Simple and delicious Turkey Fajita Stuffed Zucchini Boats that are low carb, gluten free, and packed with flavor make the perfect lunch or dinner.
324 CALORIES 23g CARBS 10g FAT 37g PROTEIN
Turkey Fajita Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe
Stuffed Zucchini Boats with ground turkey and fajita veggies may just be my new favorite healthy lunch. Who would have ever believed that stuffing zucchini with ground turkey, peppers, onions, spices, and cheese would taste so good and decadent? They are seriously something I love to eat and they taste like a mash up of chicken fajitas and pizza. Fajita lovers will also want to try these Chicken Fajitas and Shrimp Fajitas.
Last week was kind of a tough one for me. While I started out on track and eating healthy, by the end of the week I was reaching for everything bad for me. Candy, pizza, ice cream – you name it. I blame a busy work week and some last-minute traveling. By Sunday morning I felt exhausted, bloated, and honestly, a bit disappointed.
However, instead of throwing in the towel like I may have done in the past, I decided instead to try to focus on setting myself up for success in the week to come. I made a big batch of these stuffed zucchini, a slow cooker full of this yummy taco soup, and prepped veggies and fruit for snacks during the week. I also raided my pantry and gave all the junk food to my neighbor. I am hoping it keeps me focused during the week.
Now let’s talk about these zucchini. I have always loved stuffing vegetables as a healthier alternative to using bread or tortillas. The veggies serve as the perfect vehicle for all types of fillings and this fajita filling made with ground turkey, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and a quick homemade spice blend really is something special. Plus the cheese on top doesn’t hurt. Depending on when I am serving these and how hungry we are, I usually add some black beans or Mexican rice on the side to round out the meal. For a low carb side, you could use black soybeans or cauliflower Mexican rice.
How to Make Zucchini Boats
Once you start making zucchini boats, there are so many different ways you can make them. From these amazing Pizza Zucchini Boats to these simple Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini, zucchini boats are one of those easy, healthy meals that quickly become part of your routine. Here’s the basic recipe for making any type of zucchini boat you like:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the zucchini in half and use a spoon to hollow out the center of the zucchini, creating a space for the filling. You can either discard this zucchini or chop it up to use in your filling.
- Prepare the filling, making sure to add lots of flavor and spices. If you are using veggies or protein, you will want to cook it before using it as a filling. I also like to use some kind of sauce to make sure the dish doesn’t get dry. You could use salsa, enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, etc. If you don’t use a sauce, make sure your mixture has some moisture.
- Fill the zucchini. Add cheese or breadcrumbs on top if desired.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until zucchini are tender. For large or thicker zucchini, they may take a bit longer. If you have trouble with the zucchini not softening, cover the baking dish with foil for the first 15-18 minutes of cooking. This helps the zucchini steam and soften.
Can you Freeze Zucchini Boats?
Although you can freeze zucchini boats, be prepared for them to be a bit mushy after freezing. Zucchini doesn’t freeze very well and when it is defrosted and reheated, it tends to become somewhat mushy. With that said, if you want to freeze these zucchini boats, make sure to let them cool completely before freezing. To defrost, place them in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave.
For better results, freeze the turkey fajita filling and use it to stuff fresh zucchini when you are ready to eat. This can speed up assembly but ensures you won’t get soggy zucchini. The frozen meat filling can be reheated in the microwave at 50% power.
Recipe Ideas for Turkey Fajita Stuffed Zucchini
- You can use any ground meat you have on hand to make this recipe. It’s delicious with lean ground beef, bison, or chicken. Shredded rotisserie chicken also is delicious. And for a vegetarian spin, use black beans or pinto beans instead of the meat.
- If you love enchiladas, you could substitute the spice mixture for a can of your favorite red or green enchilada sauce.
- Love spice? Add a jalapeno pepper or diced poblano pepper in place of the green bell pepper. You can also add some chipotle peppers for a smoky, spicy version.
- Craving more fiber? Toss some black beans or pinto beans into the turkey mixture as well to add some fiber and carbohydrates.
- If you are following a Whole30, Paleo, or dairy-free diet, just leave off the cheese from the recipe. They still come out extremely tasty.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions asked about making zucchini boats?
If you like the zucchini to be very tender, you can cover the baking dish with foil for the first 20 minutes. Then carefully remove the foil during the last 5 minutes so the cheese can bubble and brown.
Absolutely! Feel free to swap in summer squash (yellow squash), eggplant, or even halved bell peppers. Just adjust the cooking time as needed so the vegetable shell is tender.
These stuffed zucchini boats will work great with ground beef, ground chicken, or ground vegetarian crumbles. You can also swap in black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans for a vegetarian option.