Zucchini and Ground Beef

Recipe makes 4 servings.
Approximate Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 21
Rating: 4.38
Login or Sign Up to rate this recipe.


3 tablespoon(s) coconut oil
1/2 medium onion(s), yellow, diced
11/2 pound(s) beef, lean ground
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
2 tablespoon(s) oregano, dried
4 medium zucchini, diced
3 medium tomato(es), diced
1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt, (optional)


  1. Wash and prepare vegetables.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil when hot.
  3. Add onions to skillet and sauté until slightly translucent.
  4. Quickly roll the ground beef into balls and add them to the pan next, along with the garlic and oregano. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add zucchini and tomatoes and cook until tender.
  6. Season with sea salt if desired.
Photo courtesy: Daniel Drake


  1. Kelly

    I don’t have any clue what beef-mince is so I just used 1 lb. of very lean ground beef, and cooked that with the onion and garlic. It ended up being an easy, quick, and yummy dinner.

  2. tkorenek

    Do you need any oil when cooking this dish? If so, how much?

    • Jason G.

      If you prefer a little oil for the veggies, that’s fine, but you shouldn’t need any for the meat.

  3. chastain0911

    What does it mean “roll your mince and just add them to the pan as you’re going along”? Is it like patties? Or meatballs?

    • Jason G.

      It can be either, but I went with meatball style.

  4. cerlandson

    Go for the meatball style it is the best way. Also minced beef is just another term for hamburger meat or ground beef.

  5. cmeflibi

    I wonder if I could throw like a sirloin in my ninja food processor to use this meat. When shopping I couldn’t figure out what this was asking for.

    • Neely

      Sorry about the confusion. I changed the recipe to reflect more American dialect. It’s just ground beef that’s rolled into little meatball-like balls. Enjoy!

  6. JudyrNorman

    I added tomato sauce and hot sauce… Very good

  7. dayanis

    I mixed the oregano and garlic into the meat before cooking then added it all to the pan at once and cooked it “picadillo” style, breaking up the meat instead.

    My 1st attempt at Paleo Picadillo was a success!

  8. Teresa

    I added s few sliced mushrooms in with the zucchini, it was absolutely delish and easy, thanks for all the great recipes! Makes it so much easier when you change things a bit and even though there is plenty of vairety in the paleo diet, mixing things differently means you never get bored or in a rut. Thanks again.

  9. carmenh

    This was terrible and bland. Recipe rework please? It probably could have been saved by using the julienne slicer to make zucchini noodles, and then added marinara sauce to ground beef. Or maybe add some chipotle Tabasco sauce to the original recipe. SOMETHING! there is no flavor in ground beef, tomatoes or zucchini, so putting them together was just a bunch of blah.

  10. donnyriz

    This is a great and simple recipe! We always mix the garlic and spices along with some pepper into the meat before we cook it and it comes out with so much flavor. Adding a bit of tomato sauce at the end is a great touch as well. And as with all Paleo recipes, add whatever you need to make it more or less “bland”. LOL

  11. Jenn

    Hm, I’m going to have to go with the bland category on this one. I read the reviews beforehand so I added garlic, pepper, oregano, and a little parsley & basil to the meatballs before cooking them. I also added a little extra garlic, parsley, hot sauce, & basil to the entire dish. It unfortunately was still completely bland but not horrible. The reviews that suggest adding tomato sauce might be onto something. I have leftovers so might throw some tomato sauce into the pot when warming it up. I did add some salt but less than the recommended amount. That could have been it too. Not sure. This was my first Paleo recipe so looking forward to trying more!

  12. Dana

    Made this tonight. Read the comments ahead of time and knew that some thought it was bland… didn’t have sauce, but made other adjustments and it was very good, no sauce needed! Used about 1.5 zucchini and only 1 large tomato.

    Mixed into the meat before rolling it into balls: Onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, chili powder, small amount of cayenne pepper, and a small amount of salt. Didn’t take measurements- just sprinkled on the meat until it looked “right”. Did not use ANY oregano. Despite the chili and cayenne, the meatballs were NOT spicy. Even our 2 year old ate it.

