Southwest Zucchini Boats Recipe
Southwest Zucchini Boats Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Southwest Zucchini Boats Recipe

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These fun “boats” are packed with a tasty taco meat filling that’s both hearty and family-friendly. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • Sour cream, optional

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 387 calories, 23g fat (11g saturated fat), 95mg cholesterol, 618mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 30g protein


  1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut a thin slice from the bottom of each with a sharp knife to allow zucchini to sit flat. Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-in. shells.
  2. Place shells in an ungreased 3-qt. microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat; stir in the salsa, bread crumbs, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon into zucchini shells.
  4. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Microwave 3-4 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and zucchini are tender. Serve with sour cream if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave.
Originally published as Southwest Zucchini Boats in Simple & Delicious June/July 2010, p10

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Reviewed Aug. 10, 2015

"These were divine! I didn't microwave the zucchini prior to baking and they turned out fine. Wouldn't change a thing about this recipe, so good!"

Reviewed Aug. 24, 2014

"Love this! I used Italian sausage and added garlic."

Reviewed Aug. 20, 2014

"Had a long day at work and made these for dinner. I was going to pre-cook the zucchini in the microwave and then finish up in the oven but decided to cook them as written?and I'm glad I did. How easy?how delicious. We were eating one hour after I got home and that included changing my clothes and going to the garden to pick the zucchini. I used just under 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef so upped the salsa and seasoning amounts a bit. Did not have fresh cilantro but used fresh curly leaf parsley from the garden for a bit of freshness. Just the two of us so we have dinner for tomorrow already made!!! My husband said this recipe is a keeper!!!"

Reviewed Aug. 20, 2014

"this never says anything about adding the scooped out zucchini!! R U supposed to slice it, cube it, what????????"

Reviewed Aug. 2, 2014

"Delicious and so easy to make! My husband loved these!"

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