These Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats are an easy, healthy weeknight dinner plus they reheat well for the perfect make-ahead dinner during the week. This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White Turkey.
When I was a kid, we had a garden outside our kitchen where, for one summer, we grew zucchinis.
We may have grown them other years, but I can distinctly remember the garden for one specific zucchini season because the zucchini grew to be the size of watermelons. Like giant, long watermelons that were bigger than your head.
Now, I have no idea how on earth the zucchinis grew to big so big, but they were still edible and tasted amazing.
My mom decided to turn them into zucchini boats because they were already essentially boats so why not? We’d make a modified spaghetti with meat sauce, stuff the zucchinis, and it was absolute perfection.
Now, I haven’t been so lucky as to find giant watermelon sized zucchini in the stores or farmers markets much as an adult, but I can still enjoy the same easy meal nonetheless. In fact, these turkey and quinoa stuffed zucchini boats have become an easy weeknight meal my family and I enjoy and they use regular sized zucchinis.
I love combining quinoa with Honeysuckle White ground turkey because it provides two forms of healthy and lean high protein into the recipe. They work so well together in the filling and make the boats a yummy better-for-you weeknight meal, which is awesome.
What makes these stuffed zucchini boats so good for you? Let’s go over all the reasons why these stuffed zucchini boats are a great healthy meal.
- Zucchini is high in folate, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals
- Can replace high carbohydrate (and low fiber) spaghetti noodles with high fiber, low calorie alternative
- Quinoa and Honeysuckle White ground turkey are both lean proteins
- Honeysuckle White turkeys are raised without growth-promoting antibiotics, added hormones, or steroids
For all these reasons plus how easy these zucchini boats are to make, you’ve got yourself one super awesome weeknight dinner.
These stuffed zucchini boats are easy enough to make during the weeknight, but also work great reheated and when frozen. Yep, you can totally freeze zucchini boats and have them as a yummy dinner anytime you want for those busy weeknights. If you’re looking to freeze them, I recommend following these steps for the best results:
Cook the zucchini until just tender – don’t cook until mushy
Allow the stuffed zucchini to cool completely (this will help avoid the zucchini getting soggy when reheated)
Place the stuffed zucchini into an airtight freezer-safe container. If you need to stack them, you can place a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap in between the layers to keep them from sticking
Remove the stuffed zucchini when you plan to eat them and thaw in the refrigerator
- Can be frozen for up to 4-6 months
These stuffed zucchini boats keep great in the fridge and reheat very well so I like prepping them ahead of time in meal prep containers for the busy weeks. There is seriously NOTHING better than grabbing one of these babies out of the fridge on a busy weeknight and enjoying a hearty, healthy, and delicious meal.
BTW those are the meal prep containers we use and I LOVE them. Look at how perfect they are for these stuffed zucchini boats?!?!
I recently shared a list of my 35 favorite easy weeknight dinners and this turkey and quinoa stuffed zucchini boat recipe definitely fits that description. For less-stress weeknight meals, make sure to look for Honeysuckle White at your local H-E-B store in Austin to make these this week!
- 3-4 large zucchini, sliced in half, lengthwise
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more to grease casserole dish
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 lb. Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 med. cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked*
- 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Using a spoon, hollow out the inside of the zucchinis by scraping along the seeds and removing. Reserve the seeds and inner flesh of the zucchini. You want to remove all the seeds and then a little more to make them "boats." Set the removed seeds aside.
- Line the bottom of a 9x13 casserole or baking dish with the zucchini, cut-side up. Place in the oven while it preheats and you prepare the meat sauce.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, and shallot to the oil and cook until starting to sweat.
- Add the ground turkey and mushrooms to the pan. Break into crumbles and cook until the meat is browned well.
- Chop up the scooped-out zucchini innards into small pieces and add to the pan, along with the garlic and mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms are tender.
- Add the quinoa, seasonings (oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper), and garlic and stir to combine.
- Add the sauce and stir to combine.
- Line the zucchini, cut-side-up, into the dish and lightly season with sea salt and black pepper (less than 1/8 tsp. each).
- Once the mixture begins to simmer, pour the meat sauce over the hollowed out zucchini "boats" in the oven and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
To cook quinoa, the ratio is 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to 2 cups of liquid (I like to use low sodium chicken broth). Bring the uncooked and liquid to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White Turkey. This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.
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