Southwest Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Ground Beef

These southwest ground beef zucchini boats are easy to make in under 30 minutes, ideal for any weeknight dinner recipe, or a low-carb option for your summer BBQs. They are so filling, stuffed with ground beef, black beans, corn, tomato, red onion, and taco seasoning. These zucchini boats are a nutritious lunch or dinner idea that is easy and quick to make. Create a flavorful, healthy dish in minutes that everybody will love to sink their fork in!

Southwest beef stuffed zucchini

Deliciously Healthy Southwest Zucchini Boats with Ground Beef

These Southwest ground beef stuffed zucchini boats are one of my picky kid’s favorite recipes. I love that it combines veggies and meat in one single healthy recipe. My kids always devour these and ask for seconds which makes me so happy. Usually, they struggle to eat their vegetables if I serve them as a side dish, let alone the main meal.

Healthy beef stuffed zuchini boats

This recipe for zucchini boats with ground beef is a healthy and nutritious summer dish, as zucchini is in prime season during this time of year. Plus, I love taking full advantage of how versatile these zucchini are. Stuff them with your favorite lean meat and a couple of veggies, and you can easily eat two and not feel guilty at all!

Quick Facts About Zucchinis

Zucchinis are one of those vegetables you probably don’t know is actually a fruit. I believe it is thanks to how we usually cook them or use them as substitutes for other carb-dense ingredients like pasta. This creamy fruit tastes similar to its famous first cousin, yellow squash. It works wonderfully in soups, salads, as a hearty side dish, or a complete and nutritious meal like in this Southwest recipe; it is that flexible.

Kid friendly zucchini boat recipe

Besides high-fiber and low-calorie counts, zucchinis pack many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As a result, they provide several health benefits due to their nutritional content. They help with digestive issues, protect your body from free radicals, and boost energy. And don’t even get me started on how versatile they are! You can bake, grill, and even fry this buttery fruit to make countless new recipes your “I don’t like veggies” kids will surely love.

Healthy zucchini boats recipe

What are The Ingredients for Southwest Stuffed Zucchini Boats?

These southwest zucchini boats are a low-carb meal that the whole family will enjoy, even the picky eaters. First, I stuffed them with a tasty mixture of seasoned ground beef, black beans, onions, tomatoes, and corn. Then, I topped them with plenty of melted cheese and baked them to perfection, a healthy recipe that will surely put a smile on your kids. 

Easy beef zucchini boats

How to Make Southwest Zucchini Boats

  • Cook the lean ground beef with taco seasoning according to the instructions on the seasoning package. Once complete, set aside.
  • Scoop out the insides of your zucchini, then place each half skin side-up onto a greased baking dish.
  • Drizzle each zucchini with oil.
  • Bake on a greased baking sheet at 350° for about 10 minutes, until softened.
  • Mix cooked seasoned beef with red onion, black beans, tomatoes, and corn.
  • Spoon beef and veggie mixture into the hollowed-out part of each zucchini, then top with Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Return to the oven and bake at 350° for about 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro, and enjoy!

Mexican stuffed zucchini boats

Tips for Making the Best Southwest Stuffed Zucchini Boats

  • Healthy substitutes: Although it is available year-round, the prime season for zucchini is summertime, between May and August. But suppose you can’t find them in the market or want to try different flavors. In that case, you can also make this delicious recipe with yellow squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, or hollowed-out eggplants.
  • Prevent watery zucchini: If you have ever cooked zucchini, you know they tend to release quite a bit of water when cooked. I scoop out all the seeds and pat the zucchini dry before stuffing it with meat. Make sure that you also drain the grease out of the meat mixture by patting it down with a paper towel.
  • That’s the cheese! If you don’t have Monterrey Jack at home and want to make this recipe for tonight’s dinner, choose a cheese substitute that melts well. While I prefer to use a great melter like Monterrey Jack with its mild, buttery flavor, other fantastic cheesy options are cheddar, mozzarella, Gouda, parmesan, or provolone.

Cheesy beef zucchini recipe

A Vegetarian Zucchini Boat Choice

I love cooking these zucchini boats with a meat mixture to give my kids a nutritious meal packed with proteins and flavors. But if you are a vegetarian, you can easily switch the meat to a low-carb option. Stuff the zucchini with lots of veggies like mushrooms, peppers, or spinach. Another way is to fill them with cooked lentils, quinoa, or your favorite vegan sausage.

Make-Ahead of Time

This easy southwest zucchini recipe is so simple you can cook it the same day or take a few shortcuts to shorten your prep time. I like making the meat mixture a day in advance and keeping it in the fridge, ready to be used. I’m not a fan of stuffing the zucchini beforehand, as they can get a little soggy and lose their perfect vessel shapes.

