These Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats are packed full of a hearty meat mixture, topped with cheese, and baked in the oven for a wholesome, family friendly, low carb recipe you can feel good about serving! Dairy free option.
Zesty Tex-Mex Zucchini Boats
When we first came across this zucchini boat recipe, flipping through the pages of the latest cookbook we received (thank you Wholesome Yum!), the bright colors and bold flavors pulled us right in. We loved the intent of the book – helping to provide low-carb substitutes for all your favorite carb-loaded recipes.
So, we knew we had to make it right away! With recipes like our Mexican Quinoa Skillet Dinner and Baked Mexican Cauliflower Rice with Chorizo, we can never say no to a good Mexican-inspired dish. Plus, what better way to use up all the fresh summer zucchini before the season ends? Needless to say, we jumped to the kitchen right away!
Enchilada-Style Ingredients & Simple Substitutions
In addition to salt and pepper, there are just a handful of ingredients you’ll need to create all the flavor of enchiladas with none of the carbs.
- Zucchini – The base of this recipe, zucchini is used in place of tortillas for a low carb option rich in vitamins and nutrients.
- Olive Oil – Rich in healthy fats, olive oil helps add depth and flavor to all of the ingredients, but avocado oil works just as well.
- Onion – Once cooked, onions provide a sweet, caramelized flavor and are a great source of prebiotics to aid with digestion.
- Turkey – A good source of protein and B vitamins, turkey absorbs the flavors of the spices and sauce. However, if you prefer, it can easily be swapped out for any other meat you prefer such as ground beef, chicken, or even Italian sausage.
- Diced Tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes with green chilies are used for a hint of spice and easy assembly. If spice isn’t your thing, you can omit the green chilies and use plain canned tomatoes instead. Or, to ramp up the taste even more, add a dash of red pepper flakes, too!
- Enchilada Sauce – Feel free to use your favorite store-bought sauce. Just make sure to take take a look at the nutrition label to ensure that it’s gluten-free and made without preservatives. Or, make your own like this!
- Mexican Cheese Blend or Dairy Free Cheese of Choice– A filling source of fats and calcium, cheese is melted on top for the final finishing touch! Mexican cheese is what the original recipe calls for, but Mozzarella cheese, Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, or even a dairy free option like our queso can be substituted to fit your needs.
Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian option, replace the ground turkey with a mixture of corn and black beans or tempeh. Or, just add them on top for a boost of fiber and plant-based protein!
How to Make This Stuffed Zucchini Boat Recipe
This zucchini boat recipe might look fancy, but it comes together with ease! Follow the steps below, and take a look at the recipe card below for the complete details.
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Slice down the center, and scoop out some of the zucchini flesh to form boats. Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper on top, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Saute the onions in olive oil until fragrant. Add the ground turkey and remaining seasonings, and cook until browned. Stir in the tomatoes and sauce. Bring to a boil, and simmer for a few more minutes. Pat any excess moisture off the zucchini, and spoon the meat mixture into the wells.
- Sprinkle with cheese, and place back on the baking sheet or in a baking dish in the oven to melt. -> No Waste Note! Before you toss out the leftover zucchini, try shredding it and adding it to instant pot oatmeal or zucchini muffins.
Make-Ahead and Storage Options
This recipe makes for great family-friendly meal prep! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or, freeze them for 3-6 months.
When you’re ready to eat, the easiest way to reheat your zucchini is to place 1-2 boats in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the desired temperature is reached.
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Common Questions About Stuffed Zucchini Boats
We believe that healthy looks different for everybody depending on their individual needs. However, generally speaking, these zucchini boats are a nutritious option providing a good source of protein, vegetables, vitamins, and fiber we all need.
Yes! Zucchini skins are extremely nutritious. Once baked, they become tender and soft, making them super easy to eat.
Yes, with one medium zucchini containing just 6.6 grams of carbohydrates, they’re a great option for those following a keto diet. (Source)
Technically speaking, no. The enchilada sauce can be replaced with marinara sauce or plain tomato sauce instead. However, keep in mind that this will eliminate some of the flavor, creating a dish more similar to tacos than enchiladas.
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Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!