Diet foods just got better with these zucchini taco boats. Filled with so much flavor in every crisp and cheesy bite, you won't even miss the carbs.
Instant Pot Zucchini Boats are a fun twist on traditional tacos. Zucchini halves are hollowed out and filled with a savory taco-inspired mixture, creating a low-carb and vegetable-packed alternative to tortillas.
The Instant Pot makes this dish incredibly convenient and quick to prepare, allowing you to enjoy the delicious flavors of tacos in a lighter, guilt-free way.
The Instant Pot streamlines the cooking process, making this a quick and easy weeknight meal that the whole family will enjoy.
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- It's affordable. Zucchini is such a cheap vegetable when it's in season and it's got so many great things in it for your body too! It's such a perfect veggie for side dishes, but now you can make it a main meal too!
- It's fast! If you use meat already on hand, this recipe only takes 3 minutes of cook time! If you don't have meat on hand, I made life simpler and included a delicious turkey taco meat recipe (also made in the instant pot!) It's on the recipe card below.
- It's great any time of day. Serve this up as a low carb lunch or dinner option, and it's sure to be a huge hit.
Cooked taco meat- This recipe only uses a little bit of meat, so it's great for using up leftover taco meat if you have it on hand. If not, we have included a turkey taco meat recipe in the recipe card below.
Fresh zucchini- You will need some fresh zucchini. (Make sure to wash them first). This is great for using up garden zucchini, but storebought is fine too!
Cheese- What would tacos be without a little cheese? Your zucchini taco boats may want a little cheese on top to help them feel complete.
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Wash your zucchini and slice it in half vertically.
Step 2: Scoop out the centers to make the halves into little boats.
Step 3: Place the halves side by side on a trivet and lower it into an Instant Pot with 1 cup of water at the bottom.
Step 4: Close the lid and seal it. Set it to High Pressure for 3 minutes and do a Quick Pressure Release.
Step 5: Open the lid and drain the water out of the inside of the boats (it will collect in there) and drain the water from inside the pot.
Step 6: Mix your taco meat with cheese and then place it inside the zucchini boats.
Step 7: Place them back on the trivet and lower it back into the Instant Pot. Close the lid. Let rest 2 minutes to heat up and melt the cheese.
Step 8: Open the lid, remove boats, and serve warm.
🍴 Recipe Tips
With this quick and easy Instant Pot stuffed zucchini recipe, there's not much that can go wrong.
I like my zucchini crisp and soft, like soft enough to chew but with that bite that says, "Hey, I'm fresh." Cooking these boats for exactly 3 minutes and doing a Quick Pressure Release will give you exactly that.
You can also cook for 1 additional minute if you want them softer, but I do not recommend more than 5 minutes because then you're looking at mush.
Cutting the centers out of the zucchini is best when you use a paring knife to score lines in the boat to help guide the spoon as it scoops it out. You can do it without the knife, but the control over the spoon is a little harder as it tries to draw its own path.
Lay your stuffed zucchini boats on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes until heated through. Then serve warm. Alternatively, you can microwave on a plate for about 2-3 minutes, but the zucchini may be softer than when baked.
These boats are not keto friendly but can easily be modified to be lower in carb. The corn and beans in this taco meat can be omitted to make the mixture low-carb, making the dish overall very low-carb and keto friendly!
You can serve your zucchini boats with any of your favorite side dishes. Spanish rice, refried beans, a light salad, or even tortilla soup are nice options.
Yes. The skin of zucchini is actually very good for you as there is a lot of nutrition hiding in that green rind. The skin will become softer as it cooks making it fork tender and easy to cut through. Just make sure to wash it well before cooking.
❤️ More Delicious Instant Pot Recipes
If you tried these Instant Pot Zucchini Boats, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Instant Pot Zucchini Boats
- 2 large Zucchini ($1.78)
- 1 cup Water ($0.00)
- 1 cup Leftover cooked taco meat ($0.00)
- ½ cup Cheddar cheese, shredded ($0.50)
Turkey Taco Meat (optional but makes enough for 10 boats)
- 1 pound Ground turkey meat
- 1 cup Water or beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons Taco seasoning
- 1 can Rotel with chilies, undrained
- 1 can Black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can Whole kernel corn, drained
- ⅓ cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Lime juice
Making the zucchini boats
- Make turkey taco meat and set aside. Rinse out Instant pot and add in 1 cup of water.
- Wash zucchini and slice in half vertically.
- Scoop out the centers with a spoon to make a "boat."
- Place halves on a trivet, with bowls facing upwards and lower into Instant Pot.
- Close lid and seal. Set to High Pressure for 3 minutes with a Quick Pressure Release.
- Drain the water inside the zucchini boats and inside the pot.
- Mix 1 cup of prepared taco meat with cheese and fill boats while they're still on the trivet.
- Lower the trivet back into the instant pot and close the lid. The warmth inside the pot will help to warm up the mixture and melt the cheese. Let it rest for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from Instant Pot and serve warm.
Taco Meat (optional recipe)
- Place 1 cup of water or beef broth in your Instant Pot with 1 pound of raw thawed ground turkey meat.
- Close the lid, seal it, and then set it for High Pressure 5 minutes.
- When the time is up do a Quick Pressure Release.
- Drain the meat and liquid and then set the Instant Pot to Saute for 10 minutes. You will not need all of this time.
- Heat the olive oil and garlic until fragrant. About 30 seconds.
- Add the ground turkey back into the pot and chop it into small pieces, breaking up the chunks.
- Stir in the taco seasoning, Rotel, black beans, corn, ⅓ cup water, and lime juice until well mixed.
- Continue cooking until most of the liquid is gone, or it has reached your desired thickness.
- Turn off Instant Pot and unplug.