How to make stuffed zucchini boats

When you are ready to embark on this flavorful journey (pun intended), take out the meat mixture, and go ahead with the rest of the recipe. This way, it will give you extra time to prepare refreshing tropical spring drinks like my famous passion fruit, mango, and raspberry mojito mocktails, perfect for a spring brunch, family BBQ, or any summer celebration!

How to Store Zucchini Boats

You can store the leftover zucchini in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for three days. However, remember that the stuffed boats may not hold their perfect shape and get a little mushy. So, it is better to have the meat mixture and the zucchinis stored separately if you haven’t filled them yet.

As for freezing zucchini boats, I strongly discourage it, as they can get too soggy and come apart upon thawing. That being said, you can freeze the meat filling and the raw zucchinis for up to two months, leaving out the cheese topping. Then, place them on freezer bags and label them.

Reheating Zucchini Boats

If you freeze everything separately, defrost the filling, scoop it into the fresh zucchinis, add the cheese, and bake. If you store them already assembled, thaw them when needed, place them on the grill or oven, and cook as instructed. 

What to Serve with Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boats?

I love to make a complete meal out of them, so I serve these zucchini boats as a standalone nutritious dinner or low-carb option. And if I want to add a little more starch, I place them over a bed of white rice or pasta. You can also make a simple side salad to bring more summery flavors alongside this healthy meal.

Best stuffed zucchini recipe

Other Healthy Recipes Your Kids Will Love

  • Pollo En Jocón (Tomatillo Chicken Stew): A traditional dish from Guatemala, this healthy recipe for tomatillo and cilantro chicken stew is a delicious meal so easy to make. It’s the perfect comfort food full of flavors.

Chiken Jocon recipe from Guatemala

  • 10 Easy and Delicious Healthy Instant Pot Recipes: Whether you’re searching for a healthy dinner idea or something healthy to eat for breakfast, you’ll find it on this list of tasty recipes cooked instantly in this fantastic kitchen gadget.
  • Tuna And Quinoa Sliders with Creamy Avocado Sauce: Try this creative after-school healthy and nutritious dinner idea that your kids will love to eat. These patties pack loads of protein and fiber, and you can sneak in any veggies like quinoa, avocado, and spinach. 

Tuna and quinoa patties and sliders with creamy avocado sauce.

  • High Protein Mango Raspberry Parfait:  Having a nutritious breakfast is essential and helps you start your day right. I combined mangos, granola, and raspberries with Greek yogurt for a protein-packed parfait that you can make in minutes.

Delicious Mexican ground beef stuffed zucchini boats

These Southwestern ground beef stuffed zucchini boats are easy, delicious, and healthy! Zucchini boats make for a fun and nutritious meal my kids gobble down in seconds. And the best part is that there is no limit to the variety of toppings you can add to them; they are so versatile you can add any ingredient you want. But let me tell you that using the Southwest filling takes this zucchini boat recipe to the next level!

Southwest beef stuffed zucchini

Southwest Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Ground Beef

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A healthy meal you can make in 30 minutes perfect for summer

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 3 zucchini (halved lengthwise)
  • 2 tsp. of olive oil
  • ½ red onion (finely diced)
  • ½ cup canned black beans (drained)
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup canned corn (drained)
  • 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese (shredded)
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook the lean ground beef with taco seasoning according to the instructions on the seasoning package. Once complete, set aside.
  2. Scoop out the insides of your zucchini, then place each half skin side-up onto a greased baking dish.
  3. Drizzle each zucchini with oil.
  4. Bake on a greased baking sheet at 350° for about 10 minutes, until softened.
  5. Mix cooked seasoned beef with red onion, black beans, tomatoes, and corn.
  6. Spoon beef and veggie mixture into the hollowed-out part of each zucchini, then top with Monterey Jack cheese.
  7. Return to the oven and bake at 350° for about 15 minutes.
  8. Garnish with cilantro, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Healthy substitutes: Although it is available year-round, the prime season for zucchini is summertime, between May and August. But suppose you can’t find them in the market or want to try different flavors. In that case, you can also make this delicious recipe with yellow squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, or hollowed-out eggplants.
  • Prevent watery zucchini: Zucchini tends to release quite a bit of water when cooked. Scoop out all the seeds and pat the zucchini dry before stuffing it with meat. Make sure that you also drain the grease out of the meat mixture by patting it down with a paper towel.
  • A vegetarian zucchini boat choice: You can easily switch the meat for a low-carb option if you are a vegetarian. Stuff the zucchini with lots of veggies like mushrooms, peppers, or spinach. Another way is to fill them with cooked lentils, quinoa, or your favorite vegan sausage.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 268Total Fat: 7.6gSaturated Fat: 2.6gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 380mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4.3gSugar: 4.6gProtein: 28.8g

2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Sharing is caring!

1 thought on “Southwest Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Ground Beef”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe