Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats

Kid FriendlyGluten Free

These Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats are a healthy, gluten free version of beef enchiladas that you’ll fall in love with! They’re full of bold flavors and only 222 calories a serving!

If you’re looking for a classic beef enchilada, you should make The Ultimate Beef Enchilada Recipe!

Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats in a baking dish topped with diced tomato and avocado

Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats

This past Sunday morning I stood in our church watching the colorful lights bounce around the ceiling, musicians playing their instruments on stage, and worship music flash across the big screen. As I stood there I had a hard time singing. Normally the worship portion of church is my favorite time. But that day it was different.

I was upset. I didn’t want to worship. I felt like the past month or so, God just up and left me and all the things I felt he had promised were forgotten. Why should I worship? So I stood there silent … just watching.

Collage of zucchini boats in a baking dish before and after being filled with ground beef

My world felt like it had been rocked by things God has spoken to my friends and I but weren’t coming to fruition. I had been struggling with continuing to “believe” that God had good things for me or even cared when seemingly it was pointless. Why have hope when you’re going to be disappointed, or at least that was my thought process.

On top of all these feelings our family started to have some drama after the holidays. I felt like I went right back to the “protect, defend, and be the strong person” mode I cloaked myself with when I was growing up. This mode is not healthy. I take on the problems of other people and make them my own, then try to solve everything in MY OWN strength. I didn’t even recognize I was doing it, it’s like second nature, luckily my husband did recognize it. One morning he felt called to send me a youtube video of the song Just Be Held by Casting Crowns. 
Enchilada sauce being poured over Ground Beef in Zucchini Boats

As I listened to it tears just started to stream down my face. It was everything I was feeling and more.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
Theres freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

Top view of Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats in a baking dish topped with diced tomato and avocado

I think I just felt like everything was spiraling out of control. I have had to have faith so many times in life and I just got tired. Tired of fighting. I wondered if God really cared, why things had to be so hard. Then God used Mike to drop this song on my lap like a present with a big red bow on it.

Just be Held. That’s all he wanted to communicate. Rest in me. Let go of control and Be Held. I love you and I always will. I’m working on a beautiful masterpiece with your life.

I was focusing on the storm instead of the beauty of the cross! I love how God has perfect timing and speaks right to our heart when we need it most! Don’t you?

A serving of Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats on a plate with a lime wedge

Ok, now on to this incredible dinner recipe you will big puffy heart!

Why I Love This Beef Enchilada Recipe

This culinary masterpiece was born out of my full on passion for Mexican food! I wanted to create a way to eat enchiladas without all the carbs but still loaded with flavor! These Ground Beef Enchiladas are stuffed into a carved zucchini boat instead of wrapped in a tortilla. Sounds strange at first but believe me, you will be floored by the outrageous flavor and won’t even miss the tortilla!

These Enchilada Zucchini Boats are ready in just over 30 minutes, only 222 calories a serving, filled with bold tex-mex flavor you’ll love and absolutely gorgeous to look at. I mean really… look at all those colors!

I seriously cannot wait to hear what you guys think of this one! Bon Appetite my friends!

A spatula scooping a Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boat out of a baking dish

Image of Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats

Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 40 minutes
  • yield Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • category Category: Dinner
  • method Method: Oven
  • cuisine Cuisine: American


These Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats are a healthy, gluten free version of beef enchiladas that you’ll fall in love with! They’re full of bold flavors and only 222 calories a serving!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 3 large zucchinis, sliced in half lengthwise and scooped out to create a “boat”
  • 1 1/2 cups of old el paso red enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

optional toppings:

