Recipe: Stuffed Zucchini Boats
When it’s zucchini season, we love to whip up some stuffed zucchini boats. If you’re a regular reader of GHU, then you know how much we love zucchini noodles, but we do put the the Zoodler down for a minute when it comes to the recipe and it’s variations.
These delicious stuffed zucchini boats are easy to substitute ingredients in. Stuffed zucchini boats are low-carb, gluten-free, protein-filled, and kid-friendly. What more could you ask for in a family dinner?
I prefer the taco version which tastes like a savory and spicy taco, but the zucchini boat replaces the tortilla but it’s also easy to make a vegetarian version that takes the place of pizza night depending on what toppings you choose.
How To Make Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Whether you are making a taco zucchini boat or a pizza version, there are some basic steps for success.
- First, you’ll need to slice the zucchini vertically into two halves. Then scoop out the center so you have room for the filling.
- Place your zucchini halves face up on a sheet pan and prep your filling if needed.
- Add filling into zucchini boats.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Stuffed Zucchini Boat Variations
The pizza version of this stuffed zucchini can easily be made vegetarian. Skip any meat toppings such as pepperoni and just stick with marinara, shredded cheese (dairy-free for vegan) and olives, green pepper, etc.
Other fun vegetarian fillings can include:
- quinoa, parmesan and breadcrumbs
- artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and feta
- goat cheese, arugula and beets
- couscous, pesto and cherry tomatoes
Tips For Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Try to find zucchini of similar sizes so that they bake evenly
- Add the scooped out portion of the zucchini back into your filling; if you’re cooking up some protein or vegetables to go into the zucchini boats, throw the scooped up flesh in with it for more nutrition and no waste.
- These stuffed zucchini boats are naturally gluten-free and can easily be made dairy-free by using vegan cheese or skipping it entirely.
Is Zucchini Healthy?
Zucchini is packed with nutrition and so good for you. Here are the top 7 health benefits of zucchini.
1. Zucchini Promotes Heart Health
Zucchini is high in potassium, which is known for its ability to help reduce blood pressure. It also has good folate levels for breaking down amino acids such as homocysteine, responsible for causing heart attacks and strokes. And the magnesium found in it stabilizes blood pressure, ensuring the heartbeat remains in proper rhythm.
Related: 9 Health Benefits of Beets
2. Zucchini Improves Digestion
Because zucchini is so hydrating and full of essential electrolytes and nutrients, it is often recommended as a food for combating digestive issues. It’s even been found to offer anti-inflammatory protection in the GI tract, which can help reduce IBS, leaky gut syndrome, and ulcer issues.
3. Zucchini Protects Against Asthma
A good source of vitamin C, zucchini is a natural way to fight asthma since the antioxidant is known for keeping the immune system healthy and warding off respiratory issues.
4. Zucchini Strengthens Teeth and Bones
Zucchini is a good source of calcium, which has been shown to decrease bone loss while also improving tooth retention. One study found that participants who took calcium and vitamin D supplements decreased losing one or more teeth by 40 percent.
5. Zucchini Aids In Weight Loss
One of the biggest benefits people enjoy from zucchini is its super low-calorie count, which makes it a great addition to any weight loss diet. Swapping out calorie- and carb-rich foods with a good portion of zucchini will fill you up without weighing you down. It’s also full of fiber, which is beneficial for helping burn fat in the body. And because it’s 95 percent water, it will rehydrate you and keep you feeling full for longer.
6. Zucchini Helps Maintain Eye Health
Zucchini’s good amount of phytonutrients, including vitamin C, manganese, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, are great for eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin, for example, are carotenoid antioxidants known for warding off age-related diseases that affect the eyes by way of shielding the retina, cornea, and macula from the damage of UV light and oxidative stress.
7. Zucchini Can Help Control Diabetes
Zucchini offers polysaccharide fibers like pectin that work to regulate blood sugar. For people suffering from diabetes, zucchini can control blood sugar levels, as it’s an extremely low-carb, low-glycemic food that keeps insulin from spiking and dipping.
Other Low-Carb Dinner Recipes
- Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Casserole
- Low-Carb Un-stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup
- Low-Carb Pizza Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Slow Cooker Low-Carb No-Bean Chili
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 3 medium zucchinis
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 packet taco seasoning (or homemade)
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 1/2 cups Mexican shredded cheese blend
- Optional toppings: sour cream, cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Slice zucchini in half vertically and scoop out the middles to create a boat without going too deep.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic and sauté one minute.
- Add ground turkey to skillet and crumble, cooking until browned.
- Mix in seasoning and salsa and remove from heat.
- Divide turkey mixture into zucchini boats and top with cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes.
Recipe Cuisine: Mexican
From the kitchen of: Get Healthy U