The longest zucchini, recorded by Guinness in 2008, grew 7 feet 10 inches long.
However, you may want to choose a smaller one for tender texture to make cheesy taco stuffed zucchini boats. Learn how to prepare this dish to deliver healthier meals and side dishes to your family.
Cheesy Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
If you have picky eaters at home, try this taco substitute to get them on Team Zucchini and make healthy eating smooth sailing.
- 3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise
- 1/3 cup diced onion
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cups cauliflower rice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz. can diced green chiles
- 3/4 cup salsa
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- Cilantro to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place 1/4 cup salsa in a large baking dish.
- Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and hollow out the zucchini halves before placing them in the baking dish. Leave the shells at least 1/4-inch thick.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add cooking spray. Cook the onion for two minutes.
- Add the ground beef, breaking it into small crumbles. Add the garlic, green chiles, spices, cauliflower rice as well as the remaining salsa.
- Cook 3-5 minutes.
- Divide the taco filling between the hollowed zucchini boats. Pack firmly.
- Top with your favorite shredded cheese, cover with foil and bake up to 35 minutes until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is melted.
- Garnish with cilantro and extra salsa.
Whether you want to make this vegetarian, use other ingredients or serve the zucchini another way, these variations help you keep your zucchini dishes unique throughout the summer and beyond.
Vegetarian Zucchini Boats
Vegetarian zucchini boats combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, onions and cilantro in a spicy salsa you make yourself. Top it with your favorite cheese and bake for 12 minutes for a fast, nutritious lunch for two.
Italian Zucchini Boats
You don’t have to sail to Italy to get delicious Italian food. Italian zucchini boats employ oregano, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese, topped with fresh basil to make a dish that’s the perfect pairing for your favorite pasta.
Stuffed Zucchini with Millet
This hearty stuffed zucchini dish combines grain, tomatoes and a flavorful herb mix for a supper that your crew will request again.
Stuffed Zucchini Rolls
Stuffed zucchini rolls consist of thin lengthwise slices of zucchini wrapped around ricotta cheese with lemon and pinenuts. This fun twist on the stuffed zucchini family of recipes gives you a fancy presentation but also adds a few calories.
History of Zucchini
Archaeologists discovered that zucchini originated in Mexico and was cultivated as early as 7000 BCE. It was an important part of an ancient diet of beans, maize, and squashes. This pre-Columbian trio, known as the three sisters, is still the foundation of Mexican cuisine.
Zucchinis are the tender, immature fruit of the Cucurbita pepo plant, which is also edible. When left on the bush or vine too long, the fruit grows to enormous lengths, the seeds grow larger and becomes inedible. Cocozelle, a rounder variety of zucchini from Italy, can also be used for cheesy taco stuffed zucchini boats.
Get creative with this fun dish — add in whatever ingredients float your boat. The juicy squash is a healthy alternative to taco shells and adds hydration and fiber to your diet.