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This chicken stuffed zucchini boat recipe is so easy to make, and they are perfect for a healthy weeknight meal. Stuffed with chicken tossed in marinara, and topped with cheese, they make a quick and simple meal that’s low carb but highly filling.
Zucchini boats are a fun and easy way to change up your weeknight chicken routine. They’re also a great way to sneak in some extra veggies into your family’s diet. I like to stuff my zucchini boats with a variety of different things, but chicken and marinara is always a hit in our house. These stuffed zucchini boats are so simple to make and can be on the table in less than 45 minutes.
why you’ll love these chicken-stuffed zucchini boats
- Filling but not heavy. You won’t walk away from the table feeling hungry or over full after eating these zucchini boats. They are hearty enough to keep you satiated without feeling like a sloth afterward.
- Vegetables disguised as fun. Let’s face it, getting kids (or adults) to eat their vegetables can be a challenge. But these zucchini boats make veggies fun! They are the perfect size for little hands and are easy to eat.
- A complete meal in one. These chicken-stuffed zucchini boats have everything you need for a complete and satisfying meal. They are packed with protein, vegetables, and some healthy carbs to help round things out. And, of course, they’re delicious!
- A recipe the whole family can get involved in. One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it’s a great way to get the whole family involved in the kitchen. Someone can scoop out the seeds, while another is preparing the chicken and another is stuffing!
Ingredients you’ll need to make chicken zucchini boats
- Zucchini: You’ll need four medium-sized zucchini for this recipe. Look for zucchini that are evenly shaped and have smooth skin. Avoid zucchini that have bruises or blemishes.
- Chicken: I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, but you could also use chicken thighs.
- Marinara sauce: You can use your favorite jarred marinara sauce or homemade marinara.
- Cheese: I like to use a combination of shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese, but you could also use a shredded Italian cheese blend.
- Seasoning: I like to keep things simple and use some Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt, and pepper. But feel free to get creative with your favorite spices.
How to make stuffed zucchini boats
Making zucchini boats is a pretty simple process. It doesn’t take any longer than traditional veggie prep and is actually pretty fun!
Prepare Zucchini Boats
- Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise.
- Then use a spoon or melon baller to scoop the center flesh and seeds from the zucchini. Save for another use.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the chicken Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.
- Add the marinara sauce and cook, stirring occasionally.
Stuff & bake the zucchini boats
- Place the zucchini on the prepared baking sheet cut-side up and lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake until the zucchini becomes slightly tender.
- Scoop the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats.
- Top the chicken with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
- Return the zucchini boats to the oven and bake until the cheese melts.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve.
Tips for making zucchini boats with chicken
- Chop up the chicken into small cubes. This makes it easier to scoop them into the zucchini boats without having any large chunks that may fall off in the process.
- Use a melon baller to scoop out the seeds. A melon baller is the perfect size and shape for scooping out zucchini seeds. You can use a spoon if you don’t have a melon baller.
- Don’t over-scoop your boats. You want to remove enough of the flesh so that your zucchini boats can hold a good amount of filling, but you don’t want to scoop out so much that they become fragile.
- Don’t overcook the chicken. Keep in mind that the chicken does have some finishing time in the oven, so you don’t want to overcook it when sautéing.
popular substitutions & additions
- Add more vegetables to the stuffing. In addition to the chicken, I’ve made this before with more vegetables like onions, peppers, and mushrooms. It’s a great way to clean out the fridge and incorporate more veggies into the meal.
- Use a rotisserie chicken. You can make these chicken boats with shredded chicken, and what better way to skip a cooking step than by using a rotisserie chicken.
- Add some spice. If you like things spicy, you could add some crushed red pepper flakes to the marinara sauce or use a spicier sauce.
- Make it vegetarian. You can easily make these zucchini boats without chicken by swapping in tofu, lentils, or quinoa. Just be sure to cook the filling before adding it to the zucchini boats.
what to serve/pair with your chicken zucchini boats
- Garlic Knots
- Olive Oil Garlic Bread
- Couscous Chickpea Salad
- Tabbouleh Salad
- Cherry Tomato Feta Pasta
- Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
- Crispy Persian Rice
how to store & reheat chicken zucchini boats
These chicken zucchini boats can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
To reheat, bake in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven until heated through. You could also reheat them in the microwave. Just be sure not to overcook the zucchini.
how long will zucchini boats last in the fridge?
These chicken zucchini boats will last in the fridge for about four days. After that, the zucchini starts to get mushy.
can i freeze zucchini boats?
I don’t advise that you freeze the cooked zucchini boats as they will lose their texture and become mushy. However, you can make extra chicken filling and freeze that for the next time you make them.
Frequently asked questions
I don’t recommend removing the skin as it helps to hold everything together. But if you really don’t like zucchini skin, go ahead and peel it off. Just keep in mind that the boats won’t be as sturdy and might actually fall apart after cooking.
Technically, no, you don’t have to remove the seeds. But you won’t have room to stuff them. You can cook everything separately and just serve it altogether if you don’t feel like removing the seeds.
There you have it, everything you need to know about making chicken-stuffed zucchini boats. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Each boat is about 125 calories and loaded with 16 grams of protein! It’s a low-carb, high protein, and wonderfully tasting meal that is so easy to put together!
more low-carb recipes:
- Chicken Lettuce Cups
- Taco Stuffed Peppers
- Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
- Eggplant Moussaka
- Healthy Tater Tots (made with zucchini)
- Zucchini Fritters
- Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Salmon Lettuce Wraps
- Shrimp Fajitas Sillet
- Stuffed Spinach Feta Chicken
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This Stuffed Zucchini Boats recipe was originally published on October 1, 2018. The recipe has not been modified, but the post now includes new step-by-step photos of how to make the chicken stuffed zucchini boats recipe.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise, then use a spoon or melon baller to scoop the center flesh and seeds from the zucchini. Save for another use.
- Place the zucchini on the prepared baking sheet cut-side up and lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, until the zucchini becomes slightly tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Add the marinara sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 2 minutes.
- Scoop the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats. Top the chicken with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Return the zucchini boats to the oven and bake for 5-7 more minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.