Try These Delicious Low Carb Zucchini Boats

Low Carb Zucchini Boats in roasting pan in overn

I am the mother of three beautiful children – two girls, almost 5 and 2 ½, and a 9-month-old baby boy. I have spent the better part of the last 5 ½ years either gaining weight in a pregnancy, or trying to lose weight post-partum.

I have found that, for me, going on a reduced-carbohydrate diet is the easiest way to lose that baby weight.

In light of the fact that a low-carb diet still has the higher caloric intake that you need to produce the right amount of breast milk, it has also been the only real option for me, as a breastfeeding mother.

With that in mind, I have spent a good portion of the last 5-plus years looking for and trying tons of different low-carb meals.

It’s become something of an obsession for me. I’d call myself a foodie, and I love cooking and baking. I have been on a mission to find food that is fun to cook, delicious to eat (delicious enough for my somewhat picky husband to enjoy, too), and low enough in carbs to help me meet my weight loss goals.

I’d like to begin sharing some of my favorite recipes with you now, and I promise, you won’t miss the carbs one bit!

This recipe is one of my favorite go-to meals, especially in the summer, when I always have a ton of zucchini to use.

Low Carb Zucchini Boats in roasting pan in overn
Low Carb Zucchini Boats
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Low Carb Zucchini Boats in roasting pan in overn
Low Carb Zucchini Boats
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Ingredients
  • 3-4 medium zucchini
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 8-oz. cans plain tomato sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese you could use Pepper Jack if you want to kick it up a notch
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with a little cooking spray. I just use an olive oil mister. Halve your zucchini and scoop out the insides to make a nice “boat” for your filling. I can fit 6 halves in my baking dish, but if your zucchini are on the smaller side, you could fit up to 8. Lay your zucchini halves in the baking dish and set aside.
  2. Now, this next step is optional, but since my husband hates crunchy veggies, and the onion and jalapeno don’t get really soft in the meat mixture when it bakes, I sauté my onion and jalapeno in a pan over medium-high heat until they are soft. Then I add my garlic and cook it for another couple of minutes. This process adds about 10 minutes to the prep time.
  3. Scrape the cooked onion, jalapeno, and garlic into a large bowl. Add in the ground beef, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, one can of tomato sauce, and ¾ of the shredded cheese. I use my hands so as not to over-mix, but you could use a big spoon or spatula, but you just need to lightly toss all the ingredients together, just until they are well combined. If you mix the meat too much, it will be tough when it comes out of the oven.
  4. Take a spoon, and scoop the filling into each of the zucchini halves. I pile mine really high, so you get a good portion of meat to zucchini. This makes a lot of filling, so you can really fill them up to use up all the meat. Once you have all the “boats” full, take your second can of tomato sauce and pour equal amounts over each of them.
  5. Bake the zucchini boats for 45 minutes. Then, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the remaining Monterey Jack all over the top. Cook another 10 minutes or so, until the cheese is all melted. Let the dish rest for about 10-20 minutes so it can set up. Since this dish uses no breadcrumbs to really hold the meat filling together, it tends to fall apart a bit if you try to eat it right away. When you let it sit a few minutes, the cheese in the mixture tightens back up and holds together better.
Recipe Notes

Low Carb Zucchini Boats in roasting pan in overn

This recipe is one of my favorite go-to meals, especially in the summer, when I always have a ton of zucchini to use.

You can change up the flavor profile by using half feta cheese and half Mozzarella, red bell pepper, Italian seasoning, and half ground beef and half Italian sausage (instead of using the Monterey Jack, jalapeno, Mexican spices, and all ground beef)to make a more Italian meal, which is just as scrumptious as the original recipe.

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. It really is so good, and if you just add a side salad, you have a complete dinner.

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About Ashley Martell

Ashley has enjoyed creative writing since she was six years old, when she wrote her first short story. She majored in English literature at the University of Montevallo. After years of professional work, she is now a stay-at-home mom of three, who uses her craft to write about her life and adventures in and out of the kitchen.

18 thoughts on “Try These Delicious Low Carb Zucchini Boats

  1. This is the first time I’ve come across your blog and I had to come in and read because just from the summary page – you could be me! My kids are the exact same ages as yours (although I have one girl and two boys), and the comment you made about spending the last five years either pregnant and gaining weight or trying to lose it all again just struck a chord. I even have a picky husband who won’t eat crunchy vegetables!

    This looks absolutely delicious. I’ve never tried a proper low-carb diet, but I have become much more aware of just how loaded in carbs our normal diet is, so am trying to cut back a bit. Only catch is that my particular fussy husband won’t touch courgette (sorry, zucchini – I’m British!) unless it’s chopped up tiny and hidden in a sauce. Have you ever tried putting the same filling in other vegetables? I’m thinking maybe large bell peppers or small aubergine (er… eggplant, I think?)

    Now that I’ve found you, I’m off to browse some of your back catalogue, so expect to hear some more from me!

