Nacho Style Zucchini Boats
Have I mentioned that our garden has been nothing but pure joy this summer? My wife and I took a chance, built a couple of garden boxes, threw some seeds in them and let nature do its course. Weeks later we were exposed to radishes, beans, peas, strawberries, cucumbers, jalapenos, bell peppers, dill, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and a truck load of tomatoes! This was just my wife and I, a few seeds, and time. It’s almost too funny when we think about it. We’ve given away bags of tomatoes and cucumbers, along with beans too many times to count now, and I’ve often said to neighbors to come and pick what they need (very few have). It’s been a real blessing to say the least.
With that said, and reflecting on our garden journey, it became clear to us that we still need to plant some more next year due to a recent conversation I had with a cousin, and she stated she was growing zucchini and making a whole mess of zucchini boats. When I asked her what the heck a zucchini boat was (I should have known and did) she explained to me her process, and then my light came on and realized I have made these in the past. I had two questions. One being why the heck have I not posted zucchini boats, and second and more importantly is why the heck did we not plant zucchini?!
So I got to thinking about those zucchini boats, but decided I would put my little spin on it and make a nacho style zucchini boats.
Let’s get started.
- 2 whole green zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half, gutted
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 cups Mexican chihuahua cheese
- crushed tortilla chips
- your favorite salsa, optional
Start by preparing your zucchini, garlic, and onion. Reserve the ‘guts’ what you scrape out of each halved zucchini as it will get cooked along the way.
Preheat your oven 400 degrees.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil and give it a swirl. Let this come to temperature for a minute or so, then add in the ground pork. Leave the pork untouched for a few minutes to build a light crust on the bottom of the pork, then grab your wooden spoon and start breaking up the meat.
Add in the onion and garlic. Give a stir and cook for about 7 minutes stirring along the way to soften the onion and garlic, while cooking the pork. Add in the reserved zucchini. Stir and season with salt, pepper, and cumin.
Add in the breadcrumbs, and stir again. Taste and season the mixture with any additional salt.
To a lined baking sheet, add the zucchini, hollowed side facing up. Take the pork mixture and begin filling each boat. Be generous and don’t worry if some mixture spills over. Trust me, you will scrape that up as a snack in about 25 minutes.
Once filled, top with crumbled tortilla chips, then sprinkle the chihuahua cheese over the top. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the cover and cook another 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and plate. Spoon your favorite salsa over the top and dig in. The zucchini boat is pretty amazing. So much where you want to keep eating, but must stop. The zucchini is not ultra tender (which we like), and the cheese and tortilla chips really just bring them over the top.
Do you have a garden, and if so what are you growing? Anything that may interest us outside of what we are already growing? I’m open for suggestions!