These delicious stuffed zucchini boats are made with yummy ground beef taco meat, corn, fresh cilantro, and cheddar cheese.
Best Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini!
This stuffed zucchini recipe has to be one of our new favorite summer meals. It utilizes hollowed-out zucchini to house a yummy ground beef taco meat that’s made with corn, black beans, and cilantro.
The secret to perfect stuffed zucchini is to make sure you don’t overcook your zucchini. There is nothing worse than mushy zucchini. This is why you only need to bake it at 350ºF for around 15 minutes!
Why you’ll love it!
Easy, seasonal meal
- Zucchini: Zucchini is the star of the show! You’ll need 3 large zucchinis for this recipe. Feel free to sub for summer squash instead.
- Ground beef: we’re using ground beef for our taco meat, but ground chicken or turkey would also work.
- Taco seasoning: we love using our homemade taco seasoning when possible because it doesn’t use fillers.
- Black beans: black beans add fiber and protein.
- Corn: corn adds color and a pop of sweetness to every bite.
- Crema: table crema helps give the taco meat stuffing a creamy consistency.
- Cheddar cheese: the more cheddar the better!
- Cilantro: make sure to use fresh cilantro.
diy taco seasoning
Ditch the store-bought taco seasoning for this super flavorful clean ingredient taco seasoning. Made with the following ingredients that you likely have in your spice cupboard already:
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Coarse sea salt
- Red pepper flakes
- Ground black pepper
- Ground oregano
- Smoked paprika
Get the full homemade taco seasoning HERE.
- Prep zucchini: Slice the zucchini in half hot dog style. Then, use a small melon scooper to scoop the insides out of your zucchini. Place the zucchini on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
- Make taco meat: cook ground beef in taco seasoning for 5-7 minutes. Then, add the black beans, corn, crema, and cheddar cheese. Mix to combine.
- Stuff the zucchini: stuff each zucchini with 3-4 tablespoons of the taco filling. Then, top with more cheese.
- Bake: bake stuffed zucchini boats at 350ºF for around 15 minutes or until your zucchini reaches the desired doneness.
Let stuffed zucchini cool completely. Then, tightly wrap it in a piece of tin foil and remove as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Bake stuffed zucchini at 350ºF for around 15 minutes to get zucchini that ISN’T mush and still has a nice bite.
There are around 330 calories per serving for stuffed zucchini.
Store stuffed zucchini in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
To reheat: reheat in the microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.
Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
- 3 large zucchinis
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef we used 85/15 ground beef
- 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning or store bought
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup black beans drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup sweet corn
- ¼ cup table crema
- ½ cup + 6 tablespoons shredded mexican cheddar cheese blend separated
- ½ cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons red onion minced
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise (hot dog-style) and use a small melon baller or a small spoon to dig out the center of each zucchini half. Drizzle each zucchini half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the zucchini halves on the lined baking sheet.
- Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add the ground beef to the skillet and break it up into small pieces with a spatula. Sprinkle the taco seasoning and the remaining salt over the beef and toss all the ingredients together. Let the ground beef cook for 5-7 minutes or until fully cooked.
- Add the black beans and corn to the ground beef, toss, and remove the skillet from the heat. Add the crema and ½ cup of shredded cheese to the beef mixture. Mix all of the ingredients together until the cheese has melted.
- Fill each zucchini half with 3-4 tablespoons of the beef mixture until each zucchini half has a heaping pile of beef in the middle. Sprinkle each zucchini with 1 tablespoon of additional shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350ºF for 13-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the zucchini has reached desired doneness.
Tips & Notes
- We do not bake the zucchini before we stuff them so that the zucchini has a bite to them rather than being mushy. If you would like a softer zucchini, bake the zucchinis for 5-10 minutes before adding the ground beef.
- If you do not have table crema you can use sour cream as a great substitute.
- Store-bought taco seasoning tends to be a bit saltier than homemade taco seasoning. Please be cautious of this and taste your taco meat before adding more salt.
I was looking for something different to use more of our zucchini, and gave this a go. The recipe was wonderful. I didn’t change a thing, but did also stuff a yellow summer squash on a whim along with the zucchini. Our garden “overfloweth” with zukes and squash at this time of year. Thank you for a new way to make the most of the bounty!
What a great idea to use summer squash, Julie!