If you’re looking for healthy and delicious keto recipes, this is a big favorite. These Low Carb Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe have been in my repertoire for years, they are excellent.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I’ve been making this delicious stuffed zucchini recipe for years, and it turns out wonderful every time.
So if you’ve got lots of zucchini at your house, this is a recipe you’ll want to hang onto, and customize it to your own tastes. Like things spicier? Just add more pepper flakes. Prefer lean ground beef instead of turkey? No problem.
Here’s some good reasons to make this beauty:
- There are a few steps to this recipe, but don’t let that stop you. Everything is totally do-able and made with simple ingredients for a great family meal.
- Once you get the hang of the first step of removing the seeds to make hollow zucchini boats, you’re home free. The rest is just a thick meat sauce.
- People on a keto diet seem to like this zucchini recipe (said the person who’s never been on a keto diet.) I’m not a dietitian, but I suppose you could call these “keto zucchini boats”.
- These hold up well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Great way to pack a lunch or re-heat the next day for the dinner table.
- If you love recipes like this, bookmark these for later, I think you’ll love them too. This Taco Pie with Crescent Rolls is really amazing, and these turkey meatballs that are incredibly tender and made in a skillet in 30 minutes? Just wow.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe and list of instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card.
- Ground Turkey: Organic and lean if you can.
- Zucchini: Go for large zucchini which is easier to cut, scoop & fill.
- Onion: Just half of a regular yellow onion, chopped fine.
- Garlic: For depth of flavor.
- Italian Parsley: Also known as the world’s most versatile fresh herb.
- Cheese: Monterey Jack for its melty cheese quality.
- Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes in their juice.
- Tomato Paste: Gotta have this so the meat mixture stays put.
- Parmesan Cheese: For that extra deep flavor.
- Seasonings: Olive oil, black pepper, kosher salt, red pepper flakes.
Step-By Step Instructions
To prep the zucchini’s for stuffing, here’s all you do:
- Trim the ends off each zucchini (better wash them first).
- Boil the zucchini in a large soup pot of salted water for 5 minutes.
- Cool for about 10 minutes or more, then slice in half lengthwise.
- Scoop the inside seed portion out using a spoon starting in the top center and working your way down. You’ll find that it pulls right out.
- Save the inside of one zucchini though, to chop it finely and include in the meat mixture. Toss the rest.
- Next, smear a little olive oil or cooking spray on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish and add the prepped zucchinis.
- Set these aside until they’re ready to fill. Blot the insides with a paper towel just before filling in case any water accumulates.
- Next, chop half of a yellow onion and add it to a large skillet with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt over medium heat until the onions sweat and soften, about 3-4 minutes.
- Now add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, then add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, the reserved zucchini flesh, the garlic, seasonings and water.
- This is what the cooked meat mixture looks like fully cooked. You can see it’s not saucy, in fact, it’s rather thick which is exactly what we’re going for.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese and now we’re ready to fill!
- Next, divide the meat mixture into the zucchini boats.
- This doesn’t have to look perfect! Sprinkle the cheese and more parsley over the top, then bake.
- The zucchini boats are done when heated through and the cheese has melted, about 25-30 minutes.
Tips and Possible Variations
- This recipe is easy enough to make, and the best part is the leftovers are great for lunch or dinner the next day. A very good meal prep recipe.
- Let the whole zucchinis cool for at least 10 minutes out of the boiling water bath before you attempt to scoop out the middles.
- Be sure to also blot the inside of the scooped-out zucchinis with a paper towel before you begin to fill them, as they’ll start to pool on the bottom with excess water.
- This is a great recipe to eat on its own, but with a salad like this with kale and crispy almonds, it’s downright wonderful.
- Or have it with a simple and delicious creamy Pumpkin Soup.
- I’d also happily eat this tasty and simple Celery Salad to eat alongside the zucchini.
- How about a little dessert? You’ll love these mini caramel apple pies.
- Take a look too at this tempting round-up of some of my all-time favorites called Easy Sweet Recipes at Home.
- Feel free to change up the cheese on this recipe to whatever kind you’d like. White cheddar cheese, mozzarella and pepper jack are all very nice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You can assemble this the day before you plan to eat it. Cover it tightly and keep it refrigerated, then when you’re ready to bake it, let it get to room temperature for 15-30 minutes to take the chill off, then bake as directed.
It’s best to use an airtight container. This recipe will be fine for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
Yes! These zucchini boats are great with lean ground beef, Italian sausage or ground chicken, or plant-based substitutes.
More Recipes to Try
- Zucchini Potato Frittata: Just a fantastic breakfast, brunch or lunch idea.
- Chicken Sausage Tortellini Soup: A favorite, hearty soup.
- Grilled Peppers and Onions Recipe: A fantastic side for chicken, steak, tofu.
- Stuffed Celery Cream Cheese Appetizers: So cute and fun to make.
- Peach Green Tea Lemonade Recipe: Peachy & delish!
- Melon Balls Recipes: Fresh and easy ideas for melon balls.
- Recipe for Sauteed Zucchini and Yellow Squash: A great side dish!
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers Recipe: Easy, tasty, wonderful!
- Veggie Cups with Hummus: A favorite snack for gatherings of any kind!
- Stuffed Celery Appetizer Recipe: An all-time favorite easy snack.
- Crispy Cauliflower Bites: Everyone loves these cheesy little bites!
- Ground Turkey Pasta Bake: Like lasagne in a skillet made in 30 minutes!
- Turkey Burgers with Cranberry: An awesome, juicy burger every time.
If you’ve tried this Low Carb Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe, or any other recipe on Studio Delicious, please rate the recipe 5 stars and tell me about it in comments below!
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Low Carb Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe
- 6 Zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1½ tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ Onion, yellow, chopped finely
- 1 – 1¼ pounds Ground Turkey
- 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
- 1 14.5 ounce can Petite Diced Tomatoes, not drained
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- ½ cup Water
- ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 Inside of one zucchini after scooping See Tips
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1½ cups Jack Cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons Italian Parsley, chopped finely
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Use a 9 x 13" baking dish with cooking spray or a little olive oil smeared on the bottom to prevent sticking.
- Trim both ends of each zucchini. Fill a large pot with water and add a tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then add the whole zucchini's and let them cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and set on a clean dish towel. Let them cool for a few minutes, then cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the inside middle line of seeds with a spoon. Set aside the insides of one of the zucchinis and chop it finely. (You'll add it to the turkey meat in a minute) Set the zucchini boats inside the prepared baking dish while you make the turkey filling.
- In a large skillet, add the olive oil and chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Cook on medium heat until the onions are soft and starting to brown on the edges, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey and cook it until no longer pink on medium heat, breaking it apart into small chunks with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add in the garlic cloves, the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, the water, the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add in the reserved chopped inside of one zucchini to the mixture also, and stir to combine. Simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes until the moisture has evaporated (the mixture should be stiff and not saucy). Remove from the heat, let it cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the Parmesan cheese & half the chopped parsley and mix to combine.
- Dry the insides of the zucchini boats with a paper towel, then divide the turkey mixture among the 12 zucchini boats. Top the boats with the grated jack cheese and the rest of the chopped parsley. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
- After you’ve boiled the zucchini to partially cook them before filling, cut them in half length-wise, and scoop out the inside line of seeds to make a “boat”. Set aside the inside flesh of one the zucchinis, chop it finely, and add it to the turkey mixture before cooking.
- Use other flavors of cheese if you’d like, such as pepper jack or cheddar.
- Use other proteins such as ground chicken, beef or plant-based options.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible