Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats
Zucchini Burrito Boats are a simple meatless and gluten-free meal packed full of Mexican flavor!
You know, like burrito bowls…but with a different vessel.
You saw this coming, didn’t you?
I know, I’m so predictable. What can I say? I love a good burrito bowl.
And because spaghetti squash isn’t exactly in season right now, we need a stand-in. Which is where these lovely little green zucchini boats come into play.
So this recipe is almost exactly like the spaghetti squash version but with the filling scaled down so that it fits inside of zucchini. Outside of that, I only made two small changes.
First of all, I used a poblano pepper in place of the jalapeno because I had one on my patio that was ripe for pickin’!
I got really excited about this and took a picture for you. :)
I know I’m being a Braggy McBraggerton about our garden but I can’t help it! These are the things that excite me these days.
Anyways, in case you are aren’t that familiar with poblanos, they’re actually milder than a jalapeno so feel free to stick with the latter if you prefer a little more umph in your boat.
I also threw some brown rice into the mix to add more protein and fiber for staying power. Trader Joe’s sells organic brown rice in the frozen section and all you have to do is microwave it for 3 minutes. Easy peasy.
What’s great about the zucchini version compared to the spaghetti squash is that you don’t have to cook the zucchini ahead of time. You simply cut them in half, scoop out the center, stuff ’em and they’re ready to go. That means minimal oven time which I all know we appreciate this time of year.
Oh, and if you’re thinking you need a fancy tool like a melon baller to scoop out the center, you don’t! I used a metal teaspoon and it worked like a charm. You might even be able to get away with a regular metal spoon.
Well I hope you get a chance to put those summer zucchini to good use and give these a try soon! They’re a delicious way to sneak in some green for dinner. :)
Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats
Yield: 8 boats
Prep Time: 25
Cook Time: 30
Total Time: 55
- 4 large zucchini
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup salsa (use your preferred level of spiciness)
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 1 jalapeno (or poblano pepper), cored and diced
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- salt to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese
- Start by greasing a 9 x 13” casserole dish then set aside. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller or metal teaspoon, hollow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish.
- Next warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salsa, chili powder and cumin. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and then stir in 1/4 cup of the cilantro and salt to taste to the filling. Spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Sprinkle each one with cheese then arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the foil and set the oven to broil. Cook them for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
- Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes then top with fresh cilantro and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.