Zesty Taco Zucchini Boats: A Fresh Twist on Taco Night

Bring a healthy and flavorful twist to your taco nights with these Zesty Taco Zucchini Boats. Combining the savory goodness of seasoned ground beef with the fresh taste of zucchini, this dish is both nutritious and delicious. Perfect for a family dinner or a casual gathering, these zucchini boats are sure to become a favorite for their bold flavors and satisfying textures.


  • 2 large zucchinis, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Prepare the Zucchini:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
    • Slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, creating a hollow center for the filling.
    • Brush the zucchini halves with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet, cut side up.
  2. Cook the Ground Beef:
    • In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.
    • Add the diced onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
    • Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
    • Stir in the chopped garlic, tomato paste, cumin, taco seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper. Continue for another 2-3 minutes, combining the ingredients with the beef.
  3. Add Creaminess (Optional):
    • If using, stir in the cream cheese until melted and fully incorporated into the beef mixture. This will add a rich creaminess to the filling.
  4. Incorporate Tomatoes:
    • Add the drained petite diced tomatoes to the skillet and mix well. Simmer the blend for several minutes to help the various ingredients blend together.
  5. Assemble the Zucchini Boats:
    • Spoon the beef mixture into the hollowed-out zucchini halves, packing it in tightly.
    • Top each zucchini boat with a generous amount of shredded cheddar cheese.
  6. Bake:
    • Place the filled zucchini boats in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Serve:
    • Remove the zucchini boats from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.
    • Garnish with your favorite taco toppings, such as sour cream, chopped cilantro, or sliced jalapeños, if desired.


These Zesty Taco Zucchini Boats are a delightful way to enjoy all the flavors of tacos in a healthier, veggie-packed format. With their rich, savory filling and fresh zucchini base, they offer a satisfying and nutritious meal that’s easy to prepare. Perfect for any night of the week, these zucchini boats will quickly become a staple in your meal rotation, bringing a burst of taco-inspired flavor to your table. Enjoy this delicious and creative dish with your family and friends!