These Ground Turkey Zucchini Boats are the perfect meal when you're in the mood for something light and delicious. Warm zucchini is stuffed with juicy ground turkey, flavorful pasta sauce, and fluffy couscous.
About these Zucchini Boats
Almost four years ago, I ate a SunBasket meal that inspired me to make these Ground Turkey Zucchini Boats. I loved the idea of stuffing a vegetable with my favorite fillings. It's a great way to enjoy the flavors and foods you love as a lower carb meal and also sneak in more veggies!
I stuffed my zucchini boats with juicy ground turkey, tomato sauce, and Trader Joe's couscous. If you haven't had their couscous, you need to buy it immediately. I personally think it's the best in the market.
After stuffing, I topped my Ground Turkey Zucchini Boats with shredded cheese and let it get all melty. The whole meal felt like a gourmet Bolognese. It's so good!
And if you love these stuffed zucchinis, I think you'd also love these Enchilada Stuffed Peppers or this Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup.
- Zucchini: Larger is better! They won't break when you try to hollow them out.
- Couscous: Again, I highly recommend the Trader Joe's brand!
- Ground Turkey: I used 93% lean for this recipe. The extra fat makes this dish SHINE!
- Pasta Sauce: Use your favorite. I used Mid’s Garlic and Onion.
- Shredded Cheese: I used an Italian blend with parmesan, asiago, and also mozzarella.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make This Recipe
1. Let’s start by preparing the zucchini. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Halve the zucchinis long ways and carefully remove the insides with a spoon. Then, spray the zucchini halves with cooking oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. You can save the insides for another recipe or freeze and sneak into smoothies!
2. Next, prepare the couscous according to the box instructions. While the couscous cooks, let's work on the ground turkey. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and warm over medium heat. Add ground turkey, diced red onion, and also the dried basil.
3. Sauté ground turkey until fully cooked, breaking up into smaller chunks with a meat masher it cooks. Pour in pasta sauce and mix so all of the meat is coated.
4. At this point, the couscous should be done. After draining and rinsing, add the pasta to the pan with the meat.
5. Using a spoon, add the meat mixture into each zucchini boat. You want them almost overflowing.
6. Top the boats with shredded cheese and put them back into the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. These reheat well in the microwave. Use 30-60 second intervals. I advise against freezing them as there's too much moisture in the zucchini, which will cause them to become soggy after thawing.
If you have a melon baller, use it to scoop out the zucchini. If not, a spoon will also work. I recommend taking a sharp knife and tracing around the edges of where you plan to scoop to make the scooping easier. Zucchini is VERY delicate, so scoop gently. I broke a few of my boats when making them for the first time. Also, if your boats don’t all fit in one baking dish, use two instead of stacking them.
Orzo would work great because it has a similar texture. You can also try quinoa or Right Rice if you’re gluten-free. As for the ground turkey, ground beef or chicken can also work. To make these vegetarian, you could use chickpeas, white beans, or Impossible meat.
More Recipes You'll Love
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Ground Turkey Zucchini Boats Recipe
- Chef's Knife
- Cutting Board
- Meat masher
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Oven safe dish
- 3 large zucchinis
- salt + pepper
- ⅔ cup cooked couscous
- cooking spray or oil
- 1 lb 93/7 ground turkey
- ¼ red onion, diced
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 16 oz pasta sauce of choice
- ½ cup Italian blend cheese
- Let’s start by preparing the zucchini. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Halve the zucchinis long ways and carefully remove the insides with a spoon. Then, spray the zucchini halves with cooking oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. You can save the insides for another recipe or freeze and sneak into smoothies!
- Next, prepare the couscous according to the box instructions.
- While the couscous cooks, let's work on the ground turkey. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and warm over medium heat. Add ground turkey, diced red onion, and also the dried basil.
- Sauté ground turkey until fully cooked, breaking up into smaller chunks with a meat masher it cooks. At this point, the couscous should be done. Add it to the cooked meat.
- Then, pour pasta sauce into the skillet and mix.
- Using a spoon, add the meat mixture into each zucchini boat.
- Top the boats with shredded cheese and put them back into the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted to your liking.
- Serve & enjoy! 😊
Looking for this in MyFitnessPal?
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I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to create dishes that can be shared with others. Tell me something you loved or just say hi!
This is an amazing recipe! I used quinoa instead of couscous and it worked really well and is SO delicious! Will definitely be making this one again.
Sammi B says
Made this for me and my fiancé! We added an extra zucchini to have four servings for two nights and it was perfect! Super flavorful and easy to make.
I made these today for my husband and I and WOW. I am by no means a great cook, but these were super easy to make and my husband was so impressed. Definitely going to add these to our meal rotation throughout the week!
Amy O’Donnell says
This was a slam dunk!! Will definitely make again.
I made these last night for dinner and loved them! I used lentils/barley instead of couscous and added mushrooms and they were delicious! Super easy too!
Such a fun option! Being gluten free this was something different with turkey! All the flavors mixed so well! Will definitely make it again
Made these for dinner last night and it was delicious! Will definitely be in the regular rotation.
Made these vegetarian with crumbled tofu and turned out AMAZING. So easy and versatile. I'm going to try with tempeh next.
Julia Veeser says
I made this as an easy post-work meal and it did not disappoint. In fact, it’s now a staple in my weekly rotation!! I shared the recipe with my parents and they said it’s one of their new favs. 11/10!!
So yummy!! Definitely a weekly staple in my house!
So amazing!! I make these so often and they’re a hit every time!
This recipe is so yummy! The zucchini was perfectly cooked and i loved the stuffing! Super quick and easy
Courtney Paige says
I love these turkey zucchini boats!
THESE ARE SO EASY AND SO YUMMY! She outdid herself on this recipe. These rival the feta ranch turkey burgers for her best dinner recipe, AND THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING! Will definitely be making often in the future.
I don’t think I’ve ever rated a recipe before but immediately had to do so with this one! So easy, really delicious, and a fun way to get in a high protein meal.