Cheesy Mexican Zucchini Boats

Cheesy Mexican Zucchini Boats

Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Total Time: 40 min

Serves 4


Healthy, colorful, and packed with nutrients, these zucchini boats are a fun addition to your weeknight meal rotation! 


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne
  • ½ cup black beans, drained
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup shredded taco blend cheese
  • For garnish: finely chopped tomatoes, cilantro, green onion and/or sour cream 


    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the zucchini lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop the centers from the zucchini (leaving ¼” of the flesh) so they look like boats.
    2. Brush the zucchini with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then place in a glass baking dish and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until nearly tender.
    3. While the zucchini cook, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan.  Add onion and saute 3-5 minutes until soft.  Add bell pepper and garlic, continuing to saute until the peppers begin to get tender.  Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne, stir, and then add beans, corn, and rice, sauteeing until all ingredients are heated through.  If the mixture appears to be drying out, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, then keep warm until the zucchini boats are ready to be filled.
    4. When the zucchini are done roasting, spoon the bean mixture into the boats and top with shredded cheese.  Return the zucchini boats to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes longer, until the cheese is melted and the zucchini are tender.

These zucchini boats are a blank canvas, so get creative with fillings!  Other flavors to try:

  • Chili Cheese Zucchini Boats – chili filling, topped with shredded taco cheese blend
  • Parmesan Zucchini Boats – eggplant and tomato filling, topped with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Cordon Bleu Zucchini Boats – diced ham and swiss cheese tossed in dijon mustard and mayonnaise, topped with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese
Kristina Shane

This recipe is from Home Chef and OPL Community member Kristina Shane.


One Planet Life Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

Cacio e Pepe Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower

Cacio e Pepe Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower

Thanks to participating in McConnell’s Farm CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) last summer, I was able to successfully freeze a lot of fresh produce to use in these winter months. Using last year’s frozen vegetables, I tried this flavorful cheese and roasted crispy cauliflower and carrot recipe, with excellent results. It is delicious as a side dish or as a meal! 

Serves 2-4



  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch coins
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cauliflower and carrots. Drizzle the butter and olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, tossing gently.
    3. Spread vegetable mixture evenly onto a 9 1/2 x 15-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and a little more grated parmesan cheese.
    4. Roast for 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is golden and the cheese on the baking sheet is crispy. 
    5. Remove to a platter, and sprinkle again with freshly grated parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.
    Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    Recipe compliments of OPL Master Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    One Planet Life Plant-rich Recipes

    Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

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