Beef enchilada zucchini boats

By July 11, 2016Recipes

I didn’t think any substitute for a classic enchilada could satisfy my Mexican cravings, but these healthy enchilada zucchini boats were a pleasantly delicious surprise. Use beef or chicken, your favorite veggies and delicious summer zucchini for this well-rounded meal. If you’re a Mexican-lover but want less carbs and more veggies, give these a try for dinner this week!

Tip: make sure you use wide zucchini for these boats- otherwise you won’t be fitting very much filling in them!

Yield: 8 zucchini boats, about 4-6 servings


  • 1 lb cooked ground beef (or 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken)
  • 4 medium zucchini (2 1/2 lbs), sliced in half through length
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (be sure they are chopped fine or they won’t cook through)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • For serving: diced Roma tomatoes, chopped cilantro, chopped yellow onion (optional), light sour cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats. Brush tops and bottoms with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and place in two baking dishes (I used a 13 by 9 and a 9 by 9).
  3. Bake in preheated oven until zucchini is nearly tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and saute 3-4 minutes until soft. Add garlic and saute 10 seconds longer. Remove from heat, pour in tomato sauce, ancho chili powder, chili powder, cumin and paprika.
  5. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the water and cornstarch until well blended. Then pour into tomato sauce mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil, stirring frequently. Allow to gently boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ground beef.
  6. Remove zucchini from oven and spoon beef mixture into zucchini. Sprinkle tops with corn and then cheese blend. Return to oven and bake 5-10 minutes longer until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender. Serve warm topped with diced tomatoes and cilantro, and optional onion and sour cream.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy.