These stuffed zucchini boats with chicken, tomatoes and cheese are a quick, easy and nutritious meal. Zucchini boats are stuffed with a flavorful combination of chicken, cheese, and a homemade chunky tomato sauce, and topped with fresh mozzarella. Rotisserie chicken breast is used as a shortcut here; it is simply tossed with a flavorful garlic and herb cheese spread and the tomato sauce, and stuffed inside hollowed-out zucchini boats. Topped with more sauce and cheese before baking, this dish is easy to prepare, and even easier to eat. Serve one boat alongside a vegetable or salad for a healthy lunch; for a heartier meal, eat two boats with a grain as a side dish.
What will I need to make these stuffed zucchini boats?
The ingredient list might look long, but rest-assured, these are all easy-to-find, readily available ingredients. This recipe is packed with fresh vegetables and nutrients, protein, and healthy fats.
- If you have never had shallots before, I like to describe them as a cross between a red onion and garlic. It’s one of my favorite things to cook with!
- grape tomatoes
- tomato paste
- cooked chicken breast
- I used two cooked rotisserie chicken breasts for this recipe; these are a huge time-saver! You can also make your own chicken breast by boiling it, poaching it, or making it in the slow cooker.
- kosher salt
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- dried oregano
- fresh parsley
- fresh basil
- reduced fat garlic and herb cheese
- I use this one from Alouette, but you can use any similar product.
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- fresh mozzarella
- I use these mozzarella balls from Bel Gioioso, which come in pre-portioned bags
- You can also use shredded mozzarella, reduced fat, etc.
How to make stuffed zucchini boats with chicken, tomatoes, and cheese
There are a few steps to this recipe, but they are all very simple. The steps include 1) making the sauce, 2) making the chicken filling, and then 3) stuffing and baking the zucchini.
Making the fresh tomato sauce
To make the fresh tomato pan sauce, slice the shallot and mince the garlic. Add olive oil spray to the frying pan, and set it over medium heat. Add the sliced shallot and cook for 5 minutes. Then, add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute or until fragrant. Next, add the cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine, and then cover the pan with a lid to steam the tomatoes and break them down. Remove the lid, and smash the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or potato masher to break them down. The tomatoes will cook for about 10 minutes and become a sauce. Next, add the tomato paste and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and stir to combine.
Prepping the zucchini and the chicken filling
Preheat the oven to 400F. To prep the zucchini, trim the ends off; then cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, and scoop the insides out leaving 1/4″ border. To make the chicken filling, shred the cooked chicken breast into a mixing bowl. Add the garlic and herb cheese, and 1 cup of the sauce you made. Add the remaining kosher salt, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, and the fresh basil and parsley. Stir to combine. Spray a baking dish with olive oil spray, and arrange the zucchini boats in the dish. Spray the zucchini boats with olive oil spray, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chicken mixture to each zucchini boat, and then top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and then top with the mozzarella.
Add chicken broth to the baking dish, around the zucchini boats (this helps them steam and get soft). Cover with foil and cook for 25-35 minutes or until the zucchini is fork tender. Remove the foil and broil for a couple of minutes to crisp the tops, if desired.
Serving and storage
These stuffed zucchini are easy to serve, store and reheat. For a lighter meal, you can serve one portion with a side salad or vegetable. For a larger meal, you can serve two portions with a grain on the side. To store, simply store the baking dish covered in the fridge. To reheat, microwave to take the chill off, and then crisp up in a toaster oven or air fryer (if desired).
Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Chicken, Tomatoes and Cheese
- frying pan
- baking dish
- 3 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise, hollowed out
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups grape tomatoes, 2 pints
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt, dividied
- fresh cracked pepper
- 4 cups cooked chicken breast, 2 cooked rotisserie chicken breasts
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup reduced fat garlic and herb cheese
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella
- 1 cup chicken broth
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- olive oil spray
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Place the frying pan over medium heat.
- Slice the shallots and mince the garlic.
- Spray the pan with olive oil spray, add the shallots.
- Cook the shallots for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and toss to combine.
- Cover the pan with the lid to steam the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until they break down and the juices release.
- Remove the lid and mash the tomatoes with a spoon or potato masher. The sauce will come together in about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.
- Add 1 tsp kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, taste for seasoning.
- Shred the cooked chicken in a bowl, add the garlic and herb cheese and 1 cup of the cooked tomato sauce,
- Add another 1/2 tsp of kosher salt to the chicken mixture, and the garlic powder, onion powder and oregano.
- Add the fresh basil and parsley. Stir to combine.
- Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, and then scoop out the insides, leaving a 1/4" border.
- Spray a baking dish with olive oil spray. Lay the zucchini boats in the baking dish.
- Spray the zucchini halves with olive oil spray, season with a pinch of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Add the chicken filling to each zucchini.
- Top with the remaining tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle the tops with the breadcrumbs.
- Spray with more olive oil spray.
- Top with the mozzarella cheese.
- Pour the chicken broth around the zucchini, and then cover the baking dish with foil.
- Cook for 25-35 minutes or until the zucchini is fork tender.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes if desired to crisp up the tops.
- Top with fresh basil and parsley.
- 3 WW points (blue and purple plans)
- 5 WW points (green plan)