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Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Mom’s
Enchilada Zucchini Boats are a super flavorful and fun twist on traditional enchiladas. They are made with seasoned ground beef (or turkey), plenty traditional enchilada sauce, shredded cheese, and fresh zucchini. They make a great low carb dinner that is full of nutrition.
Enchilada Zucchini Boats
Zucchini Boats have most of the same flavors of traditional enchiladas: ground beef, onions, garlic, cilantro, tangy enchilada sauce, and plenty of cheese. However, in this enchilada recipe you are replacing the tortilla with a fresh zucchini.
Enchilada Zucchini Boats are also a great recipe to use up the abundance of summer garden zucchinis!
How to Make Enchilada Zucchini Boats
In a large skillet, saute the onions and garlic in oil until they are fragrant and softened, about 4-5 minutes. Next, add the ground beef and crumble it while it cooks thru. (if you use an 80-20 beef you may need to drain the grease before moving to the next step) Off the heat mix in the seasonings/spices and the cilantro.
While the beef cooks, prepare the zucchini boats. Start by trimming the stem end, then slice the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, core out the center of each zucchini half. Be careful not to dig all the thru, this is the “boat” part that holds the enchilada filling.
Prepare a 9×13 pan by pouring about half the can of enchilada sauce across the bottom, spreading it evenly across the pan. Lay the cored zucchini boats in the sauce, divide the beef mixture evenly between the zucchini boats. Top the filled zucchini boats with the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
The zucchini will come out of the oven cooked to a perfect crisp tender consistency. The beef is caramelized around the edges and cheese is melty and creamy.
Serve the Enchilada Zucchini Boats topped with greek yogurt, sour cream, chopped onion, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado or guacamole.
Enchilada Zucchini Boats for Dinner
This recipe for Enchilada Zucchini Boats is a great healthy alternative to traditional enchiladas. It is still a filling dinner and you will probably not even miss the tortillas.
I like to keep my weeknight dinner plans pretty simple, so we usually just have this with chips, salsa, and guacamole.
However if you are entertaining or want a larger meal, Ina Garten’s Guacamole Salad would be an excellent side to add, as well as my Fresh Pineapple with Citrus Herb Glaze and chips with my Restaurant Style Salsa.
Mom’s Dinner Recipes
If you love having Mexican food for dinner check out these other Mexican inspired recipes from Mom’s Dinner:
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Enchilada Zucchini Boats
Zucchini Enchilada Boats are a great dinner!! Easy to make, full of nutrition, and low in carbs. All the great flavors of traditional enchiladas without the tortilla.
This is a great recipe to use up all those summer garden zucchinis.
Keyword beef enchiladas, low carb enchiladas, zucchini boat, zucchini recipe
1 tbsp oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup bell peppers, diced (any color)
3-4 plump garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb. ground beef (can use ground turkey)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp each – garlic powder & onion powder
red pepper flakes to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cored
10 ounce canned red enchilada sauce (I prefer Market Pantry Enchilada Sauce, from Target)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (can use monterey jack, pepper jack, or a mexican blended cheese)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 pan by pouring 1/2 the can of enchilada sauce across the bottom, set aside.
In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, and peppers in the oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef (or turkey) and crumble while cooking thru.
Note- if you use an 80-20 ground beef you will want to drain the grease before moving onto the next step.
Off the heat stir in the chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro, and red pepper flakes. Set aside
Trim the stem from the end of the zucchini and discard. Then cut the fresh zucchini in half lengthwise. Core out the middle of each half using a spoon. See picture showing each step.
Set the zucchini halves in the prepared 9×13 pan. Fill each zucchini half with the ground beef mixture, dividing it evenly. Pour the remaining half can of enchilada sauce over the filled zucchini boats. sprinkle with all the cheese.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.