How to Get Your Kids to Eat Zucchini: Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats

Getting children to eat green and slimy vegetables can be a challenge.  Sometimes all you need is a toothpick and a piece of paper to build enthusiasm.  My little ones were actually excited to try these.  They got 2 thumbs up from everyone but the youngest.  She was able to eat them once we covered them with ketchup.

This recipe comes from Laura at Heavenly Homemakers.  This week I’m going to make it with Italian seasoning or possibly spaghetti sauce.  I’ll let you know how it works out.

Update: We tried spaghetti sauce!  Check out our spaghetti zucchini boats here.


  • 4 large Zucchini
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 small Onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cheddar or Daiya Cheese


  1. Put a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Cut the ends off the zucchini and slice lengthwise.  Halve the zucchini if necessary.  Boil the zucchini for about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and onions and season with garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Scoop the “meat” out of the zucchini and into the beef.  Stir well.
  4. Fill the zucchini with hamburger mixture and top with cheese.  Bake until cheese is melted.

You may also enjoy Italian Sausage and Summer Squash Skillet and Summer Squash and Chicken Skillet.

This post is part of  Monday Mania,  Weekend Gourmet Blog Carnival, Made By You Monday, Hearth and Soul Hop, Made From Scratch Tuesday,  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday Night Supper ClubTuesdays at the Table, $5 Dinner Challenge, Tip Me Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Domestically Divine, Tackle it Tuesday, {TITUS 2}SDAYS, Delicious Dishes, show me what ya got, Tuesday Time Out Link Up, What’s on the Menu, Made it on Monday, Whatcha Makin’ Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, What’s on Your PlateWhat’s Cooking Wednesday, What We’re Eating Wednesday, Show and Tell,  Works for Me Wednesday, This Chick Cooks, Creative Juice, Foodie Wednesday, Healthy 2day, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday,  Tip Day Thursday, Real Food Weekly, Simple Lives Thursday, It’s a Keeper Thursdays, Strut Your Stuff, Thrilling Thursday , Recipe Swap Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Hookin Up with HoH, Food Trip Friday, Friday Potluck, Foodie Friday,  Friday Favorites, Fresh Bites Friday, Show and Tell Friday, Allergy Friendly Friday, I’m Lovin It Fridays!, Fun with Food Friday, Fight Back Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Foodie Friday, Fresh, Clean and Pure Friday, GCC Recipe Swap, Food on Friday, Finer Things FridayFriday Food Linky, Friday FlairParty Mindie Style,, Friday Food Fight, Show and Tell Saturday, The Lady Bloggers Tea Party, Nifty Thrifty SundayCookbook Sunday, Sundae Scoop, The Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Potluck Sunday, Simply Delish

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68 Responses to “How to Get Your Kids to Eat Zucchini: Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats”

  1. Joy Poot says:

    I like it! Thanks for posting. I might leave the toothpicks and paper sails off though… 😉

  2. Wonderful! Thanksfor a great dinner idea!
    Would you be willing to share this at our Weekly Playdate link party? This week’s party is here:

    Come & Play :: Playdate

    • Nancy says:

      Hi Lori, Thanks for the invite. We are all about playdates around here. 🙂 I linked up a couple of days ago.

  3. Hi! I just found you through Tip Junkie. These look so yummy and are so cute!

  4. Sophie says:

    Yet another unique yet tasty way to serve up zucchini!

  5. I’ve been looking for zucchini recipes. Thank you for posting! 🙂 They look delicious and fun. =D

  6. These look so cute, and they sound absolutely scrumptious. What a great recipe for this time of year with all the fresh zucchini available too. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe with the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop. By the way, I’m your newest follower on Twitter 🙂

  7. Liberty says:

    This is the PERFECT thing to make with the {slightly} overgrown zucchini I picked this morning. Kids can make the sails…
    Church potluck here we come!

  8. angie says:

    these are so cute and fun looking great way to get kids to eat come see what I shared at

  9. These are just cute enough to get my son to eat them…maybe! 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  10. Jenny says:

    What a marvelous idea! I, too, have a ketchup kid…he will eat anything with copious amounts of ketchup.

  11. Sheryl says:

    How cute are these! I have a party tomorrow “Cast Party Wednesday” and would love it if you came over and shared your recipe with us.
    I hope to see you there!

  12. Anjanette says:

    Neither of my kiddos *love* zucchini – maybe this will do the trick! Thanks!!

  13. jen says:

    Those are too cute! Great way to make veggies fun! Thanks for sharing with Made From Scratch Tuesday!

