These Grilled Zucchini Skins are perfect for those looking to cut their carb intake. These ketogenic-friendly morsels are a delicious swap out for traditional potato skins. The best part is that these grilled zucchini skins cook quickly!
Zucchini Skins vs. Potato Skins:
One of the advantages of using zucchinis instead of potatoes is that the process moves faster. Zucchinis cook quickly and respond well to hot and fast grilling, while potato skins start with baking whole potatoes. The latter requires a 45-60 minute cook time, plus 30-40 minutes of cooling time afterward, then back in the oven they go to finish up. No one is arguing that potato skins aren’t delicious; they are! But, they are time consuming to make.
Perhaps a complete no-brainer for those of you in the know, but it’s worth stating here. Zucchinis contain far fewer carbohydrates than potatoes. A medium zucchini has roughly 6 grams of carbohydrates, while russet potatoes contain around 34-37 grams. This doesn’t mean that we don’t love a good baked potato, but we like to mix things up!
Zucchini is highly abundant in the summer months, and this recipe is a great way to use them up! Also, once they take on this fabulous cheesy, bacon-filled form, even the kids will love them.
What you’ll need to make grilled zucchini skins:
Fresh Zucchini: Medium-sized zucchini work perfectly for this recipe. If you aren’t growing your own, peruse your local farmer’s market and pick up some farm-fresh zucchinis.
Bacon: Look for standard thickness bacon. It cooks up quickly and crumbles easily. If you do not consume pork products, substitute with cooked and crumbled turkey bacon or your favorite bacon alternative.
Cream Cheese: Regular cream cheese works best for this recipe. We did not develop this recipe using a low-fat, fat-free, or whipped cream cheese, so we cannot advise how it will turn out. We have noticed in other recipes that cream cheese with altered fat content can cause excess release of water once the cream cheese cooks or the cream cheese does not melt or hold in place properly.
Shredded Cheese: Choose a sharp cheddar or white cheddar cheese. It intensifies the flavor of the filling. You can make these grilled zucchini skins a little spicier by adding pepper jack or habanero cheeses, or for a smokier flavor, use shredded smoked gouda.
Average one zucchini skin (half a zucchini) per person. If you plan to serve these grilled zucchini skins as an appetizer, carefully cut them into thirds, place them on a serving platter, and let your guests help themselves.
Store leftover zucchini skins in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days. They will be softer when reheated.
Grilled Zucchini Skins
- 4 medium-large zucchini, halved and scooped
- 1 1/3 cups cream cheese
- 2 cup cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reserve 1/2 for garnish)
- 8 strips think cut bacon, cooked and crumbled (reserve 2 strips worth for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (garnish)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Wash and cut zucchinis in half lengthwise. Remove ends. Turn zucchini halves over to skin side. Cut a 1/8" strip off of the center so vegetable will balance properly on grill grate. Don't cut too much off.
- Preheat grill for medium heat.
- Combine cream cheese with about 6 strips worth of bacon (reserving remainder for garnish), 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, salt, garlic, onion, and black pepper. Scoop equal amounts of mixture into zucchini halves. Do not over stuff. Top with remaining cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles.
- Place zucchinis onto grill grate skin side down. Close lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the zucchini are tender, filling is hot, and the cheddar cheese has melted.
- Remove zucchini skins from grill and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve as is, or cut into smaller pieces for appetizer portions.
- Zucchini's can be cooked in the oven at 350 degrees F., for 15-20 minutes.
- *Looking for a vegan alternative? Simply swap out the cream cheese, shredded cheddar, and bacon crumbles with vegan alternatives. Keep in mind that there will be textural differences, but otherwise, just as delicious!