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.

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking Classy

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.

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 :).

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

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.

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking Classy

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

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Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

4.75 from 12 votes

All the flavors of chicken enchiladas without the extra carbs from tortillas. These are so flavorful, perfectly filling and perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.

Servings: 4 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 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, minced
  • 1 (15 oz) can 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*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 92mg31%
Sodium 383mg17%
Potassium 917mg26%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 1965IU39%
Vitamin C 39mg47%
Calcium 298mg30%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken enchiladas, zucchini boats
Calories: 374 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Courtney: This was a hit tonight! My kids loved every bite, we will definitely be making this again. My 19 year old told me this recipe was fire! 💃🔥 July 22, 2019 at 6:39pm Reply

  • kazy: Based on your picture, I am assuming you cut the zucchini lengthwise, because you didn’t mention it in your directions. You also listed 2 cloves of garlic to be be sauteed. Are these to be sauteed whole or are they supposed to be diced?

    Thanks May 25, 2019 at 8:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes cut lengthwise, and sorry I forgot to add garlic is minced added that the he recipe. Hope you love these! May 26, 2019 at 7:46pm Reply

  • Jackie: What is the serving size? One whole zucchini or a half of zucchini? April 8, 2019 at 6:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: One whole zucchini per serving. April 10, 2019 at 9:11am Reply

  • Donna: What do you do with the zucchini you scoop out? Do you add it back in with the chicken mixture? Or save it for another recipe? August 29, 2018 at 11:04am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Save for another use. September 12, 2018 at 11:16pm Reply

  • rachael: Yum, very moreish. Will definitely make again and again August 20, 2018 at 3:29am Reply

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