Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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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 Stuffed Zucchini Boats
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.

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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.

Variations:

  • 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.

how to make chicken zucchini boatszucchini boatsChicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats

MORE ENCHILADA RECIPE IDEAS

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats
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Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats

3
232 Cals 24 Protein 22 Carbs 7 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American, Mexican
Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats filled with shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, cheese, and scallions is a tasty twist on a Mexican favorite.

Ingredients

For the enchilada sauce:

  • olive oil spray ,
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 or 2 tbsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce, more if you like it spicy
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

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

Instructions

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.
    chicken filling for enchilada boats
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 2zucchini boats, Calories: 232kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 820mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g
Keywords: Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini, chicken enchilada zucchini boats, low carb chicken enchiladas, zucchini chicken enchiladas

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285 comments

  1. 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. 

  2. 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!

  3. I love this idea to get some more vegetables into my teens!

  4. 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!!

  5. These look delicious! 

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. This recipe was great.  I used ground turkey instead of chicken and I left the cilantro out.  Very flavorful and satisfying.  Will make again!

  12. this was so tasty hubby says it a keeper will definitely be made again didnt change a thing

  13. Question regarding serving size. The nutrition says 2 pts per zucchini. Now zucchini’s are cut in half lengthwise. Is the serving 1 zucchini ,as it states, or 1 zucchini boat – that is 1/2 zucchini?

    Looks delicious, but need clarifcation, or I’ll have to take the time to put it into the WW recipe builder.

  14. The enchilada sauce took a bit longer to make than I anticipated, but worth the work — GREAT flavor. Also, I cooked chicken thighs, but if you have leftovers from a roast that is a huge time-saver. And this really used up my zucchini “abundance!”
    And don’t forget the dollop of sour cream.

  15. These were amazing GINA!  Absolutely delicious.  One question, in direction 6 you said to add onion, garlic and bell pepper, did you mean the green onions.  I added the green onion.  Just wanted clarification because I didn’t see any other onion quantity.  Keep those amazing recipes coming.  Thanks for these delicious recipes.

  16. This recipe was delicious! The homemade enchilada sauce really made the difference. The whole process  was a little time consuming but well worth the effort. Thank you! 

  17. I absolutely love this recipe! I was nervous about using canned enchilada sauce because of that previous comment, but everything turned out delicious! I topped everything off wifh fresh pico and it added some nice texture to the dish. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  18. This is DELICIOUS!! Prep time is definitely more than 15 minutes, but so worth it.

  19. Made these for dinner the other night for myself and my fussy Autistic son, Really really enjoyed
    them, they may become a staple, can’t believe they were so low in calories.

  20. I tried this with canned enchilada sauce and it was not as good