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Zucchini boat in a white dish stuffed with tomatoes, corn, onions, and spices.

Zucchini Boats Mexican Style

Zucchini boats, filled with fresh Cal/Mex ingredients and baked in the oven create a delicious easy family dinner.
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Beef, Main Course, Poultry
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 4
Calories 479 kcal


  • 1 very large or 2 medium or 4 small zucchini squash
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • ¾ pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • ½ cup about ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup about 1 large ear fresh corn cut off the cob or 1 cup frozen thawed corn
  • 1 cup cooked rice white or brown or 1 cup cooked Quinoa
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano crushed between your fingers, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground onion powder or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground garlic powder or to taste
  • 1 cup prepared fresh salsa your preferred brand and heat
  • Sliced black olive optional
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese


  • Heat the oven to 350°F.
    Cut the zucchini into halves lengthwise; using a spoon, scrape the soft center and seeds out, leaving about ⅓ to ¼ inch thickness for the "boat". 
    You may either, chop and use the removed center as a part of the recipe, save it for another use, compost it, or feed it to the chickens.
    Should you like a softer "boat", you may par-boil the zucchini for about 2 - 3 minutes in boiling salted water; plunge into iced water to stop the cooking process, then dry and set aside. 
  • Heat the oil over medium heat; add the meat; cook and break it apart with the back of a spoon; once the meat has lost all color, add the onions and poblano pepper along with some salt and pepper; cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until soft, then add the corn, rice (or Quinoa), stir well. Stir in the spices and salsa; cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until well incorporated; taste and adjust for seasonings. Remove from heat. 
  • Place the squash boats in a baking dish; split the filling evenly in each boat, then top with the black olives, if using. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 - 25 minutes; uncover and spread the cheese over each boat; cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes more. If you want more crispy cheese, place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown. Allow the boats to sit for 3 minutes, then, serve.


Serving: 1 servingSodium: 851mgSugar: 11gFiber: 7gCholesterol: 70mgCalories: 479kcalPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 9gFat: 25gProtein: 29gCarbohydrates: 38g
Keyword jumbo zucchini, stuffed courgettes, stuffed squash, summer squash, zucchini
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