Mexican Zucchini Boats

Hollowed out zucchini stuffed with a colorful filling laid out on a baking tray ready to be cooked.

Whether you’re cooking for a meatless Monday, or want a vegetarian side dish, Mexican zucchini boats are the way to go. This is a great way to use up all of your end-of-the-summer zucchini, too.

The filling gets a bit of heat from fresh jalapeno peppers and chili powder. It is also packed with protein, in the form of black beans, and plenty of vegetables. Brown rice makes it extra filling.

The leftovers are perfect to pack as lunch for the next day, alongside some tortilla chips and a bit of salsa. If you’re looking for a heartier dish, mix in some cooked ground beef or chicken into the filling before baking.

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A rich filling is being spooned into hollowed out zucchini.
The cooked Mexican influenced filling is spooned into the zucchini for the final phase of cooking.
Three cooked stuffed zucchini sitting on a paper lined baking tray.
The Mexican zucchini boats are finished when the zucchini is soft and the cheese on top is melted and golden brown.
Close up in a frypan of a colorful mixture containing corn bits, black beans, red bell pepper and more.
The filling is pre-cooked in a frypan. Keeping all the elements the same size helps with even cooking and presentation.
Close up of raw zucchini boats with the shreadded cheese on top
The cheese is the final element to be added to the top of the zucchini boats before being baked.
Hollowed out zucchini stuffed with a colorful filling laid out on a baking tray ready to be cooked.
The Mexican influenced filling is placed in hollowed out zucchini to create this tasty vegetarian dish.

Mexican Zucchini Boats Recipe

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Hollowed out zucchini stuffed with a colorful filling laid out on a baking tray ready to be cooked.
Whether you’re cooking for a meatless Monday, or want a vegetarian side dish, Mexican zucchini boats are the way to go. This is a great way to use up all of your end-of-the-summer zucchini, too.
Preparation 20 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Ready in 1 hour
Servings 4 Servings
CourseSide Dish
InfluenceMexico
DifficultySeasoned
MethodBake

Ingredients

  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper cored and diced
  • 1 jalapeno cored and diced
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup corn niblets (corn kernels)
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish then set aside.
  • Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller, hollow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin-side-down in the casserole dish.
  • Warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the rice, corn, beans, salsa, chili powder, and cumin. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
  • Stir in ¼ cup of the cilantro and salt to the filling. Spoon the filling inside each zucchini until they are full. Sprinkle each one with cheese, then arrange them in the dish and cover with foil.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the foil and set the oven to broil. Cook for 5 more minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.

Nutritional Information

Sodium: 693mgCalcium: 293mgVitamin C: 103mgVitamin A: 2516IUSugar: 14gFiber: 7gPotassium: 1228mgCholesterol: 28mgCalories: 317kcalMonounsaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 7gFat: 16gProtein: 14gCarbohydrates: 34gIron: 3mg

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Angie Quaale

About Angie Quaale

Angie Quaale has worked in the food and hospitality business for most of her career, including several years in hotels and fine dining. Those experiences led to a career in commercial food sales, specializing in menu development and retail food distribution.

Learn more about Angie Quaale
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