Zucchini Burrito Boats are packed with your favorite Mexican flavors! Loaded with veggies, heart-healthy grains, and just a little heat, they are a must for easy and quick weeknight meals!
Spicy sausage, a mouthwatering blend of Mexican spices, and classic burrito flavors like corn, black beans, and salsa more than make up for any missing tortillas or taco shells.
Plus, it really helps when I can make my filling ahead of time so I can fill up my zucchini boats and bake when needed. Super fast and super easy.
Zucchini Burrito Boats Recipe
Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We?? 🙂
Did you know there’s actually a “Sneak a Sack of Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch” Day? It’s in August each year and if you’ve every grown zucchini, you know exactly how and why that holiday came to be.
When someone in my family asks “do you want some zucchini?” my response is always the same: “Are they SMALL zucchini?” And, of course, they aren’t….they’re zucchini that are gi-normous, stringy, and mostly liquid….yuck.
Yep, you can probably make lots of zucchini bread with big ole zucchini like that, but otherwise, they aren’t really good for too much….in my humble opinion.
This zucchini recipe is one of our summertime favs because it’s full of Mexican-inspired flavors – always a favorite in this house, for sure.
Maybe your fam is the same? If so, please be sure to try out my Beef and Bean Baked Sheet Pan Tacos, Betty’s Enchilada Bake, Beef and Cheese Mexican Sanchiladas, and also the Tasty Tex Mex Chicken Cornbread Casserole.
3 good reasons to love this recipe –
- A flavorful way to use up lots of those zucchini from your garden.
- This is a healthy, low calorie and low fat recipe.
- Such a good make-ahead recipe that you can bake later.
What ingredients do you need to make Zucchini Burrito Boats?
- Small zucchini
- Ground sausage
- Spices: chili powder, cumin (or substitute your favorite taco seasoning blend instead)
- Black beans
- Cooked quinoa or rice
- Sweet corn
- Cilantro, optional
- Your favorite toppings, such as sour cream, salsa, etc.
How to Make Zucchini Burrito Boats in 5 Easy Steps
- Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise; using a grapefruit spoon, remove the flesh from the center of each one. Chop the zucchini flesh and reserve.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet cook the sausage with the spices until fully cooked throughout; stir in the chopped zucchini, black beans, quinoa or rice, salsa, corn, and cilantro to make the filling.
- Place the zucchini into a greased 9 x 13 pan, side-by-side. Place the prepared filling into the the trough in each zucchini; cover the pan with foil.
- Bake in a preheated 400 degree F. oven for 25 minutes; remove the foil and sprinkle with cheese. Place the zucchini beneath the broiler for a minute or so, just until the cheese melts.
- Cool the zucchini boats for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve topped with your favorite Mexican toppings and enjoy.
Common Questions Asked About
If I don’t have ground sausage, can I use another type of ground meat in this recipe?
- Yep. Any ground meat will work just fine – venison, beef, turkey, chicken, or bison. Because our boys are deer hunters, I often make this recipe with ground venison and it’s delicious.
What’s the best way to remove the zucchini flesh to make the trough in each one?
- I find that a grapefruit spoon works absolutely great for this task!! Because a grapefruit spoon is very pointed on the tip and also has an almost serrated edge, it’s perfect for cutting and removing the flesh from a zucchini half.
- And a grapefruit spoon is also great for scraping the zucchini to make the trough a little deeper and wider, without breaking the zucchini and messing up the skin that holds all the flesh in tact.
- If you don’t have a grapefruit spoon, you can use a very small melon baller to remove the zucchini flesh.
What about a good tool for placing the prepared burrito filling into each zucchini boat?
- A cookie dough scoop works great for doing this task. I like to use a cookie dough scoop that’s smaller in size, approx. 1-2 tablespoons. This way, the filling goes right into the trough of the zucchini boat, instead of spilling over.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a gluten-free grain that is often referred to as a “superfood” because it’s packed with protein and fiber. Like any other grain, it has no flavor and will take on the flavors of your recipe. Cooked quinoa is soft and fluffy, with a bit of a nutty flavor that is often used as a substitute for rice.
Other Favorite Recipes to Enjoy –
- Zucchini Oatmeal Crunch – Yep, it tastes just like Apple Crisp!
- Skillet Baked Zucchini Lasagna Rolls Ups
- Easy Zucchini Pizza Casserole
- Low-Carb Crustless Tex Mexican Taco Pie
- Seasoned Black Bean Salad with Corn and Jicama
- Crunchy Quesadilla Wraps
Printable Zucchini Burrito Boats Recipe –
Zucchini Burrito Boats
- 6 small zucchini
- 1/2 lb. ground sausage may substitute any ground meat, such as turkey, chicken, bison, venison, etc.
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed well
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, brown rice, or any favorite grain
- 1 cup of your favorite salsa
- 1/2 - 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed or canned sweet corn, drained
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar, Co-Jack or Pepper Jack cheese I prefer to use Alma Cheese products, delicious cheese made in Alma, Kansas
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise, leaving the ends in tact. Using a grapefruit spoon, use the pointed end to hollow out and scrape each zucchini half to make the "boats"; spray each boat with non-stick spray or brush with a bit of oil. Chop the zucchini that you've removed from the boats and reserve.
- Place the prepared zucchini boats into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish or a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet.
- Meanwhile, heat a separate large skillet over medium heat; when the skillet is nicely hot, add the sausage, cumin, and chili powder, cooking until the sausage is full cooked throughout and the spices are fragrant; stir in the reserved chopped zucchini.
- Add the the cooked grain of your choice (quinoa, rice, or whatever your choice), corn, black beans, salsa, and cilantro to the cooked sausage in the skillet; gently combine all ingredients well, cooking until the filling is very warm throughout.
- Spoon the warm filling into each of the prepared zucchini halves, then cover the pan with foil.
- Bake on the center oven rack for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil, then turn the oven to the broil setting. Sprinkle the cheese over the filling in each zucchini. Place the baking dish about 6-inches beneath the broiler; broil for just a few seconds (maybe 1 minute?) until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Allow the zucchini boats to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with more cilantro, salsa, and sour cream, as desired. Serve at once.
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