These fresh zucchini boats are filled with seasoned ground beef, red bell pepper, onion, mushroom and topped with melted cheddar cheese.
If you’re looking for a low carb dinner idea that comes together quickly and tastes incredible, try these stuffed zucchini boats. When zucchini is in season, I’m always looking for great recipes to use up the fresh produce from the garden. These zucchini boats are my favorite way to make sure the tender nutritious zucchini don’t go to waste.
You can make dozens of different combinations of zucchini boats, but this one with ground beef is my favorite. It’s super easy to make. All you need to do is a bit of chopping, brown the meat, and mix it all together. It takes about 20 minutes to bake them in the oven and dinner is ready.
How Many Carbs are in Zucchini?
There are 6 grams of carbs in one medium zucchini. There are also 2 grams of fiber. So, if you’re counting net carbs a medium zucchini has just 4 grams of net carbs. If you scoop out a lot of the insides of the zucchini, that reduces the carb total even more.
Do I Peel the Zucchini?
There is no need to peel the zucchini. With the peels left on, the zucchini boat keeps its shape well and doesn’t become too watery.
Also, according to Healthline, “Studies note that zucchini peel extract may help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. This may be due to the skin’s potent antioxidants”. There are quite a few important health benefits in zucchini, so you can eat it without worries.
Can I Freeze Zucchini Boats?
Yes, it’s absolutely fine to freeze your prepared zucchini boats. The only side note is that the zucchini’s texture will change after being frozen. They can be stacked side by side and on top of each other, then stored in a freezer storage container for a month or two.
Since it’s so easy to prepare the zucchini, I prefer to make the filling and freeze just that part for later use. Then I use fresh zucchini with the frozen filling.
How to Make Zucchini Boats
The first step is preparing the zucchini. I do this while the ground beef is browning in the skillet to save time. So get that ground beef sizzling in the pan first, then get to it.
- Cut off the top stem of the zucchini.
- Half the zucchini lengthwise. If the zucchini is bent, turn it up toward you, so you can get an even slice down the middle.
- Use a tea spoon to carve out the middle of the zucchini, leaving about ¼ inch of flesh all around. You can incorporate the scooped out bits into the filling, or reserve it for another use later. I like to add it to a stir fry.
- Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and pepper, or seasoning salt.
- Put the zucchini in the oven for 10 minutes to pre-cook them. This will ensure that the filling doesn’t become overcooked.
As soon as the ground beef is browned, add the seasoning and stir well. Add the chopped mushrooms, bell peppers, and half the cheddar cheese. Stir it all up.
It’s super important to have high-quality beef to make this recipe with. I’m a huge fan of the 100% grass-fed beef from ButcherBox. It’s a meat subscription box that’s delivered to your door monthly with the cuts of meat you choose. All the meat is humanely raised and never given antibiotics or added hormones. I appreciate the peace of mind that gives.
Add a few scoops of the filling mixture to each boat, packing it down with the back of the spoon. Set the zucchini boats side by side in a baking dish (an 8”x8” glass dish works perfectly). Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Then top with the remaining shredded cheddar.
Bake the zucchini boats in the oven for 10 more minutes at 375 degrees F. Since you pre-baked the zucchini, they will be perfectly cooked, while the toppings won’t become dry and overcooked. The cheese only needs about 10 minutes to become bubbly and melted.
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Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 4 medium zucchini about 8 inches long
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 1/2 small red onion chopped
- 6 button mushrooms chopped
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese divided
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Trim the ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the center, leaving 1/2-in around the edges. Reserve the insides for another dish, or chop it into small pieces to add to the filling.
- Place the zucchini boats in a greased 9” x 13” baking dish. Bake them in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook the beef, zucchini pulp, onion, mushrooms and peppers over medium heat until the meat is browned. Remove from the heat. Add 1/2 cup cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Remove the zucchini from the oven. Spoon the filling into the zucchini shells, pressing it down to compact. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, on 375°F for 10-15 minutes.