Healthy and filling Italian chicken stuffed zucchini! You'll love this zucchini boat recipe with chicken sausage, marinara, cheese, and sautéed veggies. It's a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
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Zucchini Boats with Chicken
Whether you call these chicken stuffed zucchini boats or chicken stuffed zucchini, they're a whole lotta delicious! The ultimate healthy comfort food recipe your family will keep asking you to make.
Chicken zucchini boats are easy to customize! While we used ground chicken sausage, you can also use unseasoned ground chicken, or leftover rotisserie chicken. Just add a touch of dried herbs to the mixture to get that Italian taste.
Why You'll Love These!
- Full of flavor - Italian flavors by using Italian chicken sausage, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
- Easy to customize! Change up the meat, add grains or breadcrumbs, swap out the seasonings, there are so many options.
- Healthy - low carb, keto friendly, and gluten-free
- We show you how to freeze them for later!
- marinara sauce
- extra virgin olive oil
- medium red onion
- fine sea salt
- ground black pepper
- ground Italian chicken sausage
- roma tomatoes
- flat leaf parsley
- red wine vinegar
- almond flour
- shredded parmesan cheese
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- Garnishes- chopped fresh parsley
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
Supplies You'll Need
- Large skillet to cook the ground chicken
- Baking sheet for baking the zucchini boats
As written, our zucchini boats with chicken is low carb, keto friendly, and gluten-free.
- Vegan- Use plant based crumbles and vegan cheese.
- Whole30/Paleo- skip the cheese and use compliant marinara sauce
- Dairy free- don't add the cheese or use plant based option
How to Cook Ground Chicken Zucchini Boats
Putting together ground chicken zucchini boats is pretty simple! Prepare the zucchinis, cook the ground chicken, add seasoning, stuff your boats, top with cheese, then bake.
Prep the Zucchini
1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut each one in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the zucchini flesh leaving about ½" thick on all sides. Finely chop 1 ½ cups of the flesh and then discard the rest (or use it for something else).
Cook the Filling
3. In the bottom of a 9x13 pan, evenly spread the marinara sauce on the bottom. Add the zucchini halves to the pan, with the cut side up. Side aside.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion, zucchini flesh, and salt and pepper. Sauté for 5-7+ minutes until the onions are soft and the liquid from the zucchini has evaporated.
5. Add the crumbled chicken sausage to the pan and cook it for 5 minutes to brown (it might not be cooked all the way through and that's ok). Turn off the heat. Stir in the diced tomato, parsley, vinegar, almond flour, and parmesan (if you're using it). Add more salt and pepper to taste.
6. Spoon the sausage mixture into the zucchini halves, packing it in tight and slightly mounding it if needed to get all of the chicken mix in the zucchini. Bake the chicken zucchini boats for 30 minutes until the zucchini is tender.
Stuff the Zucchini & Bake
8. Top the zucchini with the mozzarella cheese and bake it for 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce mix is bubbly.
9. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and enjoy!
Recipe Tips for Chicken Boats
- Ground Italian chicken sausage was used in the recipe, you can also buy the sausage links, remove the casing, and crumble the sausage meat. Ground chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, or plant-based crumbles will also work in this recipe.
- To keep the recipe low carb, use a sugar-free marinara sauce like Rao's. It's also recommended to shred your mozzarella cheese from a block since pre-shredded cheese adds starch which doesn't melt as well (plus it sneaks in carbs).
- Breadcrumbs or crushed crackers can be used in place of the almond flour, it's used as a binder to hold the stuffed mix together.
- This can be made entirely dairy free! Use either a plant-based option or just leave it out.
- Switch Up The Protein: Use pork Italian sausage, ground chicken, turkey or beef, or go plant based and used veggie crumbles.
- Add grains: Mix in some pre-cooked grains like quinoa, arborio rice, couscous, brown rice, or white rice.
What to Serve with Stuffed Zucchini
- A simple salad
- Roasted vegetables
- Garlic bread
- A simple Italian soup
How to Store
- Store: Completely cool the stuffed zucchini boats before transferring them to an airtight container. They'll keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezer: Place the cooled zucchini boats in a freezer-safe container or wrap them tightly with aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: To reheat from the fridge, place in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through. If reheating from the freezer, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven.
FAQ's for Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Yes, you can prepare the zucchini boats ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Just follow the storage instructions above and reheat when ready to serve.
Absolutely! Yellow squash, acorn squash, or small butternut squashes can be great alternatives. Just adjust the cooking time as needed since they may vary in thickness.
And whatever filling you add to stuffed zucchini can also be used to cook stuffed bell peppers!
Zucchini releases water as they cook. To minimize this, you can scoop out more flesh from the zucchinis before stuffing or bake them for a few minutes before adding the filling.
You can also try using a thicker sauce or adding breadcrumbs to your filling can help absorb some of the moisture.
More Healthy Zucchini Recipes
- Ground turkey zucchini skillet
- Ground turkey meatballs with zucchini
- Shrimp zoodles with pesto
- Air fryer sausage and veggies