ne of the best types of diets in existence that will help with the management of type 2 diabetes is a low carb style diet. Whether you decide to follow a paleo diet or a strict keto diet is up to you, but both diets will provide some fantastic results. This is due to the fact that both diets eliminate pretty much all refined carbs and sugars, which in turn helps to prevent sudden blood sugar spikes and crashes. The good news is that it’s still 100% possible to make some ridiculously tasty meals that are low in carbs and diabetic-friendly. The recipe I’m sharing today is a great example of that — it’s both paleo and keto-friendly and makes an amazing sheet pan dinner for diabetics featuring zucchini boats smothered in a savory tomato sauce.
Zucchini Boats, Ground Beef, and Tomato Sauce…Oh My!
In order to get your zucchini boats ready, you’ll first have to trim them and cut them in half lengthwise and then scoop out the pulp, leaving half-inch shells. Next, place them on the sheet pan. Once they’re ready, brush each of them with a little bit of olive oil and then season with salt. Olive oil is a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, making it a perfect choice for making low carb dinners like this one. Better yet, according to studies, olive oil is actually quite beneficial when it comes to both preventing and managing type 2 diabetes as well. (1)
You can go ahead and start to bake your zucchini boats, leaving them in the oven for between 10-12 minutes. While they’re baking, you can begin to prepare the boat filling. Using a bowl, combine your lean ground beef, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, flaxseed meal, egg, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. I’m sure you can already tell from just a quick glance at that ingredient list how unbelievably flavorful the filling mixture ends up being.
Not only does the zucchini boat filling end up tasting quite yummy, but it’s also packed full of health benefits as well. The bell pepper and jalapeno pepper used are both particularly good for diabetes, as they each contain capsaicin, which has been found to help reduce blood glucose by increasing insulin levels. (2) The garlic and onion powder are both incredibly beneficial as well, with studies finding that each of them possess anti-diabetic and antioxidant potential. (3)
After spooning your beef mixture into the zucchini boats, leave them sit while you turn your attention towards making the homemade tomato sauce. It’s made by taking another bowl and combining all of the ingredients — the tomato paste, hot water, apple cider vinegar, more olive oil, granulated Stevia (or your choice of low carb sweetener), garlic powder, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper (another great source of capsaicin), salt, and pepper — before spooning it over top of your zucchini boats. Bake everything once again for between 22-30 minutes and then sprinkle with extra parsley before serving.
More Low Carb Sheet Pan Dinner Ideas:
Low Carb Sheet Pan Dinner for Diabetics (Paleo and Keto-friendly)
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
For the zucchini boats:
4 medium zucchini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
½ large green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
¼ cup flaxseed meal
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley plus extra for serving
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt, black pepper to taste
For the tomato sauce:
3 oz tomato paste
½ cup hot water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp granulated Stevia or other low carb sweetener
½ garlic powder
1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
salt, black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Trim the zucchinis and cut in half lengthwise.
- With a melon ball scoop or teaspoon, scoop out pulp, leaving ½ -in. shells.
- Place the zucchini boats on a sheet pan.
- Brush with olive oil and season with salt.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set side.
- In a bowl place the ground beef, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, flaxseed meal, egg, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and black pepper to taste.
- Mix to combine.
- Spoon the beef mixture into the zucchini boats.
- To make the tomato sauce mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Spoon the sauce over the zucchini boats and return the pan to the oven.
- Bake for 22-30 minutes or until the beef mixture is fully cooked.
- Sprinkle with extra parsley and serve.