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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. So, making these zucchini boats into turkey tacos sounded like a great idea!
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.
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.
ZUCCHINI TACO BOATS INGREDIENTS
- Zucchini – Four medium zucchini
- Salsa – I highly recommend making your own salsa (this one is so good!), but jarred works too.
- Ground Turkey
- Garlic Powder
- Chili Powder
- Tomato Sauce
- Mexican Cheese Blend – shredded
- Sour Cream – optional for serving
TIPS FOR MAKING ZUCCHINI BOATS:
- I highly recommend making your own salsa to go into these zucchini boats turkey tacos. 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.
- Use a melon baller like this Melon Baller with Two Sizes to scoop seeds out of the middle to make the “boats”.
- Make sure to spray your pan to prevent them from sticking on the bottom.
- Don’t overcook the zucchini. You want it soft, but not mushy
TOOLS YOU MIGHT NEED:
These Zucchini Taco Boats are sure to be a hit with your family. Just think of how much healthier Taco Tuesday will be?
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Zucchini Boat Turkey Tacos
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1/2 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
- 1/2 small onion minced
- 4 oz tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup or so shredded Mexican cheese blend
- sour cream optional for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Pour 1/2 cup of salsa into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
- 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 1/4″ rim. Save 3/4 cup of the zucchini flesh and chop into small pieces.
- Drop the zucchini halves into the boiling water and cook for one minute. Remove from water and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- 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.
- Add in the chopped onion, reserved zucchini, tomato sauce, and water. Stir it up then cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, arrange the boiled zucchini halves into the bottom of the 9×13 dish.
- Once the meat mixture is done, spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats evenly. Press down so the filling stays in the boats.
- Top each half with a sprinkle of cheese.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes until the zucchini is fully cooked and the cheese is melted.
- Serve with sour cream and more salsa.
With meals like this, you can afford to have some of our delicious Chocolate Brownies for dessert!
Originally published July 1, 2014