Happy Taco Tuesday, y’all! Celebrate with these Hidden Veggie Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats and we won’t “taco bout” the guilt you may feel for hiding veggies in the meat mixture.
That’s right. A bit of zucchini “hidden” in the taco meat.
Not only are the Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats a healthier alternative to Taco Tuesday, no one needs to know about the hidden zucchini. Just pretend that you wanted a colorful taco “boat”! Allow your kids who would normally absolutely refuse any resemblance to zucchini to pass on eating the “boat” …. you’ll know that you’re still winning the veggie war because of what you’ve hidden inside.
And trust me, as a once fellow zucchini nose turner upper- they’ll never know!!!
- 4 medium zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
- ½ cup mild salsa
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ small onion, finely chopped
- ½ small bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 ounce can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 6-8 tablespoons sour cream, optional (topping)
- chopped green onions, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of each zucchini half, leaving ¼ inch thick shell. Place the zucchini halves on a baking sheet, cut size down, and bake for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Chop ½ cup of the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in the food processor (or simply chop by hand if you don’t mind zucchini chunks) and set aside to use in the taco filling.
- Brown the turkey in a large skillet. When no longer pink, add the spices and mix well. Add the onion, bell pepper, reserved zucchini, tomato sauce and water. Stir. Cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes, or until thickened.
- Using a spoon, fill the zucchini “boats” with the taco filling; pressing firmly as you go to get adequate filling in each.
- Sprinkle each of the zucchini boats with shredded cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and return to the oven for 35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the zucchini is cooked through.
- Top with a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions, if desired.
Topped with cheese and sour cream, you’ll hardly miss the traditional taco shell. All the fun of Taco Tuesday without the guilt!
A couple of notes as you’re preparing the zucchini. I prefer pre-baking the zucchini to help remove most of the moisture found in zucchini. I find that if you skip this step, you’ll end up with soggy tacos if not eaten immediately.
4 zucchini will yield 8 boats, and for a small family (like ours), you’ll have leftovers. No one wants soggy leftover taco boats.
Do you enjoy stuffing your recipes? I find they keep dinner time a bit more exciting than eating the same ole food, the same ole way all the time.