Easy Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Zucchini boats stuffed with a hearty chicken enchilada filling & topped with cheese then baked until gooey & delicious! These easy zucchini boats are the ultimate healthy comfort food & so perfect for Fall!

Close up photo of chicken enchilada stuffed zucchini boats topped with shredded cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese and sprinkled with chopped cilantro

It’s that time of year again where I start craving all the comfort food… Those gooey, cheesy meals, hearty soups and easy-to-make casseroles are all calling my name! But let’s not forget about those veggies too! Which is why I love making these chicken enchilada zucchini boats. You still get all the cheese and warm Mexican flavors like traditional enchiladas just stuffed inside a healthy nutrient packed zucchini! It’s the best of both worlds!

They’re simple, quick to make, incredibly flavorful and a perfect easy dinner for Fall!

Ingredients used to make chicken enchilada stuffed zucchini boats

Ingredients for chicken enchilada zucchini boats

  • Zucchini: Look for zucchinis that are similar in size to ensure an even cooking time.
  • Shredded chicken: You can either bake chicken and shred it yourself or use store bought shredded chicken for ease. Both are great options!
  • Enchilada sauce: Store bought sauce or homemade sauce both work for this recipe!
  • Black beans: Use your favorite canned black beans. (You’ll only need a ½ cup for this recipe.)
  • White onion: I love the flavor of white onion in enchiladas! (Red onion can be used as a replacement though.)
  • Cilantro: Two tablespoons go into your enchilada filling. (Use the leaves and stems for maximum flavor!)
  • Shredded cheese: We love using a blend of Monterrey jack and cheddar cheese for these zucchini boats! (I’ll always buy block cheese and shred it myself too. It tastes so much better that way!)
  • Spices: Chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, salt & pepper are all used to season your chicken enchilada filling. (I’m pretty liberal on the salt for mine. Depending on the enchilada sauce you use though, I would suggest tasting the filling and adjust your salt and pepper as needed.)
A metal sheet pan filled with 4 hollowed out zucchini boats
A metal sheet pan holding 4 zucchini boats stuffed with a spicy chicken enchilada filling

How to make chicken enchilada stuffed zucchini boats

1. Preheat your oven. Turn your oven on to 400 degrees and spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Prepare your zucchini boats. Cut the tops off your zucchinis and slice each one in half length-wise. Then take a spoon and scoop out the insides leaving a ¼ inch of zucchini on the sides. Spread some enchilada sauce on the bottom of your prepared dish and place your zucchinis cut side up in the dish.

3. Make your filling. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and sauté your onions and garlic together until tender. Then turn your burner down to medium and add your shredded chicken, black beans, spices, enchilada sauce and cilantro. Mix and taste the filling (adjust your salt and pepper if needed).

4. Stuff! Divide the filling evenly among your zucchini boats.

4. Bake! Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place it in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. (Your zucchini should be tender and the filling should be hot all the way through.)

5. Add cheese & serve! Once done, uncover the dish and sprinkle your cheese on top. Place the zucchini boats back in the oven and bake for 4-5 more minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!

A large skillet filled with a hearty and spicy chicken enchilada filling for zucchini boats

Serving Suggestions

Wondering what to serve with these zucchini boats? I’ve got you covered! They’re pretty hearty on their own but if you’re serving them for a large crowd then I’d suggest serving a few side dishes too (or a few “toppings” available). Here are a few of our favorites below:

5 chicken enchilada stuffed zucchini boats sitting on a metal tray next to a small bowl of lime wedges and chopped cilantro

FAQ’s

  • Why do my zucchini boats look so watery? Zucchini has a lot of moisture in them and when they cook, all of that moisture is released into your pan. Don’t worry though, all the spices and enchilada sauce we added to them still makes this dish incredibly flavorful!
  • I don’t want to make my own enchilada sauce! What’s your favorite store brand sauce to use? We’ve been using Las Palmas red enchilada sauce and love it!
  • I’m not a fan of black beans. Can I replace them with something else? Absolutely! Fresh corn or chopped bell peppers would be a great replacement! (Or you can add them to the filling with your black beans too!)
A close up photo of a chicken enchilada zucchini boat made with shredded chicken, black beans and lots of shredded cheese

Why you’ll love these Mexican zucchini boats!

  • Fast & easy meal! Just mix, stuff and bake!
  • A healthy dinner idea! We’re replacing tortillas in traditional enchiladas with nutrient dense zucchini! You still get all the flavor with less carbs! (Save the carbs for dessert!😉)
  • Easy to customize! Add as little or as much of any ingredient you want!

Need it gluten free? Great news, they already are!

Need it dairy free? Use your favorite non-dairy shredded cheese to sprinkle over the top!

More Mexican recipes you might like:

[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]

Easy Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

Zucchini boats are stuffed with a hearty chicken enchilada filling & topped with cheese then baked until gooey & delicious! These chicken enchilada zucchini boats are the ultimate healthy comfort food & a perfect easy meal for Fall!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken enchilada, comfort food, enchiladas, stuffed zucchini, zucchini boats, zucchini recipes
Servings: 4 servings (1 zucchini per person)
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

  • 4 zucchinis
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • ½ cup canned black beans, drained & rinsed
  • ½ of a small white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ cup red enchilada sauce (homemade or store bought), plus more for the bottom of your dish
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Shredded cheddar & Monterrey jack cheese, to melt on top

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Then cut the tops off your zucchinis and slice each one in half length-wise. Scoop out the insides with a large spoon leaving a ¼ inch of zucchini on the sides. Spread some enchilada sauce on the bottom of your prepared dish and place your zucchinis cut side up in the dish.
  • Next heat a pan over medium-high heat. Spray it with cooking spray once hot and sauté your onions and garlic together until tender. Then turn the burner down to medium and add your shredded chicken, black beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano, enchilada sauce and cilantro. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Adjust your seasonings if needed).
  • Divide the filling evenly among your zucchini boats.
  • Then cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake it for 25-30 minutes. (Your zucchini should be tender and the filling should be hot all the way through.)
  • Once done, uncover the dish and sprinkle your cheese on top. Place the dish back in the oven and bake for 4-5 more minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!

Notes

*To make your own shredded chicken: Season 1 lb. of chicken tenders with salt and pepper and bake at 375 degrees for 15-16 minutes. Use 2 large forks to shred them once done.
 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

*

Recipe Rating