Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Delicious ground beef, cooked with delicious spices, and tossed with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and marinara, stuffed inside zucchini, topped with mozzarella, and baked until tender. They are low carb and keto diet friendly.
Let me start put by saying I am a zucchini lover. I haven’t found anything I don’t love that has to do with zucchini. So when I discovered Zucchini boats with its flavor, fresh taste, and healthy aspects I was in love.
Why opt for this zucchini recipe?
It wasn’t until I had a garden full of zucchini that I discovered my love for zucchini boats. I loved the fresh taste you get with zucchini boats without the heaviness you get from traditional pastas and casseroles that usually have the meat and cheese filling.
I went searching for ways to use zucchini. I searched the internet, and after trying a couple recipes, I didn’t love any of them, so I decided to create my own. And I decided to make it low carb!
I knew I wanted a zucchini boat recipe that was melt in your mouth, but wasn’t over done with spices. After some trial and error I created a zucchini boat recipe that my whole family loves.
How do you bake zucchini boats?
One of the most asked questions about zucchini boats is how do you make them?
The first thing you will want to do is scoop out the inside of each half of your zucchini using a spoon.
Once you have done that you will mix the ‘filling’ and spoon it in the middle of the zucchini. The filling could literally be anything, from chicken and corn, to in this case ground beef and tomato sauces.
I love using a little bit of the insides of the zucchini I scooped out to add filler, and make the filling really awesome.
I also suggest: Overstuff the boat so you end up with a hearty dish that is super filling.
Once your boat is all assembled, and topped with cheese, you will want to line your pan with some parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and place your zucchini boats on it and bake 15-20 minutes until your cheese on top is bubbling.
If your zucchini are large, or you want them extra soft, you may need to cook a little longer to cook through, and if they are small, you may cook them for a shorter period of time.
- Rub zucchini with olive oil.
- Bake cut side down for 5-10 minutes, flip and broil 1 minute.
- Then bake 10-15 more minutes.
How do you make zucchini boat meat?
There are a variety of different meats you can add to complete your zucchini boats.
A lot of people like ground beef, chicken, or even sausage. Some people are vegetarian or vegan and will forgo putting meat in their zucchini boats all together. In this case, you can sauté a variety of vegetables together and chop to use as stuffing, try frying up some tofu, or even egg!
The fun thing is you can fill them with just about anything. I played with a lot of fillings, and this was the one that my family liked best.
Depending on what you and your families’ tastes are will depend on what type of meat you want to add to your zucchini filling. Once you have decided on the meat you want, make sure you cook it through.
Then mix in the rest of your spices and ingredients and place them in your zucchini boats.
I love using ground beef, when I want to mix things up, I will also add some sausage. But you really can use whatever you want. If you are in a pinch, you could even use rotisserie chicken.
What is Bruschetta?
I get a LOT of questions about bruschetta, and it is something I buy either fresh or canned. I love using it in place of the diced tomatoes. But because I got a lot of questions about it, I adjusted the recipe and replaced it with diced tomatoes.
Yes, bruschetta, it is a mixture often served on crostini. But it is also a tomato based mixture you can buy. I get mine at Trader Joe’s, you can see what it is here. If you do not have it, just add some tomatoes, basil, garlic and seasoning, which is essentially what bruschetta is!
When I do not have the bruschetta and I want a low carb option, I love subbing in this homemade Keto Marinara.
How do you make stuffed zucchini in the oven?
Stuffed Zucchini boats are easy to make, especially in an oven.
One of things I love most about making stuffed zucchini in the oven is it is a pretty hands free dinner option. Sure, you have to cook up your meat and add your seasonings, sauces and cheese.
And yes you have to fill the boats, but after you spoon the filling into your zucchini boats, and place them on a cookie sheet, you just put them in the oven to bake.
First, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Next, place your boats, with all the ingredients fully prepared in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
While they bake you can whip up a green salad. Or read a book. Or check Facebook. I mean really, you can do whatever.
How do you make chicken zucchini boats?
Ok, while this recipe is for ground beef zucchini boats, and I am telling you it is amazing. I realize, some people don’t like the taste of ground beef or want to make their meal a little more lean or cheaper, or something else by using chicken.
Luckily, it is really easy to replace the beef in this recipe with chicken. You will add all the same ingredients for your filling, but replace the ground beef with chicken. To get added flavor in the chicken start by cooking the onion, then add the garlic, then add the chicken.
Make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through and is no longer pink in the middle or reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees F, by either baking or pan frying it. Once the chicken is cooked thoroughly you can shred it and add the remaining ingredients.
Next, spoon the mixture into your zucchini boats like normal and bake.
Zucchini boats are such a great way to add a little bit of healthiness to your meals, without having to be over the top. I love with this recipe you still get the amazing flavors from the ground beef and cheese, and the freshness of the zucchini.
Try these delicious zucchini boats with:
- Garlic Bread Twists (that is if you aren’t eating low carb)
- Kale Chopped Salad
- Summer Fruit Salad
- Corn salad
Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 4 zucchini medium
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil + a little for brushing zucchini
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup petite diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup keto marinara low carb, sugar free version
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese or 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup cheddar for more flavor
- 1 tbs parsley
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Slice zucchini in half, and hollow them out with a spoon.
- Brush zucchini with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then place on a baking tray lined with parchment, cut side down and bake for for 5-10 minutes, flip and turn oven to broil, and broil for one 1 minute.
- Meanwhile, chop the part you scraped out of the zucchini up and set it aside.
- Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Cook onion for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to golden.
- Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add meat and cook until it's no longer pink, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the marinara sauce, and petite diced tomatoes, 1 cup zucchini pulp, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- If not alread in a line, line baked zucchini boats up on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper Spoon mixture into zucchini boats and top each with cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheesy is fully melted and bubbly.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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