– Do you want to learn a new way to use up a bunch of extra zucchini squash? These taco-stuffed zucchini boats are so easy to make they’re full of Mexican flavor and are a healthy dinner the whole family will love.
(light music) Hey, there. I’m London Brazil from EvolvingTable.com where you learn how to make nourishing meals for you and your loved ones. And today, I’m going to be teaching you how to make these Mexican taco zucchini boats, if you want all of the delicious flavor of a taco, but without all of those carbs and calories, then this recipe is for you.
And for those of you that have some little ones running around, don’t you worry. This recipe is so fun to make, they’re so darn cute, that I promise you your kiddos are going to gobble them up. So if you’re ready to get to cooking, they come on in and let’s get started.
We’ll first start off by preheating our oven to 400 degrees. We’re currently in the midst of zucchini season, and let’s be real here. Who else has either bought way too many at the grocery store, or maybe you’re swimming in them from your summer garden? If you’ve got a lot to choose from, then you’ll want to make sure, and pick four zucchini that look about the same length and width.
Choosing squash that are a similar size ensures they cook up evenly when baking in the oven. While today I’m going to be showing you how to make taco-stuffed zucchini boats, you can use the same process and get a little creative.
Try out some pepperoni pizza or even some cilantro lime chicken zucchini, too. To prepare the boats, you will first want to thoroughly rinse, scrub, and dry off your zucchini. Cut and remove both the stem and blossom ends from all of the zucchini.
Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Grab a medium sized spoon with a slightly sharp or pointed edge. Scoop the seeds out of the middle and try to leave about half an inch of zucchini around all of the sides.
And make sure you don’t throw any of these insides away. We’re actually going to be using them in just a little bit. So next, you’re gonna place all of your zucchini boats on a large baking sheet. Drizzle, one tablespoon of oil over all of the insides of the zucchini boats and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Place the zucchini flat side down in a single layer. I almost always line my baking sheets with a piece of parchment paper because it makes cleanup so much easier. But in this case, I actually like to place the zucchini directly onto the metal sheet pan because it makes it crisp up and caramelized so much better.
Once your zucchini are laid flat out on the baking sheet, you’ll just want to pop them into your preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. While the zucchinis are pre-baking, let’s get started on that taco filling.
You’ll first want to finely chop one red or one green bell pepper. And one cup of a sweet yellow or red onion. Grab the zucchini flesh you scooped out earlier and cut it into half inch pieces. Measure out one cup of it.
If you happen to have a little bit of extra, you can always just save it for later and throw it in a stir fry or even add it to some scrambled eggs. Place a large stainless steel skillet over medium heat.
Add two tablespoons of oil along with the chopped bell pepper, onion, half a teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Saute for two to three minutes. Add the chopped zucchini flesh and two cloves of crushed garlic.
Continue sauteing for one to two minutes. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet and add one pound of ground meat. Ground Turkey, beef, or chicken can all be used. A 93/7 or 90/10 count is preferred.
Cook ground meat for seven to 10 minutes, or until meat is completely cooked through. Drain any excess liquid from the pan when the meat is done cooking. Crumble the meat using a potato masher and mix it together with the vegetables.
Sprinkle in two tablespoons of taco seasoning. A homemade taco seasoning blend was used, but store-bought packets may also be substituted. And add 1/4 cup of a mild or medium heat salsa. Stir to combine.
Turn off heat and mix in 3/4 cup of finely shredded cheddar cheese. Okay, we’ve got our taco filling ready to go. So now it’s just time to fill up those zucchini boats. Flip over all of the boats so the hollow cavity is facing out.
Fill all eight zucchini boats with equal amounts of the taco filling mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese over all of the boats. Return the zucchini to the oven and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
These tacos zucchini boats tastes best when served immediately with diced tomatoes and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three to four days.
Oh, yeah. (groaning) Oh, my goodness. There is so much delicious Mexican taco flavor in these zucchini boats. Your friends and your family, and even your kiddos, are going to absolutely love these. And if you’ve still got some extra zucchini lying around, make sure you check out these other easy zucchini recipes.
Thanks so much for hanging out, y’all. I’ll see you again soon.