Taco-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Oven Method: If you want to cook these in your oven, briefly roast the zucchini in the oven at 350°F until soft enough to scoop out the centers. Then fill the zucchini with the taco stuffing and bake for 20 minutes. Check to make sure the zucchini are tender. If they are still firm, bake for another 5 to 10 minutes and re-test.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


For the taco filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and green parts minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the zucchini:

  • 4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces queso fresco
  • Scallions, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Diced red or orange bell pepper, for garnish


1 Make the taco filling: Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the diced red onion and jalapeño, along with all spices, and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Remove the taco filling from the heat and let it cool slightly. If there seems to be a lot of liquid in the mixture, drain it on paper towels before using. You could make this filling a day or two in advance; refrigerate until needed.

Stuffed Zucchini on the Grill

2 Prep the zucchini for stuffing: Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat (350°F to 400°F). Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and brush the cut sides with two tablespoons of the olive oil.

Place the zucchini on the grill, cut side down, and grill for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the grill. Once the zucchini are cooled slightly, use a spoon to scoop out the centers of the zucchini, leaving enough around the edges so they aren’t flimsy.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe grill the zucchini

3 Stuff and grill the zucchini: Use a slotted spoon to divide the taco filling between the zucchini halves, stuffing them full. Then crumble the queso fresco over each stuffed zucchini half.

Return zucchini to the grill, placed upright like a boat, and cook for another 6 to 7 minutes, until the zucchini is tender when pierced and the cheese is bubbling and melted.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats Ground Beef fill the zucchini Mexican Stuffed Zucchini Boats grill the filled boats

4 Garnish and serve:  Remove the zucchini from the grill and garnish with a drizzle of sour cream, diced bell pepper, and diced scallion. Serve while warm.

Leftovers keep fine for a few days and can be reheated in a 350°F oven until warmed through, or, if you’re in a rush, microwaved for one minute on high.

Stuffed Zucchini on the Grill serve the zucchini boats