Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats filled with shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, cheese, and scallions is a tasty twist on a Mexican favorite. Serve them with cilantro lime rice to make it a meal!
Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know how much I LOVE enchiladas. In the past, I have posted recipes for Chicken Enchiladas and Zucchini Enchiladas. Years ago, I posted Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats, and they were such a hit that I started coming up with new stuffing ideas. These Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Zucchinis are some of my favorites! You can see all my zucchini recipes here.
These healthy stuffed zucchini boats are perfect for low-carb and gluten-free diets. One boat has 11 grams of carbs and 12 grams of protein. Plus, this recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken.
Enchilada-Stuffed Zucchini Tips
Here are a few tips to make this recipe simpler.
- Chicken Ready to Go: I usually have shredded chicken breast on hand. I like to throw a package of chicken breasts in the slow cooker to use for recipes throughout the week. You can also use store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time.
- Quick Enchilada Sauce: I love making my ownenchilada sauce (nothing beats homemade), but to speed up the process, you can use jarred sauce.
- Skip Blanching: I like to blanch the zucchini first so that it bakes faster. If that seems like too much work, don’t do it, and just bake the stuffed zucchini an additional 10 minutes.
- Prep Ahead: Make the enchilada sauce, prep the zucchini, and cook the stuffing the day before baking the boats. Then when it’s time for dinner, stuff the zucchini and bake.
What to Serve with Enchilada Zucchini Boats
These zucchini enchilada boats would be delicious served with black beans, pinto beans, Mexican cauliflower rice, or cilantro lime rice.
How to Freeze Stuffed Zucchini
These chicken enchilada zucchini boats will hold in the fridge for three days or in the freezer for three months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and reheat them in the microwave or oven until warm.
- Zucchini: Swap zucchini for yellow squash.
- Meat: Substitute lean ground turkey or beef for chicken.
- Vegetarian Enchilada Boats: Sub black beans or quinoa for ground turkey and use vegetable broth.
- Peppers: Sub chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for fresh jalapeño or habanero peppers. Not sure what to do with the leftover peppers and sauce? Freeze them in an ice cube tray and then transfer the cubes to a zip-locked bag for next time.
- Herbs: Don’t like cilantro? Omit it or use parsley.
MORE ENCHILADA RECIPE IDEAS
- Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde Sauce
- Enchilada Chicken Roll Ups
- Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
- Enchiladas Verdes (Green Enchiladas)
Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats
For the enchilada sauce:
For the zucchini boats:
- 4 about 32 oz total medium zucchini
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 3 tbsp water or chicken broth
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Topping:
- 3/4 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar
- cilantro for garnish
For the enchilada sauce:
- In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic.
- Add chipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
Meanwhile For the Zucchini Boats:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick.
- Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.
- In a large saute pan, heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper.
- Cook on medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until tender.
- Add chopped zucchini and cilantro; season with salt and pepper and cook about 4 minutes.
- Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder, water, and tomato paste and cook a few more minutes, then add in chicken; mix and cook 3 more minutes.
- Place 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large (or 2 small) baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.
- Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup chicken mixture, pressing firmly.
- Top each with 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce, and 1 1/2 tablespoons each of shredded cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender.
- Top with scallions and cilantro for garnish and serve with Greek yogurt or sour cream, if desired.
290 comments on “Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats”
My husband and I very much enjoyed this recipe. I used a store-bought enchilada sauce due to lack of time, but it was still a good recipe. The zucchini was a bit watery, as some other reviewers mentioned, which is why I gave it only 4 stars. However, I think that was because of covering them with foil while baking. I won’t do that next time.
Swapped the chicken for a lb. of ground beef and it turned out great. Had some extra beef mix so I made a couple stuffed peppers as well.
OMG they are soooo good! Exceeded expectations. How can something this good be good for you. Pinch me!
These were good, I assembled it all the day before. Used all sweet onion. Blanched the zucchini. I did try to get rid of liquid when I cut it up into small and it seemed to help but the dish in the end was still watery. Not a huge deal.
I used ground turkey because I didn’t have chicken on hand. Used all the enchilada sauce and kinda wish I freezed maybe half. Also want to use two tbs vs one of the adobe chipotle sauce next time as I’m getting brave lol
Love this idea and can’t wait to try other ‘boat’ recipes!
These turned our really watery for me. I know zucchinis hold a lot of water, but is there a way to avoid this? I skipped the blanching step. Does that help?
I made these the other night. They were delicious. I didn’t blanch the zucchini and it was great. Has anyone made these and then put in the freezer for later? Going on vacation and I would love to make these ahead and freeze.
I think you would have success freezing this if you did blanch the zucchini. Good for a go to from the freezer!
I cooked these today. As suggested, I swapped courgettes with butternut squash and chicken with 1 pound 90/10 minced beef. I browned the mince before adding the rest of ingredients. This recipe came out super delicious! I served it with plain white rice. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
Excellent dinner that can be prepped ahead and popped in the oven. I’m looking forward to the leftovers for lunch!
If you like enchiladas, you will love this recipe. There is a bit more prep than the simple recipe on the can of enchilada sauce, but the result is really very good. The zucchini “boats” add a firm texture to the dish that is very appealing. Very flavorful.
Zucchini boats are a new favorite for meal prep! I don’t blanch the zucchini I just scoop out the innards, fill boats with meat mixture, and then bake for 15-20 minutes. Easy and delicious!
I love this idea to get some more vegetables into my teens!
Gina, I just merged another of your great recipes with this one. I froze some of the Taco Chicken Chili the last time I made it and when my husband asked for stuffed zucchini and I ran out of time, I quick-thawed some of the chili, tossed in the chopped zucchini, added a little enchilada sauce and cheese and BINGO, quick “enchilada” stuffed veggies. [Works with stuffed peppers, too]. Now, when I have more time, I’ll make this from scratch and offer a rating. Thanks for such versatile and creative recipes!!
These look delicious!
I made this recipe in the Instapot and it came out amazing (minus the zucchini). I put all of the ingredients into Instapot except the zucchini and cheese. Instead of shredded chicken I put six raw chicken breast into the Instapot with all of the ingredients. Cooked on high for 12 minutes. Once done I shredded the chicken and then followed the instructions on preparing the zucchini boats, once those were boiled I followed the instructions on baking them. So easy, fast and delicious!
Fantastic! I was leary because sometimes I just have to be in the right mood to eat this healthy. It was great! So glad I made this!
I’ve been making this recipe for years and it’s fabulous. Recently my husband and I have gone vegan for health reasons. Made this tonight subbing black beans and corn for the chicken. Made a cashew queso sauce for cheese. Thank you for a great base recipe!
Awesome, loved this! So did my husband! Added a small ant of jalapeño to chopped pepper for a little added zing! Served with Greek yogurt and some salsa. Took time to chop everything but cones together quickly! Will make again
When I click on the cilantro lime rice link, I keep getting an error code. Is there any way I could get that link? I’d love to try it!
Here you go! 🙂 https://www.skinnytaste.com/chipotle-cilantro-lime-rice-4-pts/