Ok, I promise all my recipes won’t have a Mexican bent and we seriously don’t eat Mexican every night, but I just can’t sit on this recipe. It was too good!
First off, have you ever made homemade red enchilada sauce?? It is soooo delicious and ridiculously easy to make. I’ve always just used the canned enchilada sauce in the past, but after being diagnosed with a soy allergy I’ve had a really tough time finding an enchilada sauce that is soy free, gluten free, and tastes good. My enchilada sauce has so much depth. The secret ingredient is cocoa powder.
I’m not going to lie, I was pretty proud of this dish. It was crazy flavorful and I couldn’t think of anything I would do to change it. That’s a bold statement on my part. Poor Bill. I am always like this is good but I should have added….
I knew this dish was going to be on our dinner table a lot when I saw Bill’s face after the first bite. When he goes in for another bite and smiles before he says anything, I know I have made a winner!
These zucchini enchiladas reminded me of a lighter version of Chili Rellenos! I am going to be honest, every time I see a “skinny” recipe on a “zucchini boat” I am dubious. Don’t swap out delicious bread for a piece of zucchini and call it an even trade. I just can’t accept that. Fewer calories are only a win if something is delicious.
SO I was thinking how can I sub out the carbs and empty calories with something that adds to the recipe. I decided to treat the zucchini as an integral part of the dish and roast it first to get a lot of natural flavor out of it.
I subbed ground beef for ground turkey and didn’t regret it at all. Yes, mom. I haven’t lost my mind. Seriously, it just works here! I really browned the turkey and let the green bell peppers and onions caramelize with it.
Finally, I topped the zucchini and taco turkey mix with the homemade enchilada sauce and cheese and broiled it until the cheese was crispy on top. It was so so so good. Note: Omit the cheese if you are doing Whole30 (and go you for doing it!) and add extra enchilada sauce. I served mine with cubed sweet potatoes and apples fried (in the same pan the taco meat was in!) while the zucchini enchiladas were in the oven!
- 1 (6) oz can of tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of onion powder
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 6 zucchinis
- 1 tablespoon of avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 1/3 cup of chopped onions (I used the kind from the freezer section)
- 1/3 cup of chopped bell pepper (I used the kind from the freezer section)
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 lb of ground turkey
- 1 cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese (omit if you have a diary allergy)
- Extra olive or avocado oil for roasting zucchini
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine tomato paste, water, olive oil, cocoa powder, salt, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne in a small sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil while whisking.
- Simmer on low covered.
- Cut the zucchinis in half and trim the ends.
- Scoop out the middles (you can save the meat from the middle for zucchini muffins!).
- Place on cookie sheet.
- Generously cover them with oil and salt and pepper.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Heat the olive or avocado oil in a medium skillet and add in onions, bell pepper, garlic and turkey.
- Cook until really browned.
- Fill zucchini with meat mixture.
- Top with enchilada sauce.
- Sprinkle lightly with cheese.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to get crispy.
- Watch closely, so they don't burn!
You can totally cook the enchilada sauce in advance!