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 & perfect for an easy meal!
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 perfect for an easy dinner!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Zucchini: Look for zucchini 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 very generous on the salt for mine. I would suggest tasting the filling and adjust your salt and pepper as needed.)
How to make chicken enchilada stuffed zucchini boats
1. Preheat the oven. Turn your oven on to 400 degrees and spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Prepare the 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 the 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 bake for 25-30 minutes. (Your zucchini should be tender and the filling should be hot all the way through.)
5. Add cheese. Once done, uncover the dish and sprinkle cheddar cheese over each zucchini boat. Place the dish back in the oven and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
6. Serve. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!
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:
- Spanish rice
- Refried black beans
- Simple side salad
- Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad
- Summer Corn Salad with Avocado
- Toppings: Diced/mashed avocado, guacamole, sour cream, sliced black olives, chopped tomatoes, extra cilantro, etc.
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!)
Why you’ll love this stuffed zucchini recipe!
- 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!
[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
- 4 zucchini
- 2 cups cooked & 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 the baking dish
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Shredded cheddar cheese, to melt on top
- Optional toppings: guacamole, sour cream, your favorite salsa, etc.
- Preheat the oven. Turn your oven on to 400 degrees and spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
- Prepare the zucchini. Cut off the top stem of each zucchini and slice each zucchini in half length-wise. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides leaving about a ¼ inch of zucchini on all sides.
- Make the filling. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot add the onions and garlic and sauté until tender. (About 2-3 minutes) Turn the burner down to medium and add the shredded chicken, black beans, cilantro, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir in the enchilada sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Adjust your seasonings if needed)
- Assemble. Spread some extra enchilada sauce over the bottom of your prepared dish and place the zucchini cut side up in the dish. Divide the filling evenly among the zucchini boats and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake. Bake for 25-30 minutes. (Your zucchini should be tender and the filling should be hot all the way through.)Uncover and sprinkle cheddar cheese over each zucchini boat. Place the dish back in the oven and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Serve. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!