Healthy Zucchini Taco Boats made with ground turkey are low calorie and higher protein. A filling, protein and fiber filled meal that's easy and delicious! Low Calorie + Low Carb + Gluten Free + Paleo
I love making zucchini boats for delicious meals! Zucchinis add bulk to meals which make them more nutritious, satisfying and filling.
When people think of zucchini based meals, they often think of them as low carb. While zucchini boats can fit into a low carb diet, they can fit into ANY DIET.
Personally, I do not follow a low carb diet, but I love adding zucchini boats to meals as a way to boost nutrients, fiber and water to my diet. It's also a way to make meals more fun and interesting.
This taco version of zucchini boats is made with ground turkey and taco seasoning for yummy meal!
Why I Love Taco Zucchini Boats For A Healthy Meal
- Higher Protein - Each serving has 34 grams of protein. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and so important for aging and managing weight.
- Higher Fiber - Fiber keeps you fuller, longer and is important for many health reasons. This recipe has 6 grams of fiber!
- Low Calorie - 248 calorie per serving and most importantly, the calories are BALANCED with higher protein and fiber to keep you fuller and satisfied longer.
- Easy To Customize - Very easy to customize zucchini boats to your liking and dietary needs. You can add or swap ingredients to make it your own without affecting the flavor!
- Simple - The ingredients for zucchini boats are basic and the steps are simple. I like to break up the steps by prepping the meat sauce ahead of time which makes it easier to assemble and bake on a separate day.
Zucchini Taco Boats Ingredients
Here's what you need to make healthy zucchini taco boats! You will also need a rectangular sheet pan.
For the full ingredient measurements and nutritional information scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Ground Turkey, 93%
- Taco Seasoning
- White Onion
- Red Bell Pepper
- Tomato Sauce
- Mexican Shredded Cheese (optional)
For ingredient substitutions and recommendations for different diets, see the substitutions section below.
How To Make Ground Turkey Zucchini Boats
Here's the steps to making healthy ground turkey zucchini boats!
Step One - Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bring a large pot to a boil.
Step Two - Add the salsa on the bottom of a rectangular baking pan.
Step Three - Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out the flesh of the zucchini halves leaving a small amount in the shell.
Step Four - Chop the flesh and reserve for mixing with the taco meat later.
Step Five - Add the zucchini into the pot of boiling water and cook for 1 minute the drain.
Step Six - Place the ground turkey and taco seasoning in a skillet and cook until the meat is no longer pink.
Step Seven - Add the onion, bell pepper, reserved zucchini flesh, tomato sauce and water to the skillet. Simmer for 18 minutes.
Step Eight - Turn off the heat then scoop out the meat mixture filling each zucchini boat about 1/2 of the way full. Press the mixture firmly into the zucchini.
Step Nine - Top each one with shredded cheese. Cover and bake 25 minutes in the oven.
Step Ten - Once cooked, serve garnished with cilantro, scallions and salsa!
What To Serve With Taco Zucchini Boats
- Corn, Beans or Lentils - A side of corn, beans or lentils is perfect with taco zucchini boats. If you are Paleo, remember corn, beans and lentils are not Paleo compliant.
- Salad - This Healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad would pair well with taco zucchini boats!
- Guacamole - Guacamole with sweet mini peppers or chips would be a great low carb side with this recipe.
- Chips & Salsa - Who doesn't love chips and salsa? Grain-free chips or regular tortilla chips can be used along with your favorite salsa.
Storing and Reheating Low Carb Taco Zucchini Boats
- Refrigerator - Store leftover zucchini boats in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Freezing - I do not recommend freezing zucchini boats. The zucchini will get soggy and dilute the flavor. You can prepare the taco meat with ground turkey in advance and freeze it. Then thaw it in the refrigerator the night before you plan to make taco zucchini boats. The filling will be ready for you to assemble and bake the next day!
- Reheating - Reheat leftover zucchini boats in the oven at 325 F on a sheet pan for 15-20 minutes.
Can You Meal Prep Zucchini Boats Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can meal prep zucchini boats ahead of time. Prepare the meat sauce and slice the zucchinis in half and remove the flesh according to the instructions.
Store the sliced zucchinis in an airtight container and the meat sauce in a separate container in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
When you are ready to bake, assemble the zucchini boats and enjoy!
Substitutions For Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Ground Turkey
Here are the substitutions I recommend for this recipe. Remember when you make substitutions or additions, it will change the nutritional values from what you see below.
- Ground Turkey - I used 93% ground turkey for this recipe. You can use a leaner version or 85%. You can also use lean ground beef, ground pork or ground chicken instead of ground turkey.
- Bell Pepper - Jalapeños, poblano peppers, cabbage or carrots are substitutes I would recommend.
- White Onion - Any onion can be used.
- Taco Seasoning - I recommend a lower sodium taco seasoning. You can also use the homemade taco seasoning from this taco recipe.
- Canned Tomato Sauce - Diced tomatoes, marinara sauce or I also like making homemade tomato sauce as an alternative.
- Cheese - You can use any cheese you enjoy. I used low fat Mexican shredded cheese. You can alternatively use a dairy-free cheese or nutritional yeast.
- Additions - Beans or lentils would be a great addition to this recipe.
- Paleo - Make sure you use a Paleo compliant taco seasoning and use nutritional yeast instead of cheese.
More Healthy Taco Recipes
- Healthy Taco Salad
- Healthy Taco Pasta
- Healthy Taco Soup
- Low Carb Taco Casserole
- Grilled Shrimp Tacos
- Shrimp Taco Soup
- Healthy High Protein Burritos
- BBQ Chicken Taco Bowls
- Crockpot Chicken Taco Bowls
Healthy Zucchini Taco Boats
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Place 1/4 cup of salsa on the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish.
- Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop out the center of the zucchini flesh leaving about 1/4-inch of the shell.
- Chop the flesh and reserve for mixing with the taco meat later.
- Drop the zucchini into the boiling pot of water and cook for 1 minute then remove from the water.
- Place the ground turkey and taco seasoning in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the meat until it is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, reserved zucchini flesh, tomato sauce and water. Simmer the mixture on medium-low heat for 18 minutes.
- Turn off the heat then scoop out the meat mixture filling the zucchini boats about 1/2 of the way full. Press the mixture firmly into the zucchini.
- Top each zucchini with 1-2 tablespoons of cheese. Cover and bake 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve garnished with cilantro, scallions and salsa!
- Each serving equals 2 zucchini halves.