Dairy-Free Taco Zucchini Boats
Published Sep 19, 2018, Updated Nov 19, 2021
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Protein-packed and dairy-free, these taco zucchini boats are perfect for a quick and easy healthy weeknight dinner.
Weeknight dinners have to check three boxes for me: fast, loaded with protein, veggies and it needs to be tasty! I successfully did that with these zucchini boats and Brandless made it super simple.
Dairy-Free Zucchini Boats
Where’s the cheese? I know, I know – most zucchini boat recipes call for a ton of cheese, but I kept these boats dairy-free because sometimes all that cheese is just a little too much, ya feel me? Please don’t hate me, but I’m simply not a huge cheese person. Of course, you can always add a little cheese if that’s your thing. Read the notes in the recipe for more details about that.
Here’s What You Need
- garlic – fresh garlic is key here for optimal flavor. Of course you can take a shortcut method and buy peeled garlic, jarred minced garlic or frozen crushed garlic cubes. I just wouldn’t recommend swapping the fresh garlic for garlic powder.
- yellow onion – adds a mild flavor. Feel free to use red onion if you want a stronger taste.
- ground turkey – I used ground turkey in this recipe but any ground meat would work! You could do ground chicken or ground beef. And if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you could use lentils, crumbled tempeh or tofu.
- black pepper and sea salt – to season.
- chunky salsa – use whatever heat type you prefer! I love spice so I used a hot salsa. The creamy bites of avocado were the perfect contrast to the spicy bites. Having said that, if you don’t like that much heat, mild salsa is just as delicious!
- chili powder, ground cumin – these spices are essential to get that Mexican flavor we’re going for.
- black beans – drain and rinse your black beans first!
- zucchini squash – this recipe is perfect to use up the abundance of zucchini that’s likely exploding from your garden! You need 3 medium zucchini.
- tomatoes, avocado and jalapeño – top your zucchini boats with these fresh ingredients right as you’re serving.
- tortilla chips and extra salsa – the perfect side dish for these zucchini boats.
tip! If you decide to use cheese, sprinkle a little on each zucchini boat before covering the baking dish with foil and baking as directed.
How to Make Taco Zucchini Boats
Cook turkey:This recipe comes together quickly and makes for such an easy weeknight meal! Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and ground turkey into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking apart with a wooden spoon or spatula while it cooks. Add black beans, chili powder, cumin and salsa. Cook 2-3 additional minutes.
Prep zucchini: Meanwhile, as the turkey cooks cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and center out of each zucchini half, leaving about ¼ inch thick zucchini boat.
Bake zucchini boats: Place the zucchini (cut-side up) in a 9X13 baking dish. Spoon the turkey mixture into the six zucchini boats. Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until zucchini boats are heated throughout and zucchini is cooked a bit, but not too soft/limp.
Serve: Remove foil and serve boats with tomatoes, avocado and jalapeño slices. Serve with chips and salsa, if desired.
What to Serve With Zucchini Boats
These zucchini boats stand alone as an easy weeknight meal, but if you want to serve them alongside another dish, here are some ideas! They’d also be great washed down with a Skinny Margarita!
More Mexican Inspired Dishes
- Taco Salad
- Mexican Quinoa Casserole
- Spaghetti Squash Taco Bake
- Tempeh Tacos with Tempeh Taco “Meat”
- Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup
Popular Zucchini Recipes
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Zucchini Noodle Fettuccine Alfredo
- Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries
- Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Chicken
- Zucchini Muffins
- Tofu Zucchini Lasagna
- Zucchini Bread
Taco Zucchini Boats
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 zucchini squash
- chopped tomatoes, avocado and jalapeño, for serving
- tortilla chips and extra salsa, for serving
- Mexican cheese, dairy-free or regular (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and ground turkey into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking apart with a wooden spoon or spatula while it cooks. Add black beans, chili powder, cumin and salsa. Cook 2-3 minutes additional minutes.
- Meanwhile, as the turkey cooks cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and center out of each zucchini half, leaving about ¼ inch thick zucchini boat.
- Place the zucchini (cut-side up) in a 9X13 baking dish. Spoon the turkey mixture into the six zucchini boats.
- Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until zucchini boats are heated throughout and zucchini is cooked a bit, but not too soft/limp.
- Remove foil and serve boats with tomatoes, avocado and jalapeño slices. Serve with chips and salsa if desired.
- If you decide to use cheese, sprinkle a little on each zucchini boat before covering the baking dish with foil and baking as directed.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Brandless sounds so rad! Heading over to check it out now!
These beautiful boats look so fresh and tasty…love the cleaner approach to getting my taco fix!
Avocados add the perfect creaminess in place of cheese! 🙂
This is a recipe my girlfriend would love. She enjoy cutting out bread and stuff like that and replace it with veggies. I can no longer go to In-n-out without her changing my order to a burger with lettuce instead of buns. Part of me doesn’t want to show her this but I have to because even I’m curious about tasting this!
I made this recipe tonight, as part of my meal prep. It is so good! It is so simple, and quick, but still very flavorful. I served the meat mixture with rice instead of the zucchini, and it reminded me of a healthier version of a Chipotle burrito bowl.
Delicious! We loved these and will absolutely be adding these to the dinner rotation.
i’m vegan so i made this recipe using quinoa instead and it was AMAZING! just like all ebf recipes! i know i can always count on brittneys recipes to be out of this world and my family always knows they can get excited when i tell them it’s an ebf recipe bc they know it will be great!
Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Abby!! So pumped this recipe was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to share the subs you made. It’s super helpful for other readers. 🙂
Awesome recipe! I saw another comment that said this, but I substituted quinoa for the turkey and it worked great!
So glad you enjoyed these zucchini boats, Elly! I’m glad you saw that comment and that the boats turned out for you. I appreciate you coming back to leave a comment + star rating. <3
Looks good but disappointed that amount of calories is not indicated…
Made this recipe for lunch and loved it! I Used ground plant protein instead of turkey. Wish the calories were listed with the recipe.