Fish + Seafood / Food / Main Dishes / Pescetarian

Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats with King Oscar Sardines

Low-carb Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats with King Oscar Sardines give you a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and Omega-3s!

This recipe is sponsored by King Oscar | Thanks for supporting the brands I love and trust.

Close up of Tex Mex stuffed zucchini boats on a platter.

Zucchini is one of those veggies that I just can’t get tired of. You can roast it as a side, create crispy fried fritters, or stuff them with healthy goodies like I did here.

Admittedly, I’m not the best person to approach for low-carb dinner ideas. I shamelessly love carbs way too much. Which is exactly why it took me so long to tinker with a stuffed zucchini boat recipe.

I decided on a Tex Mex flavor blend because it allowed me to use substantial ingredients and big flavors with an otherwise light and neutral veg. Stuffed with a hearty blend of black beans, black olives, juicy tomatoes, red onions, red peppers, and King Oscar’s Skinless and Boneless Spanish Style Sardines, this dinner option gives you a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and Omega-3s.

King Oscar’s Skinless and Boneless Spanish Style Sardines.

KO’s Spanish-style sardines are a perfect fit for this recipe. Sustainably caught off the coast of Morocco, they’re hand-packed in pure olive oil with red chili pepper, sliced carrot, and sliced pickle. This results in a mild heat and savory flavor. Other KO variations that would work with this recipe are the Brisling Sardines in Tapatio Hot Sauce, Brisling Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Hot Jalapeño Peppers, or Brisling Sardines in Zesty Tomato Sauce

Away from the table…

No podcast, book, or show recommendations this week because… I had my baby! What a wild ride. He decided to show up 10 days early and has been keeping us incredibly busy—and awake :) But we’re totally obsessed with the little guy and he amazes us more and more every day. He’s already displaying incredible strength by holding his head up all on his own. And his legs offer up some pretty hefty kicks! I did eat a lot of KO sardines in my first trimester. I just might be able to attribute his strength and smarts to that ;)

Collage of ingredients.

Stuffed zucchini boats being sprinkled with cheese.

Plate of stuffed zucchini boats lined up.

If you can’t find KO’s Skinless and Boneless Spanish Style Sardines at your local supermarket, you can snag them on Amazon.

If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you. Then snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme to be featured in our newsletter.

Tex Mex stuffed zucchini boats on a platter.
Print Pin
5 from 9 votes

Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats with King Oscar Sardines

Low-carb Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats with King Oscar Sardines give you a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and Omega-3s!
Servings 4 servings
Author Dana Sandonato


  • 2 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 can of King Oscar Skinless and Boneless Sardines Spanish Style, drained
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, Mexican blend
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375º F.
  • Slice off the ends of the zucchini, then cut the zucchini in half lengthwise.
  • Using a melon baller or a small spoon, carefully scoop out the inside of the zucchini to create a boat. Try not to scoop through too close to the bottom, or the zucchini will become limp once cooked and have trouble holding into the contents stuffed inside.
    Roughly chop the zucchini innards and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini innards, garlic, onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Toss to coat and simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions and peppers are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and transfer the contents to a large mixing bowl.
  • To the large mixing bowl, add the sardines, black beans, and sliced olives. Mix ingredients with a spatula or large spoon until well combined.
  • Divide the filling between each zucchini boat and press the filling into the zucchini so its secure and and holds its shape. Sprinkle the tops of the zucchini equally with the shredded cheese.
  • Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes. Check on it periodically to ensure the zucchini aren't overcooking and becoming soggy. 
  • When ready, remove the zucchini from the oven, garnish with freshly chopped parsley, and serve.


  • Easy Fisherman's Eggs | Killing Thyme
    September 14, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    […] Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats […]

  • […] Try my Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats! […]

  • […] Try my Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats! […]

  • […] Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats […]

  • Debra
    June 27, 2019 at 6:53 am

    5 stars
    Love how you turned a “snack” into a meal by adding in that protein. Sardines are a great choice because they pack a flavor punch, balancing out the Mexican spices. I also like how FUN this is to serve for a party.

  • Trish Bozeman
    June 26, 2019 at 10:28 am

    5 stars
    Ooooh love zucchini boats! We like to do tex-mex stuffed ones, but I’ve never thought to add sardines. It sounds fantastic! A must try, thanks!

  • Daniela
    June 24, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    5 stars
    Yum! What a creative way to use sardines! It’s about to be zucchini season where I live, so I can’t wait to make this. I love the Mexican flavors in it too!

  • Marisa F. Stewart
    June 24, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    5 stars
    A fantastic way to use zucchini. You can only eat so much of zucchini bread and muffins. Zucchini casseroles all start to taste alike. Now, this stuffed zucchini with a Tex-Mex flavor sound ideal for a weeknight dinner we have coming up. In fact, I may just make some of these up for Hubby and I for lunch.

  • Sandra Shaffer
    June 24, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    5 stars
    This is one tasty zucchini boat! We have tons of zucchini in our garden, so I’m always looking for ways to eat them up because you are right, on their own their not too flavorful. Sardines are a great addition and nice and healthy!

  • Jenni LeBaron
    June 24, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    5 stars
    First of all, congratulations on having your baby! That must have been a huge surprise that he came early, but I hope you’re soaking up all that love in the first few days and hopefully getting a bit of sleep too! Secondly, these zucchini boats look absolutely delicious! I am with you on never getting sick of zucchini as it’s so adaptable for so many delicious dishes. My favorite thing about this one is that the sardines sound like they give the perfect level of umami for a healthy dinner dish, but are unique enough to warrant making it into my recipe rotation immediately. I can’t wait to try these!

  • Sean@Diversivore
    June 24, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    5 stars
    Oh Dana, I’m so with you. I’m always like “Hmm, I should make something low-carb… or… or pasta.” Carbs are just so good. So if I’m going to go low-carb, I want it to be something loaded and delicious like this. I like zucchini but it is a bit of a blank slate, which is why your choice to cover it in deliciousness is very much appreciated. Also, I’m loving your continued championing of delicious canned fish. It’s a food we collectively need to fall in love with all over again, and you’re a hell of a matchmaker. Cheers!

  • Carmy
    June 22, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    5 stars
    Helllllllllo dinner! This looks so good! I’m a sucker for tex-mex anything. The zucchini boats really seal the deal since now it’s “healthy” haha. I’ll have to try this with the king oscar sardines!

  • Gloria
    June 19, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    5 stars
    What a great way to use zucchini. These are great as appetizers, or even as a stand-alone meal idea. Since they are stuffed with protein, I would have no problem chowing down on these for dinner. With zucchini season right around the corner (the gardens will be overflowing), this is a great recipe to have on hand.


Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.