  14. Iffy says:

    I’m trying these tonight! I would love for you to link this up to My Favorite Things party! There’s a new one every Friday
    & be sure to check out my giveaway too! Stopping by from the Tip Me Tuesday party.

  15. Karen Bannan says:

    My local pizza place makes these, and this is the first time I have seen a recipe for them. I just got four beautiful zucchinis in my CSA box, so I’m going to try making this. Who knows, maybe my hubby will even try them! (He’s not a fan of veggies, unfortunately.)

    • Nancy says:

      How cool! I’ve never seen them in a restaurant. Does anybody actually order them? I’m just thinking most people would choose pizza over zucchini!

  16. Desi says:

    Well aren’t those the cutest?! I don’t even like zucchini and these boats could get ME to eat some lol! I wanted to invite you over to my cookbook giveaway that is going on right now until July 16th. Stop on by to enter! Hope you are having a great week 🙂

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks for the laugh Desi! I do think zucchini is one of the hardest veggies to get accustomed too since they are so slimy.

  17. We made something similar last summer adding in brown rice and using cherry BBQ sauce for the filling. We can’t wait to have ripe zucchini to make them again.

    • Nancy says:

      That sounds interesting! I would not have thought to pair zucchini with something sweet. Do you top with cheese as well?

  18. Trisha says:

    these are so stinkin cute!

  19. Mika(Photoadik) says:

    That is just a unique presentation! 🙂

  20. KB and Whitesnake says:

    Looks delish!

    We’d love you to share your recipes with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday

  21. Hazel Moon says:

    Our garden is producing zucchini in abundance and we love trying other recipes that include it. It is just hubby and me, so I probably would not fancy up the dish but it is cute if my grandchildren were visiting. I found you at Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at My entry was Oat Bran Muffins.

  22. Run DMT says:

    Those are adorable! My kids would love that!

    I co-host a weekly foodie meme, Friday Food Fight. I would love for you to link up and share your post. Hope to see you in the ring!

  23. Miranda says:

    I’ve got some zucchinis, but I can’t get my kid to eat anything lately! I wonder if American cheese triangles would stay on those toothpicks? Very cute idea. Thanks for sharing with Fat Camp Friday. See you next week!

    • Nancy says:

      That’s a great idea Miranda! I would use cheddar slices since American cheese is not real cheese.

      • Miranda says:

        Very true! Even better. That was my first thought because of the color.. (sorry, I replied in the wrong spot! You can delete that)

  24. Iffy says:

    Thank you so much for linking this up to My Favorite Things Friday Party!! We made these & they were yummy, we seasoned the meat & sprinkled some with mozzarella, some with cheddar, & some with parmesan cheese. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  25. these are adorable. i might use this tactic to get my husband to eat zucchini! thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club!

  26. How neat! Great recipe!

    I’m a new follower from the Fancy Friday Hop! Would love it if you stopped by my blog and follow me 🙂

  27. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Nancy,
    Your Zucchini Boats are just adorable! What a great idea and a great recipe. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week! Have a great week end!
    Miz Helen

  28. How fun! I bet this would get my kids to eat their zucchini. Thanks so much for sharing 😀

  29. What a great idea to try with the kids….Big and small!!

    Thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop last week.

  30. Nancy! These are adorable, especially for little kids! I bet I could get my kids to eat zuchinni this way! Thanks for sharing with Healthy 2day Wednesdays! Hope you’ll participate this week!

  31. Debbie says:

    So cute! These are similar to the chayotes that I posted this week. Thanks so much for linking up with What’s On the Menu Wednesday.

  32. Bibi says:

    These look so yummy and they just might do the trick and have my kids eat zucchini…love this recipe.

    Thank you for sharing it at Foodie Wednesday and hope to see you there this week as well with another great recipe.

  33. Jerri says:

    What a cute idea! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites! I’m featuring you this week. Come by and grab my featured button if you’d like one!

  34. mindie says:

    Love it, going to feature it on Friday at Bacon Time. Hope to see at this weeks party.

  35. […] Zucchini Boats from Real Food, Allergy Free […]

  36. Vanessa says:

    Hmmm.. These really look delicious and like so much fun!!
    Thank you for linking up to {nifty thrifty sunday} last week!
    I hope to see more of your creativity this weekend!

  37. Miz Helen says:

    Congratulations Nancy!
    You are featured on Full Plate Thursday! You are welcome to pick up your Red Plate. Hope you are having a great week!
    Miz Helen

  38. Joy Poot says:

    Potentially dumb question coming up: Was I supposed to take the seeds out before boiling the zucchini, like you do with acorn squash before roasting it?
    I’ve never eaten much zucchini, so I’m not quite sure on all the ins and outs of it yet.