Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats


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Taco stuffed zucchini boats are a healthy, veggie-forward, Mexican-inspired meal. They’re light and fresh, yet surprisingly filling. You’ll definitely go back for seconds on this recipe!

Taco stuffed zucchini boats on a sheet pan.

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Zucchini boats are always a crowd favorite and since I’ve been on a Mexican theme lately with my carne asada, barbacoa, and carnitas, I figured I’d make these taco stuffed zucchini boats.

They’re a great way to enjoy your favorite authentic taco flavors, but wrapped up in a healthy, vegetable container – fresh zucchini! And while I’m using ground beef today, you could also use any of those previously mentioned meats. So have fun with the recipe!

Ingredients for making taco stuffed zucchini boats on a table.

Ingredients You’ll Need

You’re swapping tortillas for crisp zucchini (it’s super easy). But other than that, you can top these zucchini boats with your favorite taco toppings. Here’s what I used:

  • Zucchini: try to grab large zucchini that are about the same size, so you’ve got room for plenty of filling!
  • Ground beef: I’m using 90% ground beef (which usually means I don’t have to drain fat from the pan), but you can use your favorite beef-to-fat percentage.
  • Taco Seasoning: There’s no comparison when it comes to homemade taco seasoning. Fresh is best!
  • Taco Toppings: I’m using sour cream, diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, avocado, and cilantro. But if you’d like to add a little cheese, guacamole, or cilantro lime bacon slaw, go for it!

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Stuffed zucchini boats with ground beef and taco toppings.

How to Make Zucchini Boats

Zucchini boats are super easy to make (have you seen my Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats?). Here’s how you make them step-by-step:

  1. Cook the ground beef. Season the ground beef with taco seasoning while it’s cooking for that deliciously spicy taco flavor.
  2. Prepare the zucchini. While the ground beef is cooking, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Assemble and cook the zucchini boats. Fill the zucchini boats with seasoned ground beef. Then bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the zucchini is softened, yet crisp.
Taco stuffed zucchini boats fresh out of the oven and ready to be served.

A Few Zucchini Boat Tips

  • Scoop just the seeds: When you scoop out the zucchini halves, remember to just scoop the seeds and not too much extra flesh. You want to enjoy as much zucchini as possible.
  • Grab large zucchini: Try to grab large, evenly sized zucchini. You’ll have more space for all the delicious filling and they’ll cook evenly in the oven.

How to Store Extra Zucchini Boats

If you have a few zucchini boats leftover store them without the toppings (just the cooked zucchini and ground beef) in an airtight storage container. They’ll keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

Before serving, reheat them in the microwave or oven until warmed through, then top with fresh toppings!

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe Video

Want to see how I make this recipe? Watch the quick video below!

More Healthy Mexican Recipes

Taco stuffed zucchini boats are delicious for any weeknight meal, and they’re perfect for Cinco de Mayo, Super Bowl and movie night. But here’s a few more Healthy Mexican favorites you’ll love!

Have leftover zucchini? Check out this post with 20+ Best Zucchini Recipes. It’s such an incredibly versatile veggie!

If you make these taco stuffed zucchini boats, let me know how they turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Several taco stuffed zucchini boats on a baking sheet.

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

4.94 from 15 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


These taco stuffed zucchini boats are a healthy, gluten-free, low-carb, Mexican-inspired dinner! Watch the video above to see how I make them.



  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 pound ground beef

Taco Seasoning


  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, to squeeze on top


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add the ground beef. Use your spatula to break up the beef. Add the spices, stir to combine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until browned. 
  • While the ground beef is cooking, slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the insides. 
    Scooping out zucchini to make stuffed zucchini boats
  • Place the zucchini on a parchment-lined baking tray and fill with the ground beef. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven, or until the tops are browned and the zucchini is slightly softened.
    Filling zucchini boats with ground beef.
  • Remove the stuffed zucchini from the oven and drizzle with sour cream, a sprinkle of diced tomatoes and green onions, a few slices of avocado,some fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.
    Taco stuffed zucchini boats lined up on a baking sheet

Lisa’s Tips

  • You can also make extra taco seasoning and store it in a glass spice jar for future use! Watch my spice drawer organization video to see how I do it. 


Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 446mg | Potassium: 1353mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1863IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Meal
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Zucchini Boat Recipes, Zucchini Boats
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted January 2017, but updated to include new information and photos.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. These were so good and incredibly easy to make!! We loved them!! I’ll probably never use tortillas again!

    Thank you Lisa!5 stars

      1. Wondering if you forgot the cheese Lisa. Tacos always have cheese. I added it anyway.
        Delicious recipie. Big hit.

  2. Oh em gee, so good! I made these for supper tonight and they were so good. So good I ate 3 of them to my self! I used parsley instead of basil and plain protien yogurt instead of sour cream! And I topped with a little bit of shredded cheese before throwing in the oven!5 stars

  3. Looking forward to making this tonight – we are wondering if there is a low carb side you would recommend that is vegetarian friendly? Our daughter is a vegetarian so we’re using plant crumbles and we’re a little nervous about filling everyone’s plates and bellies with just the zucchini. Loved how in other recipes you suggested sides for the dish, would love to know what you think might go with this! 

