Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

Published June 26, 2015. Updated May 26, 2019

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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!

Enjoy!

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats | Cooking Classy

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4.80 from 15 votes

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

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
Prep15 minutes
Cook25 minutes
Ready in: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Serve warm topped with diced tomatoes and cilantro, and optional onion and sour cream.
  • *Look for zucchini that is wider and more uniform in width.
  • 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.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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112 Comments

  • Mary

    I had trouble scooping out the zucchini – do you cook it a bit first?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      No but if you want them softer and easier to scoop you could cook partially first then cut back on the second cook time once filled.

  • CJ

    Super idea-this will replace my stuffed peppers. Will throw boats flesh side down on grill to add a bit of flavor to the zukes.
    Will vary between Mex, sloppy joe and chili seasoned meat. Great idea thanks!

  • Brittny

    I made these for dinner tonight and they were so good! Great instructions. We have a three boats leftover to reheat. I assume you recommend low and slow in the oven? Do you suggest covering them or adding anything to the pan? I read a comment above about reheating them but I wasn’t sure of all of the details. Thanks again for a great dinner recipe!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      If they’re already cooked I rewarm in the microwave. Just about aything with chicken I reheat on 50% power so it doesn’t end up with a weird texture and flavor.

  • Brenda B

    Would you have any idea how amany carbs a hollowed our zucchini would be (estimate)? This looks amazing!

  • Donna Nichols

    Loved this dish as did my husband
    Will for sure make again
    Thank you for sharing

  • Donna

    I liked them will for sure add more spice, heat
    My first time making anything like this
    Will make again.
    Thank you for sharing

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Glad you liked them Donna! And I’m with you I love heat but my kids not so much :).