Mexican Zucchini Taco Boats

I don’t always associate the word “healthy” with the kind of Mexican food that I tend to gravitate toward — chips, guacamole, and queso, anyone? But these Mexican Zucchini Taco Boats are the real (healthy) deal: rich flavors, a spicy kick, and 9 grams of fat per serving.

These boats are a healthier spin on chicken burritos, swapping in nutritious zucchini for flour tortillas. A typical flour tortilla contains 25 grams of carbohydrates, 458 milligrams of sodium, and not much else. One zucchini contains 10 grams of carbs, 26 milligrams of sodium, as well as vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Using zucchini as the vessel is also a convenient way to watch your portions without having to think too hard: 1 boat = 1 serving.

Mexican Zucchini Taco Boats

You can cook the chicken however you choose, but for tender, succulent chicken, check out this no-fuss cooking guide for baked chicken breasts.

There’s a boatload of good stuff in this dish: protein, vitamins, and minerals from the spices (cumin, paprika, and chili powder), and lycopene from tomato sauce and tomato paste. And of course, everything just tastes better with melted cheese on top.

Mexican Zucchini Taco Boats

These zucchini boats are also incredibly versatile — serve them as a main course with a green salad, or cut them into smaller pieces for a unique, nutritious one-bite appetizer for your next party. Plus, these boats can travel: Pop your leftovers in a container and you’ve got a fast, easy lunch to bring to work.

For more Mexican-inspired meals, try this recipe for  cheesy slow-cooker enchiladas.

Mexican Zucchini Taco Boats
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Mexican Zucchini Taco Boats

These boats are a healthier spin on chicken burritos, swapping in nutritious zucchini for flour tortillas.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword zucchini boats
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings, 1 boat each
Calories 239 kcal
Author Lili Ladaga

Ingredients

  • 4 large zucchini cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 tsp. olive oil divided use
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-natural tomato sauce no sugar added
  • 2 Tbsp. all-natural tomato paste no sugar added
  • 1 Tbsp. ground chili powder (or 1½ tsp. chili powder and 1½ tsp. ancho chili powder)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground paprika
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1⅓ cups corn
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. Using a spoon (or melon baller), scoop pulp out of zucchini to make boats. Place on a large baking sheet. Brush with 1 tsp. oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender-crisp.
  3. While zucchini is baking, heat remaining 3 tsp. oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  5. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  6. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  7. Add chicken and corn; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from heat.
  8. Evenly spoon chicken mixture into zucchini boats. Evenly top with cheese.
  9. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
  10. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro, tomato, and green onions; serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Zucchini Taco Boats
Amount Per Serving (1 boat)
Calories 239 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 388mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 7g
Protein 24g 48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.