Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats

5 from 82 votes

These Stuffed zucchini boats are easy, Keto friendly and low carb. Stuffed with chicken, marinara and topped with cheese, they make a quick and easy meal

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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.

Large oval serving plate with zucchini boats stuffed with chicken and topped with cheese.

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.
Ingredients for recipe before being prepped: seasonings, marinara, shredded cheese, zucchinis, parmesan cheese, and chicken breasts.

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

  1. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise.
  2. Then use a spoon or melon baller to scoop the center flesh and seeds from the zucchini. Save for another use.
2 image collage cutting a zucchini in half lengthwise and then using a melon baller to scoop out the flesh.

Make Filling

  1. 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.
  2. Add the marinara sauce and cook, stirring occasionally.
Chicken and seasoning on skillet after cooked and then after marinara mixed in.

Stuff & bake the zucchini boats

  1. Place the zucchini on the prepared baking sheet cut-side up and lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake until the zucchini becomes slightly tender.
  2. Scoop the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats.
  3. Top the chicken with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Return the zucchini boats to the oven and bake until the cheese melts.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve.
4 image collage of a baking dish with parchment paper and 8 zucchini halves before being filled, filled with mixture, topped with cheese, and then after baking.

Tips for making zucchini boats with chicken

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Final plating of the stuffed zucchini boats topped with fresh basil with fork and knife on plat and a side of grated parmesan to the side.

what to serve/pair with your chicken zucchini boats

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

What do you do with the zucchini flesh that you scoop out?

I like chopping it up and adding it to stir fry or using it in an omelet. You can also throw it in soup. Definitely don’t discard it, though. It’s full of nutrients!

Can I remove the skin on the zucchini?

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.

Do I have to remove the seeds?

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.

Close up cutting into zucchini boat on a small white plate with another plate off to the side.

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:

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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

These Stuffed zucchini boats are easy, Keto friendly and low carb. Stuffed with chicken, marinara and topped with cheese, they make a quick and easy meal
5 from 82 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Calories 254
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Make Ahead: You can make the scoop out the flesh of the zucchini one day in advance to make the recipe quicker the day you’re ready to eat it.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. If you’d like to substitute the chicken for ground chicken, turkey or even ground beef, that’s totally fine.

Nutrition

Serving: 2boats, Calories: 254kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 809mg, Potassium: 1099mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 723IU, Vitamin C: 40mg, Calcium: 164mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Large oval serving plate with zucchini boats stuffed with chicken and topped with cheese.

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Comments

  1. I made these yesterday and they are delicious! Super easy recipe, I had these done within 30 minutes. I only had 2 zucchinis, so I halved a large orange bell pepper and used that as a sub and it worked great! I would highly recommend this recipe.

  2. Great recipe! Easy steps! My teenager has been learning to cook, and this is such a great quick filling meal with simple steps!

  3. Thus is a keeper…so easy to make ..so quick..so tasty…so filling and so healthy ..my husband 22 yr old son loved it!! I served with wholewheat pasta which had two spoons of red pesto stirred thru…grated cheese on top and ground black pepper and a glass of red wine 🍷 wonderful like eating in a a restaurant

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