Make these chorizo stuffed zucchini boats when you are looking for an easy meal that packs in the veggies. At only 11 grams net carbs per serving, this recipe will fit into most low-carb dietary patterns. I stuffed hollowed out zucchini squash halves with a mixture of fresh chorizo and tomato sauce. A blanket of pepper jack cheese finishes this delectable dish that will quickly become a family favorite.
Chorizo is an amazingly delicious spiced pork sausage that can be purchased fresh or more highly processed (dried and cured). These keto zucchini boats use fresh (raw) chorizo from the store, or my homemade Mexican chorizo sausage.
Pork products like chorizo are pretty darn tasty, and if you make your own, you can use pork from pastured pigs. One benefit of choosing pastured is that sunlight exposure may increase the vitamin D content of the pork. There are few natural food sources of vitamin D, so I try to get some in when I can.
Salmon is another great way to get some vitamin D. (Exposing yourself to sunlight is another option, but those of us in the north often need to supplement D in the winter.)
If you are aiming for a lower-fat diet, chorizo is not your best option, as it is high in fat. I have some substitution ideas in the notes below the recipe if you need them.
My personal approach, instead of eliminating chorizo, is to keep the rest of the meal light when I have it. This dish packs in a lot of low-carb, low-calorie zucchini which provides a lot of volume you don’t get with energy-dense chorizo.
Using fresh produce gives you fiber and fluid with the protein-packed chorizo. This combination may feel more satisfying than enjoying chorizo alone.
➕ Chorizo Stuffed Zucchini
Don’t throw out those zucchini middles! To create these keto zucchini boats, you will be scooping out the middles of the zucchini with a melon baller. I really like my OXO melon baller because it has two different-sized scoops, but any brand will do.
You are not going to use the zucchini middles in this recipe, but please do not discard them! Chop them up and save them to add to soups, casseroles, scrambled eggs or an omelet.
If you are here because this is a low-carb (in some cases “keto”) recipe, zucchini should be a great fit. I see a lot of folks post low-carb meals on social media that are entirely animal-based foods. However, there are a lot of low-carb plant foods that can help make meals more colorful and varied.
Depending on how low your daily carb limit is, zucchini, yellow summer squash, cruciferous veggies, and berries are great low-carb options. These should fit into most low-carb ways of eating, even very low-carb or keto plans. They are the easiest way to add fiber and phytonutrients to a low-carb diet without supplementation.
I prefer to focus on cooking at home and whole food eating, versus encouraging super specific macros or getting into the animal v plant food debate. Humans can be healthy with diets that vary significantly in macros. Likewise, we can do well with diets coming from varying amounts of animal and plant foods.
⛵ Chorizo Zucchini Boats Recipe
Those who feel strongly about all-animal or all-plant food diets may adopt a belief system that the foods they do not eat are “bad.” Unfortunately, I’ve seen some of these individuals cherry-pick data and spread untruths to try and support their position. In most cases, however, both animal-based and plant-based foods can have a place in healthy diets.
As I’ve covered in the previous section, the best balance of different foods and food types will vary by individual. It will hinge on a variety of factors, such as the conditions they are trying to manage with diet.
Taste preferences are also important, and IMVHO, these keto zucchini boats with chorizo are delicious. So, let’s get cooking, shall we?
Is this chorizo stuffed zucchini gluten free?
Yes! As long as the chorizo you use doesn’t have any gluten-containing fillers, this is a naturally gluten free recipe.
What do you eat with cooked chorizo?
You can use cooked ground chorizo in many of the ways you’d use ground beef. Put it in tacos, burritos, fajitas, nachos, add it to pasta dishes, stuffed peppers, or use it to top a pizza. (Or just make these chorizo stuffed zucchini boats, of course.)
Can I freeze uncooked zucchini boats?
No, these zucchini boats cannot be frozen, because the zucchini will get soggy or mushy. If you want to put zucchini in the freezer, some sources suggest blanching it first. Unfortunately, that tip doesn't work with this recipe.
Is chorizo better for you than sausage?
Chorizo is a type of pork sausage with chiles, vinegar, and spices added. Both Italian sausage and chorizo are high in saturated fat and calories. Chorizo may provide a wider range of nutrients due to the chiles, but I wouldn’t consider either type of pork sausage the best option for heart health.
👨🍳 What vegetables go well with chorizo?
Here are a few veggies and other side dishes for chorizo:
- Air Fryer Mexican Cornbread
- Air Fryer Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Zig Zags
- Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
Watch How to Make It!
Keto Zucchini Boats with Chorizo (Chorizo Stuffed Zucchini)
- 2.5 lbs. zucchini (1134 grams; about 6 zucchini)
- 1 lb. fresh chorizo, casings removed (454 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup strained tomatoes
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (113 grams; about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Crumble the fresh chorizo into a skillet. Add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the chorizo is browned, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the chorizo cooks, wash your zucchini and chop off the stem end. Cut them in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller to scoop out the middles, forming the boats. Arrange the boats in a single layer in a large tray pan. Save the zucchini middles to use in other recipes.
- Add the strained tomatoes to the chorizo mixture. Allow it to simmer down for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally over low or medium-low heat. The results should not be very liquidy.
- Evenly fill your zucchini boats with the chorizo mixture using a spoon.
- Top the filled boats with the pepper jack cheese shreds.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake in the heated oven for 35 minutes. Use a rack about ⅓ down from the top of the oven.
- After baking, garnish with the cilantro. This makes 4 servings of 3 zucchini boats (i.e., 3 zucchini halves) each. You may end up with more or fewer boats per person depending on the size of the squash you start with!
nutrition info disclaimer
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
What are some of your favorite ways to prepare zucchini? If you have an excellent idea for using the middles that get scooped from these keto zucchini boats, drop me a comment!
Hello! I'm Summer, a registered dietitian and home chef who loves to cook, eat, and create high quality content for you! Every recipe on this site has been tested by me to help ensure your success in the kitchen. All eaters are welcome here 🙂