Quick and easy BBQ chicken stuffed zucchini boats is a light low carb dinner. One pan dinner and ready in less than 30 minutes.
This is one of those 'I can't believe this only takes 30 minutes' kind of meals. Minimal clean up means you can skip the take out and stay home for a healthy meal everyone will love!
Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
This post may include affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
We love this recipe for so many reasons. But here are just a few:
- Naturally gluten free, with a dairy- free option
- Great for summer, plus you can use up all the fresh zucchini from the garden
- One pan/ sheet pan dinner
- Ready in less than 30 minutes
- Kid-friendly dinner, and perfect for back- to- school weeknights
- Keto option when you use keto BBQ sauce
- Can be made extra spicy with spicy BBQ sauce and jalapenos or siracha
Zucchini- Fresh, maybe even a little underripe is perfect. Small to medium-sized and all the same sized. Have lots of giant zucchini to use? Try our sliced roasted zucchini recipe instead!
Shredded Chicken- Precooked chicken, you can use leftover, rotisserie, or even canned.
Red Onion- I like a red onion in this recipe, be sure to dice it up small because we don't pre-cook it. You can also substitute white onion or sweet onion, depending on your taste.
Cheese- In our house we typically stay dairy-free so I use an almond mozzarella style cheese from Trader Joes. You can use any style of mozzarella you like. Or even substitute in a good sharp cheddar!
Toppings- Be creative! Try jalapeno slices, green onions or leftover french fried onions, cilantro, or even a drizzle of ranch dressing.
The key to a successful, and quick, zucchini boat is the proper prep of the zucchini itself. And not over roasting. Zucchini should be soft but still crunchy. We won't be overcooking these!
Start by slicing your zucchini longways. Don't trim the ends! You don't have to eat the stem but leaving it intact will prevent the yummy filling from oozing out. These are zucchini boats, and boats don't have one side totally open!
Use a small spoon to hollow out the flesh of the zucchini, leaving ¼-inch thickness around the edges.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment spray or brush the pan with oil to prevent sticking. Place the zucchini cut side-up on the baking sheet.
The nice part about using parchment is that is makes serving and clean up a breeze. Simply slide the parchment onto a serving platter.
In a bowl combine the chicken, red onion, BBQ sauce, and shredded cheese. Spoon in the filling and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered at 425 F for 18 to 20 minutes or until the filling is set and the cheese is melted. When baking with almond cheese I make a tent foil and very loosely cover. This will help the cheese melt and prevent it from over browning. Take it off the last 3 to 5 minutes of baking.
Drizzle the baked zucchini boats with the remaining BBQ sauce and garnish with jalapenos, cilantro, and green onions. Or your favorite toppings.
🥘Tips and Tricks
- To make it vegan substitute shredded jackfruit for the chicken and use almond mozzerlla.
- For a variation substitute our paleo Thai peanut sauce or a buffalo style hot sauce for the BBQ sauce.
- Add crumbled bascon for an extra layer of flavor.
- Don't trim the ends off, you don't have to eat them but we need all that filling in the boat.
- To make the zucchini boats in advance. Prep the zucchini boats and cover the baking sheet with foil. Store in the fridge for up to 2 days. The zucchini boats can go straight from the fridge to the oven.
🥗More 30 Minute Meals
Looking for more quick and easy 30 minute dinner recipes? Here are some of our favorites! Plus they are all gluten-free!
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave us a rating or a comment. It helps other wonderful people connect with our food.
Barbecue Chicken Zucchini Boats
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a small spoon to hollow out the flesh of the zucchini, leaving ¼-inch thickness around the edges. Place them cut side-up on the baking sheet. Brush the hollowed-out zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl combine the chicken, red onion, ½ cup BBQ sauce, and ½ cup shredded cheese.
- Spoon in the filling and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the filling is set and the cheese is melted.
- Drizzle with remaining BBQ sauce and garnish with jalapenos, cilantro, and green onions
- Assemble the boats the night before, placing on a sheet pan, and cover with foil and place in the fridge. Zucchini boats can go straight from the fridge to the oven.