  2. Yum, these looks tasty. I enjoy eating low carb meals when I can too. I find that I eat a lot of carbs due to time constraints and laziness. Pasta and sandwiches are good in a pinch. This recipe looks easy and fast too though. I’ll have to try it. I love zucchini so any dish that incorporates it sounds good to me!

  3. This looks really great, sounds easy enough and for a bonus it’s healthy too! It’s a really good incentive to eat healthier with how good this looks. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks a bunch for another great recipe!

  4. I love zucchini and it is actually one of my kids favorites too. This recipe sounds great and we will definitely be trying it. We make something similar with Italian flavors too. You can add marinara and pepperoni to them and pop them in the onion for a few minutes.

  5. The Low Carb Zucchini Boats looks like a sophisticated meal that is kid friendly. I love the type of squash and this recipe adds a little variety for me because I have not eaten it baked such as this – normally I just add a bunch of cheese, tomatoes, and onions and throw it all in a crockpot. I will try the recipe with a nice apple salad.

    • I make a similar dish with the cheese, onions, and tomatoes. I really like zucchini, and when we had a garden, we always had tons of it. Now, my daughter brings me some from her garden, so I’ll definitely be making this.

      I never really thought about zucchini fitting into low carb recipes. This looks so good. I’ve had some stuffed zucchini recipes, usually with Italian sausage, but ground beef is a great idea. I also like the addition of jalapenos, since that will give it a nice extra bit of flavor. Yummy.

  6. These look great! I have made zucchini boats on two separate occasions. Once it was for a vegetarian dish and there was no meat in the filling so the “boats” were filled with a quinoa salad. I have also made these but substituted ground turkey for ground beef. To be honest I am not the biggest fan of ground turkey and my house is divided in terms of who will eat it and who won’t. This recipe is perfect in my opinion to use the turkey because all of the other flavors tend to mask the difference in taste that some people can detect if ground beef isn’t used. I am curious about using a ground beef and sausage combo, have to check that out…

  7. I used to make these with just garlic and parmesan cheese for topping (real cheese, not the powder). The trick is, you want to cook them at high temp, low time, otherwise they get really soggy. Also, by coating them with oil before cooking it helps them to get that yummy roasted veggie taste, otherwise they will end up steaming as moisture escapes (=sogginess).

  8. Those zucchini boats look delicious! The chili beef filling with melted cheese on top reminds me of nachos and would be a great low carb alternative for anyone who loves spicy meals.

  9. This recipe looks really good. I’m a vegetarian though, so I would use vegetarian soy crumbles that resemble ground beef. I am also on Weight Watchers so I’m always looking for lower carbohydrate options. Zucchini is an amazing vegetable. I really enjoy spices to enhance my veggies, and who doesn’t love cheese! I used to be vegan, but I missed cheese to much I had to change to a vegetarian diet. Over the years I’ve tried hard to find low carb foods, and this looks perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  10. To be honest you can coat a lot of things in a fine cheese & make those things delicious. It’s the power of cheese! I love me some zucchini but my family is not on the same boat as I. However, I’ve noticed a nice cheese topping really tricks them into thinking I pumped meat into the dish. Enough that they ignore something I know they would never eat without it.

  11. This looks like it’s full of guilt. The zucchini is under there so that will be great cooked this way. I might even mix in some eggplant with it. Beans and whatever else I have left over here. Some of the best dishes can be add ins of scraps when you don’t have all the ingredients in a recipe. I was putting some dish together one time and they wanted you to put fresh basil. I could only get the rosemary from the store. It was amazing. I ended up using it for so many different things. This is what I love about cooking you can play around with what is in your dishes.

  12. The great thing about these recipes is that you can basically spend some time cooking the “filling” (the meat and such) and then add it to different vegetables with mozzarella on the top on different days. You can try this recipe with squash, too, it works wonders.

  13. Zuccini’s aren’t big where I’m from. However, going through this recipe I believe this is something I would enjoy much. The ingredients included in this recipe are things I love in making pastas. As I live alone, with no kids, I can make this kind of recipe with a kick. I love sauces with much spice and hotness in them.

  14. I’m not a fan at all of Zucchini, but this dish is something I just have to try! The dish looks utterly delicious, and so cheesy, and moist. Yuuummmm! What I like most about this recipe is that it doesn’t seem that difficult to make. This recipe though, I will have to make when the kiddies are away for the weekend at their grandparents house, because making them eat veggies is a total nightmare. I’d rather enjoying it at my leisure with the hubby. Thanks a lot for such a great recipe.

  15. As noted previously, I had tried somewhat similar dishes. I made this, and it’s great. It’s a perfect addition to my low carb repertoire. It’s tasty and very satisfying. I’m really looking forward to “extra” zuccs that people like to share with me. I may make a bunch of this to freeze and have on hand.

  16. I haven’t heard about zucchini before, I guess that it’s some type of meat? Or maybe pasta? But still, all the ingredients and the recipe in general looks so freaking good. And I love the spicy type of touch that it has on it, as a Mexican this is definitely an automatic water mouth recipe to me.
    I will do my research on it and I’ll definitely try this.
    Thanks for sharing!

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