    Drained the pan after the meat cooked most of the way (before adding zucchini). When the zucchini was about halfway done cooking, I sprinkled a little salt and pepper on the pan. The zucchini takes longer to cook than the tomatoes, so I didn’t add the tomatoes until the zucchini was done, then sauteed everything for an additional 3 minutes, just to heat the tomatoes through.

    Hubby and toddler daughter both approved :)

  13. djah2

    I think I should have read the comments before preparing this. To us, it was bland, we did add salt after it was on the table and my husband grabbed his hot sauce to spice it up. Some of the instructions needed more explanation,( i.e. the size of the meatballs). Our meatballs were still raw in the middle when we finished. Anyway I’ll know next time to read the comments. Thanks all!

  14. DBowers

    What non-squash veggie could be subbed for the zucchini?

    • Neely

      DBowers – Really anything you want. Mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots. Whatever you love.

  15. crdvorscak

    I just cooked the hamburger in crumbles. Added additional minced garlic and tomato sauce with the rest of the recipe. I thought that it was very good. Easy and simple to make.

  16. Kristin M

    I read the comments before making this, so I also made this more of a stew with the tomato sauce. As my first paleo dish, this was awesome. My husband also liked it (thankfully) so now I don’t have to fight him on sticking to the plan. Rather than criticizing this recipe, I will say that this is a great base recipe to use, as it allows your creativity to really blossom. Here is what I used in addition to the recipe’s ingredients (though I can’t give exact measurements): pepper, cayenne pepper, Tony Satchers seasoning, fresh cilantro (not too much), basil, 3 bay leaves, parsley, and I only used approx 4/5ths of the can of tomato sauce.

  17. Wendie

    I am not a “seasoning” or “add salt” person, but this could have used something to give it more flavor – way to bland, even for me…

  18. dkucek

    I thought this was great, add salt and pepper to the beef and a liitle garlic powder. Yummy! I used my cookie scoop so i had even cooking meatballs.

  19. TatrixSaigh

    I seem to be the minority, but I loved this meal. I forgot how much I like meatballs. I did spice the meat and I used an extra tomato. Everything was perfect.

  20. Theresa Moore

    We are already fighting over the left overs, What a great meal! We used ground sirloin instead of ground beef and that helped a lot. Wasn’t sure how big to make the meatballs but did 13 for the pound and that worked

  21. jessica.grow

    SEASONING! Add some to the meat. it will make your life better, promise. :)

  22. Sandra

    i tried cooking this dish but the meat balls somewhat fell apart. Keep in mind I used ground turkey instead of ground beef. Any idea on what im doing wrong???

    • Neely Quinn

      Sandra – You’re using turkey instead of ground beef :) The fat helps to keep it all together. Eggs can help in that situation, or adding fat to the mix.

  23. Sandra

    Thank you, that makes lots of sense :) Eventhough the dish was a little messy because of the meatballs falling apart lol, it came out really good!!!! Thank you!!!!!

  24. katrinadeyo

    This is one of my favorites on here, especially adding in some hot sauce. I have tried it with ground venison as well but since the venison is so lean it was not quite the same. How much fiber is there per serving for this dish?

  25. Tami

    Yum! My whole family loved it!

  26. Christina

    This was my first Paleo recipe to try out and it was a hit. Per other reviews, I seasoned my meat with onion powder, oregano, garlic powder and salt and pepper. I used more meat to serve a family of 5 and there were hardly any leftovers. Even my picky 6 year old gobbled it up. Thank you for a great recipe.

  27. damaris_reno12@yahoo.com

    I used ground turkey instead of beef and added fresh chives, parsley, and spices to the meat before I formed them into meatballs. Then I served the dish over some kale I had in the fridge that was going to go bad if I didn’t eat it immediately. Awesome dish!

  28. Ashley

    I don’t do well with meatballs (mine always break apart or are too dry), so I just crumbled the meat instead. Added some paleo powder while cooking….delicious!

  29. Rovergal

    I really liked this recipe! I blended in spices with the meat before rolling into meatballs, then added additional spices with the zucchini and tomatoes, as well as shredded carrots and mushrooms. Tasty!

