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Taco Stuffed Zucchini

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Taco Stuffed ZucchiniSometimes when I post a recipe during the summer months that requires baking in an oven, I get all sorts of, “I’ll make this when summer is over and I can use the oven again” comments. This was the first time I realized that there are a lot of people who object to using their oven when it’s hot outside. So if you are one of those people, well, you might be able to grill these. (I’ll leave it to you to figure out how.)

For me, I can’t imagine not using my oven for any length of time. Even when we lived in a closet-sized apartment with no a/c and an ancient oven that got almost as hot on the outside as it did on the inside, I used my oven during the summer. No amount of discomfort is going to keep me from baking things! And some of my favorite summer foods are made in the oven–slow-roasted tomatoes, stuffed zucchini, and fruit leather made with fresh fruit.

Taco Stuffed Zucchini
I’ve posted a stuffed zucchini recipe here before, but the stuffing in that recipe is made of onions, zucchini, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes. This Taco Stuffed Zucchini is closer to the kind of stuffed zucchini I grew up on as a kid. My mom would make it with ground beef and lots and lots of cheese. We used to harvest insane amounts of zucchini from our little backyard garden, so stuffed zucchini and zucchini bread were both summertime staples at our house.

Well, obviously, my stuffed zucchini doesn’t have ground beef in it–I used tempeh instead. If you haven’t used tempeh before, this is a good recipe to start with! You might want to take a look at my post on how to use tempeh. The great thing about tempeh is that it crumbles up to make a perfect substitute for ground beef and it takes on the flavor of whatever you add to it. My mom’s recipe didn’t add much of anything to the meat, but since I’m not crazy about the flavor of tempeh on its own, I added taco seasonings, with a healthy dose of cayenne to make my stuffed zucchini spicy. I used cheese both in and on the filling, and I threw in some corn because it’s summer and I kind of have to throw corn in everything. (What can I say? I love corn.)

Taco Stuffed Zucchini? Totally worth turning your oven on for this summer.

This post originally published June 24, 2013

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Taco Stuffed Zucchini

Vegetarian tacos in stuffed zucchini form! Top them with cilantro, sour cream, and whatever else you like on your tacos.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne or less if you prefer your filling milder
  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 ear corn kernels removed (or 1/2 cup frozen corn)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and diced
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1/4 c. vegetable broth
  • 3/4 c. Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro lime wedges, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips, hot sauce, and other taco fixins for serving


  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise, then scoop out the insides. Discard the insides or use them for something else. (I'm not sure what you can use zucchini insides for, but you're clever and I'm sure you'll figure something out. I compost mine.)
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and spices (chili powder through cayenne). Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring often. Stir in the tempeh, corn, and jalapeños and cook until they're beginning to brown, 3-5 minutes, continuing to stir often. Add the tomatoes and broth to the skillet and cook until the liquid has absorbed, about 2 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Fill each zucchini half with the tempeh mixture, then top with the remaining cheese. Transfer zucchini to a baking dish or sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are browned. Serve with cilantro, lime wedges, and other taco-y things.
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  • Reply
    Danika Maia
    June 14, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Looks perfect and makes me hungry!

    Danika Maia

  • Reply
    Luzern Bern
    June 14, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    this reciepe is awsome, just tried it out with my girlfriend (both veggies) and we just loved it. thanks for sharing this with us, i will definitely will make them again.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I love zuchinni boats! I usually chop the insides of the zuchinni up and just add it to whatever I stuff them with!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Jane
    June 15, 2015 at 5:43 am

    I’d never get away with not using the oven – Dave insists on a hot dinner every evening and refuses to eat a salad At All! It can be so frustrating when all I want is simple cold food and it’s actually to hot to even be in our caravan, let alone cook in it. Fortunately he is perfectly capable in the kitchen!
    Would love to give this courgette dish a try. I’m wondering if tempeh is similar to quorn? Will click through and find out.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Stuffed zucchini is the only way I like to eat it! I’ve mastered Korean style tempeh, but now I have GOT to give Mexican style tempeh a try. On the must make list!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I use my propane grill to bake *everything* in the summer! It has a temperature gauge, so I just get it as close to the temperature I need as possible and then use it just like an oven. I do watch it a little more closely than I would the oven, but I’ve gotten to where I know what settings work to maintain certain temps. I have baked everything from bread and pies to pizzas and casseroles on it. Fortunately, my grill is located right out the kitchen door, so it’s really just an extension of my kitchen.

    By the way, I just discovered your website a few weeks ago and my family is loving the meal plans and recipes! Thank you for all the inspiration!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 4, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      I really wish I had a good grill! We have a tiny picnic one. 🙂 Glad you’ve found the site helpful!

  • Reply
    Liz Price
    September 22, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    This was my first time using tempeh and I really liked the filling!! The zucchini was a little squeaky on our teeth – was makes that happen? Would roasting the boats a little first change that? I’m really enjoying your recipes!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      I’m not sure what you mean–it was too hard? If it wasn’t tender enough, you could definitely roast them a little bit longer!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Made it for the first time tonight. So easy and yet soooooo delicious!

    This is much easier than the recipe I used last time .

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