Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats have tons of flavor and perfectly fun to eat. Your kids will focus on the boats and not the zucchini.
I had this recipe on my mind for a while. I think I saw something similar in a magazine or something. Maybe it was an email. But the filling was more Italian in nature. Which is all well and good. I love me some Bolognese stuffed meals. But I thought taco seasoning would be super fun to stuff the zucchini with. And I was right!
I don’t know about you, but it always seems there’s a plethora of zucchini and other squash in summer. If you plant them, you know what I mean. Unless you have a bad crop or something. I wouldn’t know. We don’t plant stuff anymore. I get tired of the “it looks crappy it needs to go in the trash” mentality the hubs has. It’s not worth the effort on my part to even try any more. But that’s another story for another post.
So, I purchase the for pretty cheap at the farmers markets.
Sometimes it’s cheaper them purchasing them at the grocery. And you know they’re local and super fresh. For me, I usually stuck to the green and gold zucchini. I’m not a huge yellow squash fan. But I am tempted to try the golden pattypan squash I see at the market. In fact, I’m thinking of getting some other types of squash just to see what they taste like.
And probably other types of eggplant, too. I have seen many different sizes and shapes of eggplant at the market. I know I have tried small green ones. Thai eggplant, I think. They were sour which I didn’t expect at all. There are other small purples, white ones, and long skinny Japanese eggplant. And white versions of those, too. But this post isn’t about eggplant.
This post about the zucchini and taco meat. Now, I keep the taco seasoning in my pantry. I have two versions of taco seasoning. One is on my blog, and one is not. I have no idea why the one I use all the isn’t on there. I will have to whip up a batch and share it with you. It’s delish and my go to taco seasoning. Feel free to use whatever taco seasoning you want for this recipe.
What are the health benefits of zucchini?
One cup of zucchini has 40% of your RDI of vitamin A, 16% manganese, 14% vitamin C, and 13% potassium. It has a slew of others, but these are the most notable. The remaining 7 are 10% or less of the RDI. So, to say it’s packed with nutrients is an understatement.
Zucchini contains carotenoids that help with eyes, skin, and heart. Of course, these antioxidants are more plentiful in the skin. Too bad I usually peel mine. I might have to stop doing that.
Zucchini boasts both soluble and insoluble fiber which helps with digestion. It’s packed with water to help with satiety. And it’s low in calories. Apparently, that’s called nutrient dense. Meaning it has a ton of nutrients in the small number of calories it has. And anything that fills you up without a lot of calories is always a good thing.
So, I have been ordering grocery pick up since before chaos ensued on the world. Of course, it stopped for a while, and I had to shop for my own groceries. And I am fine with that. Sometimes I wish the service I used would allow me to leave comments on some items. Because when I ordered 2 zucchini for this recipe they sent me the worlds smallest zucchini. Which would have been fine for sautéing, but not for this recipe.
I had to look at the farmers market for the large zucchini. They have a range of sizes in pretty much everything you can imagine. From veggies and fruits to meats and pastries, you can find all sizes you need for your recipes. Or dinner. I found both long okra for pickling and smaller okra for cooking at the market.
How do you pick the best produce?
I was lucky growing up. I thoroughly enjoyed going grocery shopping with Dad. He knew all the tips and tricks. Like how to pick the best produce, the best way to get a good deal and meats, and even the price per unit trick. Do you know about that one?
Zucchini should me small to medium. Only just larger than the size of your palm or about 7 to 8 inches long. They should be skinny and not have any nicks or bruises in the skin. Of course, the latter is harder to manage with the way people handle produce these days.
Lettuce should be heavy for its weight. So, you’ll see me picking up all the heads of lettuce and weighing them in my hand. Asparagus should be pencil thin or just a little bigger. The bigger the more fibrous and tough they are. Broccoli should have tightly formed florets that are bright green. When they start to turn purple, they’re less sweet and more bitter. Artichokes should have tightly packed leaves
Peaches should smell like peaches. It has nothing to do with softness of the fruit. Smell it. Does it smell like a peach? Then get it. Pears should be slightly tender at the stem end. Strawberries should be bright red and have no blemishes. Pomegranates are like lettuce; they should be heavy for their size.
Yes, these zucchini are longer than they should be, but that is for sautéing and not for stuffing and eating. One half is good for a light dinner with a side salad. If you’re really hungry you can have both halves. There’s not a ton of taco meat in the zucchini to make these unhealthy. And if you’re worried about that, try some turkey instead of beef in there.
I don’t think it’s that necessary because there’s diced tomatoes in the filling along with the scooped out zucchini flesh. Yup. It’s a good way to sneak in some veggies with the taco meat. And you don’t want that delicious zucchini meat to go to waste do you? No, you don’t. Because these are super delicious. You will want to devour both halves. So, maybe get 4 zucchini?
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 14 ounces petite diced tomatoes
- 2 large zucchini
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the flesh leaving about 1/4 inch of zucchini all the way around.
- Chop any large pieces of scooped out zucchini and set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the beef.
- Sprinkle the meat with the taco seasoning.
- Add the onion and chopped zucchini. Continue cooking until they begin to soften.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
- Spoon the taco mixture into the zucchini boats. Place on a baking sheet.
- Use crumpled aluminum foil to keep them from falling over.
- Bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes or until the zucchini are fork tender.
- Top each zucchini with 1/4 cup of cheese.
- Bake an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Here’s more Farmer’s Market Week Recipes
Starter and Smoothie Recipes
- Orange and Greens Salad with Orange Vinaigrette by Magical Ingredients
- Pear Ginger Smoothie by Hostess At Heart
- Pickled Sport Peppers by Palatable Pastime
Side Dishes Recipes
- Cheesy Zucchini Rice by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Creamed Peas and Potatoes by House of Nash Eats
- Honey Butter Peas by West Via Midwest
- Instant Pot Sweet Potato by Devour Dinner
Main Dish Recipes
- Blackened Salmon with Cucumber, Tomato, Avocado Salad by Lemon Blossoms
- Farmer’s Market Cobb Salad by Our Good Life
- Individual Sausage and Spinach Skillet Frittatas by Family Around the Table
- Peach Smoothie Bowls by SueBee Homemaker
- Stir Fry Chicken with Blistered Green Beans by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures