Cheesy BBQ Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Delicious, low carb BBQ chicken stuffed zucchini boats topped with melted cheddar cheese. These flavorful, easy  zucchini boats are a great way to use leftover chicken and make the perfect weeknight dinner. Options to add your favorite flavors or even make them vegetarian!

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hour

Welcome to Day 2 of #AKZucchiniWeek 2018!

The past week I’ve been nonstop listening to Demi Lovato (thinking of her), making double batches of healthy peanut butter granola bars and eating juicy peaches drizzled with the new honey cinnamon RXBAR nut butter (the only downside is that the peach juice rolls down my hands). Oh and I finally tried Dave’s Killer Bread bagels — they are fabulous and definitely a must try!

As far as dinner goes, we haven’t been able to grill anything for dinner lately because Tony had a little incident involving our grill and the fire extinguisher. Everything is okay, except well… the grill.

Of course, A LOT zucchini has been making an appearance in our home due to preparation for zucchini week! Since you all requested more savory recipes this year, I decided to whip up these easy stuffed zucchini boats. My mom used to make them all the time with enchilada sauce, but since I’m a straight up BBQ drinker lover, I decided to switch it up.

Tony doesn’t love zucchini that much unless it’s hidden in things (like in this bread), so luckily Abra and I got to gobble these stuffed zucchini boats up all week.

bbq chicken stuffed zucchini boats in a baking sheet

Ingredients in BBQ chicken zucchini boats

These easy, cheesy BBQ chicken stuffed zucchini boats actually require super minimal ingredients but are filled with delicious flavor and tons of protein. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Zucchini: to make these cute little boats of course!
  • Olive oil: for cooking down the veggies, brushing on the zucchini and greasing your pan.
  • Garlic: an essential flavor for the filling.
  • Red onion: a little bite to add to the chicken filling.
  • Chicken: I like to use plain cooked & shredded chicken breast for ease, but you can even use leftovers from a rotisserie chicken to really save time! You could also cook some ground chicken with your red onion and garlic if you want.
  • BBQ sauce: feel free to use your favorite BBQ sauce. I love this kind because it’s lower in sugar and a little spicy (yum).
  • Cheddar cheese: add plenty of shredded cheddar cheese (or a vegan cheese!) for that melty, cheesy perfection.
  • Toppings: I like to top these with a green onion and cilantro for a little freshness.

low carb bbq chicken stuffed zucchini boats in a baking sheet

How to make BBQ chicken stuffed zucchini boats

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with olive oil.
  2. Make your “boats.” To get the perfect zucchini boat shape you’ll simply scoop the centers from the zucchini out while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats. And yes, you can eat the skin on zucchini boats, so no need to peel them first!
  3. Place your zucchini boats in the greased pan; they should snuggle pretty tightly in there, but if you can’t fit them all in, you can use two pans.
  4. Brush zucchini with a little olive oil (about 1 tablespoon or so). You can also simply spray them with an all natural oil-only cooking spray.
  5. Add ½ tablespoon of olive oil to a medium skillet and place over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic, and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl then stir in shredded chicken, 1/2 cup bbq sauce and ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  7. Spoon bbq chicken mixture evenly into zucchini boats. Top each with 1 tablespoon bbq sauce (or a little extra if you’d like it more saucy) and 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese.
  8. Cover with foil, and bake for 35-45 minutes or until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender.
  9. Once done, sprinkle the tops with cilantro and green onion before serving.

healthy chicken zucchini boats in a baking pan

Meal prep these chicken stuffed zucchini boats:

This zucchini boat recipe makes AMAZING leftovers, packs in 36g of protein per serving and is wonderful for meal prep.

  1. First, make and bake your BBQ chicken stuffed zucchini boats.
  2. Allow the zucchini boats to cool, then place two of them in a meal prep container.
  3. Once ready to eat, microwave your boats on high for 1-2 minutes until warm and cheese is melted.

Customize your zucchini boats

This recipe is super versatile! Feel fee to use what you have on-hand to truly make it your own.

  • If you’d like you can use canned or homemade enchilada sauce instead of BBQ sauce.
  • Keep these stuffed zucchini boats vegetarian by using cooked lentils, tofu or black beans instead of chicken.
  • Feel free to use cooked ground chicken or turkey instead of shredded chicken breast.

easy bbq chicken stuffed zucchini boats in a baking pan with a spoon

Reuse the zucchini pulp

After scooping out your zucchini boats, you can save the zucchini pulp for smoothies! It’s nutritious and incredibly delicious. Here’s what I suggest: Add zucchini pulp to a freezer safe container. Add to smoothies when you want a little nutritional or fiber boost. No need to thaw!

See how to make the chicken stuffed zucchini boats:

More zucchini recipes you’ll love:

Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Meat Sauce

Delicious Zucchini Pizza Crust Recipe

Spiced Zucchini Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Summer Garden Crustless Zucchini Pie

One Pan Enchilada Zucchini Turkey Meatballs and Rice

If you make this stuffed zucchini recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment and rate the recipe below. And of course, if you have Instagram, we’d love to see your creations — don’t forget to tag #ambitiouskitchen!

Cheesy BBQ Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats

5 from 7 votes
low carb bbq chicken stuffed zucchini boats in a baking pan
Course Dinner, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Low Carb, Nut Free, Poultry
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq chicken stuffed zucchini, bbq chicken stuffed zucchini boats, healthy chicken stuffed zucchini boats, low carb chicken stuffed zucchini boats
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 4

Delicious, low carb BBQ chicken stuffed zucchini boats topped with melted cheddar cheese. These flavorful, easy  zucchini boats are a great way to use leftover chicken and make the perfect weeknight dinner. Options to add your favorite flavors or even make them vegetarian!

Ingredients

  • Olive oil, for greasing pan
  • 4 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise (look for zucchini that is similar in size)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) cooked shredded chicken breast (can also be from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup low sugar bbq sauce, divided (I like Stubb’s Spicy BBQ Sauce), plus more if you like it extra saucy
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • To garnish:
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan with olive oil.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats. (See note section for what to do with leftover zucchini pulp.) Place zucchini in the greased pan; they should snuggle pretty tightly in there, but if you can’t fit them all in, you can use two pans. 
  3. Brush zucchini with a little olive oil (about 1 tablespoon or so). You can also simply spray them with an all natural oil-only cooking spray.
  4. Add ½ tablespoon of olive oil to a medium skillet and place over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic, and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  5.  Transfer to a large bowl then stir in shredded chicken, 1/2 cup bbq sauce and ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  6. Spoon bbq chicken mixture evenly into zucchini boats. Top each with 1 tablespoon bbq sauce (or a little extra if you’d like it more saucy) and 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese.
  7. Cover with foil, and bake for 35-45 minutes or until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender. 
  8. Once done, sprinkle the tops with cilantro and green onion before serving. Serves 4; 2 boats per person.

Recipe Notes

*You can save the zucchini pulp for smoothies! It's nutritious and incredibly delicious. Here's what I suggest: Add zucchini pulp to a freezer safe container. Add to smoothies when you want a little nutritional or fiber boost. No need to thaw!

Nutrition
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 2 zucchini boats
Calories: 398kcal
Fat: 17.1g
Saturated fat: 8g
Carbohydrates: 24.9g
Fiber: 3.9g
Sugar: 12.1g
Protein: 35.8g
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