Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats


Last year I shared a recipe for Pizza Zucchini Boats and I knew it wouldn’t end there. This year I’ve made a zucchini boat I like even more – these unbelievably delicious and perfectly flavorful Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats! With these you save on carbs by swapping out the classic tortilla wrapped enchiladas with hallowed out zucchini boats instead. I was actually really surprised myself by how much I truly loved these! I was so skeptical at first and I thought there’s no way I could ever trade in a classic, cheese loaded, pure comfort food enchilada for a healthier version. Indeed was I wrong.

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking Classy

The key with these is making sure you find wide zucchini, otherwise you won’t be fitting very much filling in them. Trust me you will love this filling so you’re going to want to be able to load them up. You might look a little crazy at the store digging through the zucchini for 5 minutes looking for the wider ones but it’s worth it :). Also key to these is Ancho chili powder, please don’t just swap it out with more regular chili powder – like I used to be guilty of doing. It has a more robust depth of flavor and really just makes these, plus I’ve been adding it to everything lately. You’ll have no problem using it up.

If you like Southwestern and Mexican flavors you simply have to try these! I don’t think I could talk them up enough, you just need to see for yourself. They’ll make you believe healthy eating is very doable. I loved them so much that I made them again the next day for my sisters family and she was wiping the sauce clean from her plate. Who knew? Zucchini enchiladas are a thing and they are amazing!



Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking Classy Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking ClassyChicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking ClassyChicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking ClassyChicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking ClassyChicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking Classy


Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

4.7 from 10 votes

These Unbelievably delicious Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats are perfect for weeknight meals.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken enchiladas, zucchini boats
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 374 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (from about 1 lb)
  • 4 medium zucchini (2 1/2 lbs), sliced in half through length*
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (be sure they are chopped fine or they won't cook through)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • For serving: diced Roma tomatoes , chopped cilantro, chopped yellow onion (optional), light sour cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats.
  2. Brush tops and bottoms with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and place in two baking dishes (I used a 13 by 9 and a 9 by 9). Bake in preheated oven until zucchini is nearly tender, about 20 - 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot add onion and saute 3 - 4 minutes until soft. Add garlic and saute 10 seconds longer.
  4. Remove from heat, pour in tomato sauce, ancho chili powder, chili powder, cumin and paprika. In a liquid measuring cup whisk together the water and cornstarch until well blended then pour into tomato sauce mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring to a light boil, stirring frequently. Allow to gently boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in shredded chicken.
  6. Remove zucchini from oven and spoon chicken mixture into zucchini. Sprinkle tops with corn and then cheese blend. Return to oven and bake 5 - 10 minutes longer until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender.
  7. Serve warm topped with diced tomatoes and cilantro, and optional onion and sour cream.
  8. *Look for zucchini that is wider and more uniform in width.
  9. Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats
Amount Per Serving
Calories 374 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 92mg 31%
Sodium 383mg 16%
Potassium 917mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 34g 68%
Vitamin A 39.3%
Vitamin C 47.3%
Calcium 29.8%
Iron 16.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Kerry: Are these good reheated? I’ve had issues in the past reheating zucchini and it becoming very watery. Perhaps taking away the seeds prevents this? Recipe looks delicious. July 9, 2015 at 8:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: We loved them reheated and they weren’t too watery. You could maybe even fully cook one pan if your worried about it, then the second pan you could under-bake slightly so you can rewarm the later. August 30, 2015 at 3:32pm Reply

  • Kelly: what did you do with the scooped out zucchini? Do you have a recipe for that? Hate wasting food. July 8, 2015 at 2:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I actually just cooked mine the next day in a little water, then drained and added a little butter, some s & p and some parmesan. Also good with lemon juice/zest too. July 8, 2015 at 11:46pm Reply

    • Brandi: I added mine to the filling mixture. October 1, 2015 at 6:05pm Reply

  • Janet: These look great! Just wondered – are you basically just scooping out the seeds from the middle of the zucchini, or are you scraping out everything leaving that 1/4″ rim to create boats? Do you just discard all the zucchini you scraped out? July 8, 2015 at 7:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I recommend saving it for another use. I like to cook it then add a little butter, s and p and parmesan. It’s mostly the seed area but also a little bit of the flesh of the zucchini. July 8, 2015 at 11:50pm Reply

  • SaraLily: Holy Guacamole! These look amazing. I will definitely be making next week for dinner!! =D July 6, 2015 at 6:39am Reply

  • Karina: Thanks for the recipe! I’d love to try making these, I really like how I wouldn’t have to serve veggies with them! June 29, 2015 at 4:13pm Reply

  • Gina: These look delicious! My family is trying to eat more vegetarian. Do you think these would still work if I subbed black beans for the chicken? Thanks! June 28, 2015 at 11:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I think that would be fine. I hope you love them! June 29, 2015 at 10:49pm Reply

  • Cooking with Munira: wow, you just gave me my next recipe to do ! thanks ! love the photos ! June 28, 2015 at 5:06am Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): These boats look so good, I love this low-carb way to get my enchilada fix! :) June 27, 2015 at 6:32pm Reply

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