Zucchini Boat Turkey Tacos

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Low calorie, low carb, low fat but high flavor Zucchini Boat Turkey Tacos
Zucchini Boat Turkey Tacos | Persnickety Plates

I’m really trying to eat better. Not only am I trying to lose about 10 leftover pregnancy pounds, but the Mr. is diabetic. Have I mentioned that before? You probably wouldn’t know it with all the baked goods and pasta I make.

He is way more disciplined than I am and doesn’t often indulge, but still. I need to try harder to make low carb meals for him.

When I was working on this dish (very quickly, while the baby was occupied with her floor mat), I didn’t have high hopes for it. I love zucchini, but I don’t always love ground turkey. Not that I don’t love it, actually, I just don’t cook with it often.

But then, as I was scooping the meat mixture into the zucchini boats, and tried a spoonful, I knew it was going to be awesome. And the finished product definitely was.

I highly recommend making your own salsa. It is so easy and so worth it. It makes this dish that much better and you’ll have plenty left over to eat for days with other things.

While Julia was patient while I was cooking, she was not so patient for the plating/photographing phase. For that reason, these pictures don’t do the dish justice, but I promise it’s really good.
Low calorie, low carb, low fat but high flavor Zucchini Boat Turkey Tacos | Persnickety Plates


Zucchini Boat Turkey Tacos
Low calorie, low carb, low fat but high flavor Zucchini Boat Turkey Tacos |
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • ½ cup salsa (plus more for serving)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ small onion, minced
  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup (or so) shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • sour cream, optional for serving
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Pour ½ cup of salsa into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  3. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise then with a small spoon or melon baller (I used my tablespoon measuring spoon), hollow out the zucchini pieces but leave ¼″ rim. Save ¾ cup of the zucchini flesh and chop into small pieces.
  4. Drop the zucchini halves into the boiling water and cook for one minute. Remove from water and set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey, breaking it up while it cooks. When it’s no longer pink, add in the spices and mix well.
  7. Add in the chopped onion, reserved zucchini, tomato sauce, and water. Stir it up then cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, arrange the boiled zucchini halves into the bottom of the 9×13 dish.
  9. Once the meat mixture is done, spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats evenly. Press down so the filling stays in the boats.
  10. Top each half with a sprinkle of cheese.
  11. Cover the pan with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes until the zucchini is fully cooked and the cheese is melted.
  12. Serve with sour cream and more salsa.
Slightly adapted from Skinnytaste


You might need:
Pyrex Baking Dishes
Non-Stick Skillet
My favorite spatula set


Or maybe you’ll like…
Slow Cooker Chicken Zucchini & Spinach Pasta
Slow Cooker Chicken Zucchini & Spinach Pasta - a super simple slow cooker meal that is healthy and delicious | Persnickety Plates

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
FOUR ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is perfect for weeknights | Persnickety Plates


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  1. Amy says

    I made the zucchini tacos, but changed all the spices to make them Italian. They were awesome. Thank you for such a delicious recipe. It is a keeper, in both the Mexican and Italian formats, that will help me in my low carb eating plan.

  2. Debbie says

    Has anyone by chance figured out the calories and/or other nutritional info? Made it tonight and was really good. Thanks

      • Barb Pierson says

        I have a question on the nutrition – my husband is also a diabetic on an insulin pump, so we count carbs. According to your chart – you say 4 servings. Do you mean 2 halves are one serving? I was a little confused. Thank you! Making this tonite!

        • says

          Hi Barb,
          Yes, I meant 2 halves = 1 serving. So, it *could* serve 4 people, but last night I had 2 halves and my husband had 4. Even more confused?? haha

          It really depends on the size of your zucchini. Sorry I’m not more help, we don’t count carbs, we’re just very mindful of them. Let me know how you like them!

  3. Debra says

    Thank you for the fantastic recipe! My whole family enjoyed your recipe, even my adult son who normally won’t eat ground turkey.

  4. Ginger says

    Thank you for sharing this, it is the perfect recipe to bring to a company potluck. I plan to make halves for easy finger food apps. My thought was this could be considered a healthy version of potato skins, “zucchini skins”. Can you tell me why you put salsa in the bottom prior to cooking, and why you boiled the zucchini?

    • says

      Hi Ginger,
      You parboil the zucchini so that you don’t wind up with crunchy zucchini. You will still bake it, but I find that boiling it for a couple minutes helps with the baking. The salsa at the bottom of the pan helps add flavor and prevents the zucchini from sticking to the dish =)

      I’m not sure it’s much of a finger food but I’ve never tried making halves. Let me know how it goes!


  1. […] Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats are the new love of my life. Seriously. I had them again for lunch today, and they were just as good as last night. I love using zucchini in food type other than Italian or Southern. The Mexican flare was such a nice twist. This is going to be a recipe that stays in rotation for me. […]

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