Gluten Free Taco Zucchini Boats (Turkey or Beef)

Having picked up a couple of 1-1/2 pound packages of ground organic turkey at Costco, I wanted to create a new flavorful recipe using one of them. So, I created these gluten free taco zucchini boats. I saved half of the filling to fill bell peppers. I used the other package to substitute the chopped chicken breast in my Asian Rice Cups recipe. They’re both delicious.

You can also cut these into bite-size pieces and serve as appetizers.

Don’t like spicy food? Try these Gluten Free Italian Zucchini Boats.


Gluten Free Taco Zucchini Boats (Turkey or Beef)

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Gluten Free Taco Zucchini Boats (Turkey or Beef)

Forget about taco night with this refreshing change, Turkey or Beef Gluten Free Taco Zucchini Boats. You can even make it dairy free with an easy, homemade cheese substitute.


  • 4 medium zucchini + 2 bell pepper (or 8 zucchini or 4 bell pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil (with a high smoke point - I used avocado oil)
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground turkey or beef*
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (I used dark/Mexican chili powder), or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup gluten free turkey broth or beef broth*
  • 1-3/4 cups cooked rice (white or brown) (or 1 cup corn, for rice-free)
  • 2-1/2 cups, not packed (8 ounces) shredded cheddar (I used sharp) and/or Monterrey Jack cheese (or Mexican blend cheese) (or nutritional yeast + dairy-free margarine, for dairy-free)
  • 1/2 cup black olives (optional)
  • Sour cream,  guacamole, and/or gluten free salsa, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Slice off stem ends of each zucchini and slice in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a teaspoon, scoop out the centers (seedy area), leaving about 1/3-inch shell.
  3. In a large skillet, preheat over medium-high heat, add oil, and swirl around the pan.
  4. Add ground turkey, break apart, season with salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink.
  5. Add peppers and onion. Saute until tender, about 8 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, and oregano; stir to combine.
  7. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.epper and lime juice; stir to combine.
  8. Add cooked rice and stir to combine.
  9. Sprinkle top with cheese and stir until it melts.
  10. Fill each zucchini half with mixture and transfer an ungreased baking dish or pan. Bake for 20 minutes for a bit of a crunchy shell or 25 minutes for tender.
  11. Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, and/or salsa. Serve immediately.


2 Replies to “Gluten Free Taco Zucchini Boats (Turkey or Beef)”

  1. I made this recipe last night and it is a KEEPER! Even though I cannot eat dairy I did not miss the cheese at all. I did add cheese to my husband’s mixture. We loved this as a wonderful replacement for traditional tacos. Next time I will try to find zucchinis that are fatter around so the stuffing is easier to load.
    Thank you for another great recipe Carla!

    1. You’re very welcome, Theresa!

      I know what you mean. I had my husband pick me up zucchini and I usually buy the small ones. So, that’s what he picked up. I like the big ones for stuffing. Fortunately, I had added enough cheese that they mixture stuck together enough to mound high without falling out.

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