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Turkey Santa Fe Zucchini Boats

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Turkey Santa Fe Zucchini Boats are one of my favorites! Hollowed out zucchini boats stuffed with a cumin spiced ground turkey and black bean mixture with summer corn and tomato, baked in the oven with melted cheese – YUM!

Turkey Santa Fe Zucchini Boats
Turkey Santa Fe Zucchini Boats

This recipe was inspired by my Sante Fe Turkey Stuffed Peppers which worked wonderful as a filling for these zucchini boats! If you’re like me and have so much zucchini you don’t know what to do with it, check out 35 Skinnytaste Zucchini recipes which includes a few other stuffed zucchini boat varieties.

This idea is perfect for low-carb and gluten-free diets – and yes, yellow squash would also work well.

Do you eat the skin on zucchini boats?

I often get asked this question and the answer is yes. Unlike other squashes, the skin of the zucchini is very thin and tender and even more so once cooked. Not only that but it’s super high in antioxidants that are great benefits for your eyes, skin and heart.

Can I freeze zucchini boats?

Yes, you can make this ahead and bake it when you’re ready to eat. It can also be prepared a day ahead or freeze whatever you don’t plan on eating to bake another day. Leftovers also make a great lunch, my teenager loved these – enjoy!

Another Quick Tip:

You can make this with ground beef or ground chicken or use more veggies to make this vegetarian. You can also swap the cheese for vegan cheese to turn into a vegan dish.  And finally, I like to blanch the zucchini first so that it bakes quicker, but if that seems like too much work, just bake it an additional 10 minutes and it should be fine.

More Zucchini Boat Recipes You will Love:

Turkey Santa Fe Zucchini Boats

4.80 from 10 votes
Hollowed out zucchini boats stuffed with a cumin spiced ground turkey and black bean mixture with summer corn and tomato, all baked in the oven with melted cheese – YUM!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Turkey Santa Fe Zucchini Boats
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 5 servings
Serving Size: 2 halves


For the filling:

  • 12 oz 93% lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 hot pickled serrano pepper, chopped (or jalepeño) more to taste
  • 1 large diced tomato
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  •  kosher salt to taste

For the zucchini:

  • 5 medium zucchini, 7 oz each, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup jarred mild salsa
  • 15 tbsp shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell on each half. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside 3/4 of a cup to add to the turkey filling, (squeeze excess water with a paper towel) discarding the rest or save to use in another recipe.
  • Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.
  • In a large skillet brown the turkey and season with salt. When the turkey is browned, add onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro, serrano pepper, diced tomatoes, reserved zucchini and cumin. Mix well and simmer on low, covered for 20 minutes.
  • Remove lid, add corn and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until all the liquid reduces.
  • Place the salsa in the bottom of a large baking dish (or two medium size dishes) and place the hollowed out zucchini cut side up in the dish.
  • Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats dividing the filling equally, about 1/3 cup in each, pressing firmly. Top each with 1 1/2 tablespoons of shredded cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.

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Serving: 2 halves, Calories: 273 kcal, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Protein: 23 g, Fat: 9 g, Cholesterol: 49 mg, Sodium: 437 mg, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 5 g