  • diced tomatoes
  • diced green onions
  • diced avocado


  1. Heat a medium large skillet to medium high heat.
  2. Add olive oil and onions to the pan. Saute until translucent or soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the ground beef. Cook until there is no more pink in the meat, breaking up meat into small pieces along the way.
  4. Add in minced garlic, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and then salt to taste. Stir until combined.
  5. In a 13×9 inch baking dish, add zucchini boats flesh side facing up. Scoop the ground beef mixture into the “boat” part of the zucchini.
  6. Pour the red enchilada sauce over the filled zucchini boats.
  7. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.
  8. Cover the baking dish with tin foil. Bake for 20 minutes at 350.
  9. Remove the tin foil from the pan. Bake for another 5 minutes uncovered.
  10. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve.
  11. Add additional toppings for more deliciousness! 🙂


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 boats
  • Calories: 222
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 491 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 21 g
  • Cholesterol: 58 mg

Keywords: zucchini boats, zucchini boats recipe, beef enchiladas recipe, easy beef enchiladas, beef enchiladas, ground beef enchiladas, how to make beef enchiladas, healthy enchiladas, best zucchini recipe


Other Healthy Beef Recipes

Honey Sriracha Mongolian Beef with Rice Noodles


Chili Rubbed Flank Steak with Chimichurri on Parsnip Puree

Chili Rubbed Flank Steak wtih Chimichurri-3

Beef & Broccoli Stirfry with Cauliflower Rice

An easy to make Paleo & Gluten Free recipe packed with flavor! Beef & Broccoli Stir fry with Cauliflower Rice |

Ground Beef Enchilada Zucchini Boats recipe collage



Hey There

Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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37 Responses
  1. Teresa

    I clicked on your zucchini enchilada boats recipe, but what I got was a touch from God I didn’t even know I needed. Thanks for being faithful and sharing.

  2. Ann

    I was just looking for something to make with my hamburger meat. I have also been to the point recently with struggling and just wanting to give up. I have prayed and have asked God to guide me but I still felt so lonely. Then I found these 50 recipes and decided to check it out. I was scrolling along and found yours looked good. I then scrolled to the bottom and then just closed it out and left my phone. I had something tell me to check your recipe. When I was reading I had this chill that covered my body and tears in my eyes. I felt a piece knowing that God does show what you need at the time you need it I can not tell you how much your words helped me today. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Paige

    I found your blog today while searching for recipes, and found so much more. My husband recently deployed and the lyrics in your post describe exactly how I have been feeling. Thank you, I needed that more than you will ever know.

  4. Jen in San Antonio

    Made these tonight and loved the test though next time I plan to partially roast my zucchini while prepping the filling as they were too form for my husband’s taste even after putting them in the oven an extra 7 minutes. And the presentation was lovely. I made a bag of Spanish rice to serve as a side, which my kids ate, skipping the healthy entree. Oh well, win some and lose some. I liked it BETTER than normal enchiladas.

    1. Krista

      Hey Jen! Great idea. I like mine with a little bit of a crunch to the zucchini but I can definitely see cooking them a little longer if you like them cooked a little longer. So glad to hear that you enjoyed the flavor though. Hurray! 🙂

  5. Joe

    I came home from work one day and saw that my wife put a pound of ground beef in the sink to defrost. Painfully, I had to go right back into work for an emergency situation. On my way home at 9:30 PM she asked me to pick up a taco dinner Kit because she was working late herself. For the past two years I have changed my eating habits forever and did not want to eat that taco kit or have the bloated feeling the next day at that. I quickly googled ” simple ground beef recipes”, and saw this beautiful recipe. Instead of stopping at the store to pick up a taco dinner Kit I picked up just a couple ingredients from this recipe that we didn’t already have at the house.
    To make a long story short I ended up getting home a little after 10 PM and the Dish was coming out of the oven at 11:05 PM!
    I have to admit that this recipe is one of the best quick recipes my wife and I have eaten in a long time! AWESOMENESS !!!!

    1. Krista

      Ok, that is seriously awesome! Thank you so much for sharing Joe and way to go on not doing the taco kit and sticking to your eating habits!

  6. Lisa

    It’s so crazy how God just hit me in the face right now. My husband and I have been going through a lot lately and my family at home is struggling and I’ve been doing the same thing. I came on this website not knowing what it was and it made everything just fit, with what was going on in my life right now. I feel so blessed I know this was a sign from God!

  7. Tiffany Williams

    Man oh man did I need to hear this! At first I thought to myself am I still on the right link and then it hit me God is good! The last couple of weeks have been tough but I can see clearly now he’s not gonna let anything hurt me and and I’m very lucky and blessed he’s got my back! Thank you! As for the recipe I don’t have enough zucchini on hand but I’ll definitely make it in the future!

    1. Krista

      ok, that just made my day! Love that you questioned the link too! With God there are no accidents, even those valleys build us up and make us stronger! Thank you so much for sharing Tiffany!

  8. Carole

    That saying could not have come at a better time,says so much. I tried to copy it, but it said there were 32 pages, is there a way just to copy the saying ? The recipe sounds good, going to try that.Thanks much, Carole

    1. Krista

      Ohh… Yeah if you google “lyrics for Just Be Held” it should pop up. I’m so glad the words encouraged you Carole. 🙂 And I hope you give that recipe a try!

  9. Rebekah Y

    I just made these last night for dinner. They were so delicious!! I totally forgot to add avocado, tomato, and green onions for the top though. Everyone was too busy scarfing them down. I put them with a side of plain white rice since I could only find smaller sized zucchini. It worked out perfectly with it since it ended up getting all mixed up and made it so everyone could soak up all the yummy sauce on their plates. We’ll definitely be making this again!! 🙂

    1. Krista

      Yeah!!! So glad to hear it Rebekah! It really is good without the toppings… i’m just an avocado addict so I put it on top of anything I can. 🙂 hehe Love the addition with the rice to soak everything up. Genius!

  10. Rachel

    I started out this day searching for a recipe to cook for my family tonight and I found this also I got to experience a miracle while reading this woman’s testemony. Struggling with my own doubts. God has touched me and I love him

    1. Krista

      ohhhh… thank you so much Rachel! That is such a huge encouragement. Glad sharing my story can help, that’s my heart! I wish more of us would share our stories!

  11. M Pieslak

    Funny. ..I’ve made these before by ‘winging it’ but thought today is look up an official recipe. However, the words before just resonate in my soul! Casting Crowns sing some of the best music….they’re one of my favorite bands…and that song had been speaking to me in volumes lately! I just have to try this😊

    1. Krista

      Ohh… so glad to hear it! I’m glad you decided to look up a recipe and fell upon my page. This comment totally made my day! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  12. Karin

    Just made these last night and they were a hit. We noticed, though, there is no oven temp in the recipe. We baked them at 350 and it took much longer than 30 minutes. So what is the temp we should have cooked them at?

    1. Krista

      Hey Karin! Thank you so much for the catch. Yes I did bake it at 350 degrees, but I like the zucchini crunchy. All you’re really looking for it to let the flavors cook together and melt the cheese because the meat is already cooked. Hope that helps!

  13. David

    Really great recipe! I used ground turkey instead of beef and pineapple salsa instead of enchilada sauce, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Amazing flavor, will definitely be putting this one into regular rotation.

  14. Linda

    Your sharing about your recent spiritual challenges was so timely. Your story and the song lyrics brought tears to my eyes. I felt the Lord’s love and encouragement at a time when I’ve been battling similar feelings that you’ve had. I also look forward to trying out the recipe – it looks delicious. You have truly provided food for my soul AND body today. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

    1. Krista

      Oh… Linda you totally just made my day. So glad that the Lord spoke to you just sharing my story! God is soo good. Glad you pulled up my post on the day you needed it! Hugs to you sweet Linda! You are not alone!

      1. Kristone

        It is so wonderful when you open up a recipe and find something so much more wonderful. God’s story unfolding. Thank you for sharing.

  15. taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    ooooh!!! I love the zucchini boat idea here! They look so tasty 🙂 I really need to try this, what a perfect and healthy set to a delicious usual dish! Kicks it up a notch I’d say!

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