  4. This one is a great recipe for using up a lot of zucchini in a healthy way (ours were about 18″ long). The meat substitute that we used worked just fine in this recipe. It seems likely that other fillings, such as cooked shrimp or shredded chicken, would also work well if using the same spices (but we haven’t tried that yet). 
    The nutrition information is much appreciated. 5 stars

    1. Yes, this recipe is incredibly versatile! I have a pizza stuffed zucchini version on my website as well. :)

  5. I really admire your photography skills. The food presentation is also awesome. Next level it is!

  6. YES!  I am making these again.  I now make extra taco meat on Sunday evening so that I have enough for  taco zucchini boats on Tuesday.  I love you your site and lifestyle philosophy. 5 stars

  7. Lisa, these are so good!  I made the taco ones again tonight with local zucchini and have made the pizza variety many times.  We are not dairy free, so we used a couple of dollops of sour cream, and a bit of pepper jack cheese on them tonight.  This is such a great way to eat zucchini.  I have one suggestion, but just in prepping the zucchini.  I use a melon baller (the large end) to clean out the zucchini.  That tool works great for this and for other things as well.  I clean bell peppers, hot peppers, and even core pears, and apples after cutting them in half.  It is a multi-tasker for sure.5 stars

    1. Great idea on using the melon baller to scoop out the zucchini! Glad you enjoyed this recipe Patricia :)

  8. Made for the first time tonight. When you say 15-20 min in the oven or until tops are brown, do you mean the meat or the zucchini? We’re rounding 40-min now and the zucchini is barely browning (even brushed avocado oil on around 25/30min point) but the meat on top is definitely browning and drying out. But, they’re super cute!  Using Lime Crema I made from a carnitas recipe the other day!

  9. This looks so good! Taco night just got a lot healthier at my house. We love tacos around here. I love this idea. Definitely saving this for later to try.5 stars

    1. Hi Krissy- This will be a fun way to switch up taco night and sneak in more veggies while you’re at it :)

  10. That looks amazing! I have just picked a few zucchini from stores – So I know what I want to make :)5 stars

  11. The type of zucchini boats that makes you want to make them over and over again. Fantastic recipe that I am definitely adding to my fave list!5 stars

  12. Just made this tonight for dinner.  The family devoured it.  Packed with flavor.  Thank you for sharing.  5 stars

  13. It tastes better than it looks!  Middle son pulled a face when I removed it from the oven, only wanted a “small bit”.  I sat down to eat mine, he polished his plate and asked if there were any more.  Delicious and super easy to do.   In the UK courgettes are on the small size – I will be trying marrow or aubergine if I can’t find the bigger size.  We have had a gorgeous summer so lucky enough to nab some supersize courgettes!5 stars

    1. Happy your son gave it a try and loved it! And yes, sometimes our zucchini are massive in the US. Lol.

    1. I usually don’t (as it’s mainly the seeds), but you could absolutely toss it into a smoothie. :)

  14. I know it’s off-topic but sorry you moved to California. Having been born and raised there it’s not the same state. But on-topic these sound great. Do they freeze well? I am looking for some meals I can make and freeze As I am a single person times and it’s hard to eat a casserole every single day for a week.

    1. I hear you! So zucchini is a bit tricky when you freeze/reheat it, only because it’s 95% water so will get a little soggy. If you’re okay with that, then they should be good! :)

      1. Probably a dopey question but is there any way to kind of squeeze the water out before you cook them?

      2. Unfortunately, I think that would be difficult. But I say give the recipe a try and see what you think. It may not be that bad!

  15. That sounds delicious, apparently we are suffering a courgette shortage in Europe at the moment due to unusually harsh winters :(

    1. A courgette shortage, oh no! I don’t know what I’d do?! :( I’d ship some your way if I could!

      1. Hi Robin – So happy to hear you loved this recipe! Its a great way to use up your leftover zucchini :)

  16. I had a taco stuff tatter for dinner tonight but your version sounds lighter and healthier! Delish too – welcome to Cali & good luck getting settled, that’s always such a challenge!

  17. This is such a smart recipe! I can’t eat much dairy, so this is perfect for me! Love cashew sour cream. A much healthier alternative to regular tacos! PS Good luck with getting the rest of your stuff unpacked!

    1. Cashew sour cream is the best! And thanks so much for the well wishes Alyssa – getting settled will feel like a breath of fresh air. :) x

  18. LOVE stuffed zucchini! A childhood favorite meal, actually; and still love it to this day :) Hope you’re able to relax and fully enjoy your new home – hang in there with all the unpacking!

    1. There’s just something about stuffed things (zucchini, sweet potato, squash…) that are so fun. Glad this brings back fond memories for you Liz! :) x