Rub the zucchini with olive oil on all sides, then season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F.
- Combine all ingredients for the taco seasoning in a lidded jar. Shake to combine.
- Combine ground chicken and a diced onion with a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink and the onions are soft.
- Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste to the skillet and work both into the ground chicken and onion mixture. Pour in chicken broth, then simmer the chicken taco filling until the broth is absorbed and the sauce thickens.
- Scoop the taco filling into the par-baked zucchini boats, then sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake 12-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Garnish with you favorite taco toppings and serve right away.
- Look for medium to large zucchini – they’re easier to stuff.
- I’ve tried all kind of methods for removing the pulp from the zucchini. Our favorite? A regular ol’ spoon. Watch the recipe video to see how we do it!
- I like a baking sheet over a casserole dish for baking zucchini boats. You can fit them all on one sheet, and they’ll roast (not steam) during the par-baking step, creating a bit more flavor in the skin.
How Long to Bake Chicken Zucchini Boats?
There are two bakes in this recipe for zucchini boats. *Count ’em* One. Two. First you’ll par-bake the prepped zucchini for 15 minutes – this will soften the flesh and put a little color on the skin. Then you’ll stuff them and bake for for another 12-15 minutes.
Don’t skip the par-bake and proceed straight to stuffing! If you cook them straight through for 30 minutes after stuffing, the filling will dry out before the zucchini has time to cook through.
Do You Eat the Skin on Stuffed Zucchini?
Absolutely! Zucchini skin is thin, tender, and edible. Plus, it’s loaded with nutrients.
What to Serve with Healthy Zucchini Boats?
Low carb zucchini boats are a self-contained meal, but if you want to add a side try Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice or Mexican Cauliflower Rice. If you’re not on a low-carb diet, Mexican Green Rice is an easy, flavorful side.
Make it Your Way
- Cheese. Our chicken taco zucchini boat recipe calls for a shredded Mexican blend, but feel free to swap for cheddar or jack cheese. If you prefer, omit shredded cheese and sprinkle queso fresco or cotija on before serving.
- Swap ground meat. Ground chicken, beef, bison, turkey, etc. all work in zucchini taco boats.
- More toppings. Add diced avocado or red onion for a healthy but flavorful kick!
- Taco seasoning. We prefer homemade because it’s additive-free and you can control the heat/spice, store-bought is fine – you’ll need a quarter cup. When purchasing store-bought, look for an all natural seasoning blend with no fillers or thickeners. Making your own is the best way to guarantee low carb taco boats stay compliant.
Leftovers and Reheating
Fridge: Zucchini boats will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds, or in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.
More Recipes to Get You Stuffed
- Bruschetta Stuffed Avodacos
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn Stuffed Peppers
- Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
- Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Did you make these chicken taco zucchini boats? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Chicken Taco Zucchini BoatsPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- Small Lidded Jar
- 10" Skillet
- 4 medium zucchini about 2 lb
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced to ½″
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 portion taco seasoning, see below
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded mexican shredded cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
- ½ c chopped tomatoes
- 4 tbsp sour cream
- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Slice the zucchini lengthwise. With a spoon or melon baller, remove the pulp from the zucchini; coarsely chop the pulp and set aside. Rub the zucchini halves, inside and out, with 1 tbsp oil, then sprinkle each side with salt and pepper. Lay the zucchini, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake 15 minutes.
- Make the taco seasoning. Combine all the ingredients for the taco seasoning in a lidded jar. Shake to combine.
- Heat a 10″ skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and ground chicken; break apart the chicken using a wood spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink and the onion is translucent, 7-8 minutes.
- Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste to the skillet. Stir until the tomato paste is worked into the beef and onion mixture and the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour the broth into the skillet. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Scoop the chicken taco filling into the zucchini boats, then sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake 12-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the zucchini is tender.
- Sprinkle each zucchini boat with 2 tablespoons of chopped tomatoes, ½ tablespoon sour cream, and chopped cilantro to taste. Serve immediately.