These delicious vegetarian Mexican Zucchini Boats are so flavorful and scrumptious. This is a great dish for the whole family to enjoy!
Mexican food is so good, but so many variations on it are unhealthy. These Mexican Zucchini Boats are anything but. Made with lots of vegetables and black beans, these zucchini boats are gluten-free and low carb. This vegetarian dish is much healthier than a lot of other Mexican-style fares, so you can enjoy it guilt-free.
These Mexican Zucchini Boats are also versatile, so you can substitute and add in ingredients to fit your preferences. And while the recipe is vegetarian, you can add meat, or make a vegan version, too. So many options and possibilities make this tasty dish a winner for everyone. Let's talk about what goes into it.
Zucchini Boats Video Tutorial
- Zucchini. It's best to use medium-sized zucchinis for this application. This way, the boats won't be too big or too small.
- Black Beans. You can use canned or home-cooked dry beans for this recipe.
- Corn. Fresh, canned, or frozen corn all work here. Just drain away any excess liquid before adding them.
- Oil. I use olive oil, but any oil will do, including avocado or grapeseed.
- Onion and Garlic. Chop the onions and mince the garlic.
- Enchilada Sauce. Homemade or store bought is fine. Taco sauce or Salsa Roja could be used instead if there's no enchilada sauce available.
- Spices. Salt and cumin.
- Cheese. Any cheese is fine, including cheddar and jack. Use plant-based cheese for a vegan option, or skip the cheese altogether.
How to Make Mexican Zucchini Boats
1. Trim off the stem ends from the zucchini and cut them in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully scoop the flesh out of the zucchini. Chop the flesh with a knife until it is in small and uniform pieces, then set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until translucent.
3. Then add the minced garlic and saved zucchini flesh. Saute the ingredients for another 5 minutes.
4. Add the black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, salt, and cumin. Stir well and set aside.
5. Place the zucchini shells onto a baking sheet. Divide the black bean mixture evenly between the shells.
6. Sprinkle them on top with cheese and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, until the cheese is slightly browned and melted. Serve.
Add-ins and Substitutes
- Use other vegetables. Add in your favorite veggies. Diced squash, tomato, or green pepper could all be added to these zucchini boats. For a more keto friendly option, you could skip the corn.
- Make it spicy. If you like your food with a little more spice, consider adding some hot sauce, sliced jalapenos, or cayenne pepper. You could also substitute pepper jack cheese.
- Add meat. This is a vegetarian recipe, but you could easily add some diced chicken, sausage, or ground beef to it. You could also add some scrambled eggs and bacon to make a breakfast version.
- Top with other Mexican favorites. Try some guacamole, sour cream, or salsa on top before serving. These toppings make great flavor enhancers.
What to Serve these Zucchini Boats with
These Mexican Zucchini Boats are perfect all on their own. You can serve them as an appetizer or for a tasty lunch. If you prefer them as a side dish, then plate them with some rice or a salad. You can also serve them with meat, such as chicken, beef, or pork. They taste amazing with so many ingredients that you can have them at any meal. Here are a few recipes you'll love to serve with these Zucchini Boats:
How to Store and Reheat
You can store these zucchini boats in the fridge for up to 3 days. They should be placed in an airtight container to keep them fresh. To reheat, place them on a baking sheet and warm them in the oven. You can also reheat them in the microwave, but the oven leaves them with a better texture.
Freezing Zucchini Boats
These Zucchini Boats do not freeze well. They become very mushy and unappetizing once thawed. That is why I suggest avoiding freezing.
How to Make this Recipe Keto Friendly
To make a low-carb version of this recipe, please, substitute black beans with black soybeans and corn with green beans. Finally, make sure to use sugar-free enchilada sauce.
It is possible to make this Zucchini Boats recipe vegan. You'll just need to use a plant-based cheese alternative. I absolutely love Miyoko's Classic Mozzarella.
I hope you enjoy this Mexican Zucchini Boat recipe as much as I do. They make such a delicious and healthy meal, perfect for kids and adults alike. If your family isn't big on veggies, these zucchini boats are a great way to incorporate more into their meals in a flavorful and tasty way.
You'll also enjoy these tasty zucchini recipes:
Mexican Zucchini Boats
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- ½ tsp. salt or to taste
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ cup cheese
- Trim off the stem ends from the zucchini and cut them in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully scoop the flesh out of the zucchini. Chop the flesh with a knife until it is in small and uniform pieces, then set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until translucent.
- Then add the minced garlic and saved zucchini flesh. Saute the ingredients for another 5 minutes.
- Add the black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, salt, and cumin. Stir well and set aside.
- Place the zucchini shells onto a baking sheet. Divide the black bean mixture evenly between the shells.
- Sprinkle them on top with cheese and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, until the cheese is slightly browned and melted. Serve.
Nancy P. says
My husband and I loved this recipe. I read a lot of the comments so I salted the zucchini boats first, then let them sit while I copped everything. The salt pulled water out of the zucchini and I drained the water before cooking them for about 5 to 6 minutes. Once out of the oven, I drained more water from the boats and lightly slated them again before filling. I also add a little four cheese mexican cheese mix in with my mixture in a separate bowl before adding to boat. Then I sprinkled more cheese an top. This was really good and I will definitely make it again.
I salted the zucchini boats first, let them sit while I copped everything and drained any water the salt pulled out of the succhini before cooking them for about 5 to 6 minutes. Once out of the oven I drained any water from the boats again and lightly slated them again before filling. I also I add a little four cheese mexican cheese mix in with my mixture in a separate bowl before adding to boat. Then I sprinkled more cheese an top. This was really good and I wilk definitely make it again.
Tania Sheff says
Thank you so much for the feedback, Nancy!
Hi Tania, I just made this dish and it was wonderful! This is definitely going to be a regular with us. Thank you!
Tania Sheff says
Thank you so much, Anita!