  30. John

    A great simple, fresh-feel meal, reminds me of a meal I once had in a little restaurant in St-Remy-de-Provence. I accompanied the dish with the garlic mashed cauliflower from nomnom, and my 7-month-pregnant wife loved it (encouraging, since this pregnancy has led her into carb land, far from paleo foods), and so did my picky-eating five and three year old daughters. A nice feature of this recipe is that the tomato and zucchini bleed liquid when cooking, which combines with the oil and meat juices to make a nice veggie-broth “gravy,” which was great on the cauliflower. My only concern with the recipe is that zucchini (since it’s a summer squash) is currently in the EWC dirty dozen; I should have sprung for the organic.

  31. hanna

    i thought it was super bland too – i added cayenne pepper, a little bit of red pepper flakes (i like spicy!) and then did a fried egg on top of each serving. very good after that!

  32. Carm

    Just for anyone wondering. Beef Minced is Ground Beef. ;) Going to try this one with beef brisket, instead of Ground Beef.

  33. grayzone

    Add zucchini and tomatoes and cook until tender.

    HOW LONG ???????????????

  34. Tam

    I just made this for my dinner tonight and even did the suggestions of putting the seasoning in the meat. I still was not pleased and thought it to be terrible. I will not be making this again.

  35. Lisa

    We have loved all the delicious recipes on here until this one! My family hated it and thought it was very bland. I didn’t read the reviews before hand and wish I would have.

  36. Elizabeth H

    This is a great base recipe. I read all the.comments.and since we like spicy this is what I did:
    Used a whole onion I added mushrooms here
    Put Cajun seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika in the ground beef mixed ot all up and used a melon baller to make small meatballs
    after the onion is caramalized add the meatballs and gently turn them until browned
    while the meatballs are browning put 1 jalapeno and two tomatillos in the food processor and mince very fine
    Add the jalapeno & tomatillos to the meatballs then the tomatoes cook for about 15 minutes
    Meanwhile julienne the zucchini in the food processor then add the zucchini and cover after stirring it in gently
    Cook until zucchini is tender
    I think making the meatballs small helps they don’t fall apart.
    julienne for the zucchini makes it seem almost like angel hair pasta
    I added a little Parmesan.
    This was a big hit. Even with my Non Paleolithic husband

  37. MonMon

    I love this recipe! It is my second Paleo meal and after the first one was a little on the “bland” side I decided to add some extra spices! I’ve found that I am not a huge oregano fan and think that this recipe called for a little too much but I’m still learning! I added extra garlic and italian seasoning and some sliced mushrooms. I also used canned fire roasted tomatoes (not 100% paleo but I’m still new to this and didn’t have real tomatoes in the house) I dumped all the juice in there and let it all simmer and cook for awhile. Delicious! I’m thinking maybe next time I will add some cumin and give it more of a taco taste!

  38. Rebekah J

    I added fresh basil and put the fresh basil, oregano, salt and garlic in the meat. I also sprinkled some red pepper flakes with the onions. It was far from bland.

  39. Chuck

    To anyone saying this is bland – oregano, garlic, salt, more oregano, a little more salt, now more oregano. Do not skimp on the coconut oil either. Just made this for the first time tonight and usually my most advanced cooking involves peeling a banana or reaching into a bag of almonds. It was delicious, super flavorful, and can’t wait to have leftovers. Used 80/20 ground beef, maybe a touch more garlic than recipe called for too. But not bland at all if you season correctly

  40. Karen M

    Really yummy. I followed the recipe exactly and didn’t find it too bland. I ended up adding chilli flakes simply because I love chilli.

  41. Mark

    This needs better instructions

  42. dovile

    So tasty and simple! could not believe its gonna be so good, diced tomato does the magic.

Leave a Comment

Zucchini and Ground Beef

Number of servings 4
Approximate cooking time: 30 minutes

Nutritional information provided to Paleo Plan
members only. Login to see them, or sign up.


3 tablespoon(s) coconut oil
1/2 medium onion(s), yellow, diced
11/2 pound(s) beef, lean ground
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
2 tablespoon(s) oregano, dried
4 medium zucchini, diced
3 medium tomato(es), diced
1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt, (optional)


  1. Wash and prepare vegetables.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil when hot.
  3. Add onions to skillet and sauté until slightly translucent.
  4. Quickly roll the ground beef into balls and add them to the pan next, along with the garlic and oregano. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add zucchini and tomatoes and cook until tender.
  6. Season with sea salt if desired.