BBQ Chicken Zucchini Boats

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BBQ Chicken Zucchini Boats are a saucy, cheesy, deliciously hearty meal that is a refreshing change from the typical sandwiches we usually make with leftover chicken.

To make these Zucchini Boats with Chicken, you’ll just add BBQ sauce and cheese to some leftover chicken and layer it into fresh zucchini. It’s an easy and delicious way to use up (and enjoy!) an abundance of summer zucchini.

Zucchini boats filled with BBQ chicken

Zucchini is a delicious base for all sorts of stuffings and fillings. We really like these Zucchini Taco Boats or try pizza toppings too!

BBQ Chicken Zucchini Boats

When your garden or your neighbors give you an endless supply of zucchini you can get pretty creative with how you use it. One of my discoveries has been that if it can go on a crust or in a shell, (think pizza, flatbread, tacos, etc.) there is a good chance it can go on a zucchini.

The firmer texture of a hollowed-out zucchini shell when roasted is the perfect vessel for all sorts of savory goodness! Taco and pizza are our favorites and a cheeseburger boat is in the works.

I started to make some leftover rotisserie chicken into BBQ chicken sandwiches and was trying to decide what to make along with the sandwiches. The zucchini on the counter quickly got put to use in place of the boring sandwich bread.

When baking or roasting whole, I like to use evenly sized zucchini. They bake at the same rate and it makes estimating doneness so much easier. For zucchini boats, I recommend medium-sized zucchini.

BBQ Chicken filled zucchini boats on sheet pan with towel

Really large, mature zucchini are best kept for baked goods like cakes and breads. They tend to have larger seeds and a lot more moisture. Once shredded, it is easy to squeeze it out for those dishes.

To make the boats, slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Hollow it out, removing the seeds and a bit of the squash, leaving 1/4 inch or so of the zucchini flesh. (This handy little tool works great for scraping out those seeds. I’ve had mine for 15+ years and we use it all the time.)

Go ahead and roast your zucchini for 15 minutes or so before you fill it with chicken. Roast it but don’t cook it to mush. We want to keep its shape and have just a slight crunch to the zucchini when you bite it.

Mix up the BBQ chicken filling using half of the cheese. Melty gooey cheese makes everything delicious and helps hold the filling together. Top with the remaining cheese and bake.

These are best served warm. But we have learned that roasted squash can hold some heat! So, it’s okay to let it set for just a few minutes before you dive in.

raw zucchini on sheet pan

Chicken and Zucchini

Zucchini and chicken are a great match for a world of different flavors. If you haven’t tried it yet, this zucchini stir fry with chicken is an easy dinner that delivers a whole lot of great flavor. Served on its own or over rice or noodles, we all really enjoy this meal.

These zucchini boats filled with saucy bbq chicken are another example of a chicken and zucchini pairing that truly shines with just a few ingredients.

  • zucchini
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • cooked chicken
  • barbecue sauce
  • shredded mozzarella
  • fresh Italian parsley
Zucchini filled with bbq chicken and cheese before cooking

Zucchini Boats with Chicken

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and part of the zucchini flesh. Leave about ¼-inch of zucchini along the skin of each halved squash.
  2. Place the zucchini halves on a large baking sheet, drizzle with oil and rub with your hands to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. While the zucchini is baking, combine the chicken and bbq sauce in a bowl and stir to coat the chicken with sauce. Add 1 cup of cheese and stir to combine.
  4. Generously fill each zucchini half with the saucy bbq chicken mixture, pile it on top to use all the filling. Top each zucchini with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve warm.
Zucchini Boats with Chicken

Zucchini Recipes

When zucchini season is in full swing having an arsenal of recipes with variety is good to keep at your fingertips.

Fresh zucchini is shaved thin and tossed with olive oil and lemon juice before being sprinkled with salt, pepper, basil, and Parmesan to make this easy, fresh from the garden Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Parmesan zucchini can best be described as crispy, and delicious, the best way possible to eat zucchini. Seriously so good my kids devoured seconds.

And if you have an abundance of summer squash on hand, there are a lot of great ways to cook it! From roasting to sauteeingsteaming to grilling, you really can’t go wrong using up your zucchini harvest. You can even air fry it.

BBQ chicken filled zucchini boats

BBQ Chicken Zucchini Boats

To make these Zucchini Boats with Chicken, you'll just add BBQ sauce and cheese to some leftover chicken and layer it into fresh zucchini. It's an easy and delicious way to use up (and enjoy!) an abundance of summer zucchini.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 3 zucchini medium sized
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 2 cups cooked chicken chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and part of the zucchini flesh. Leave about ¼-inch of zucchini along the skin of each halved squash.
  • Place the zucchini halves on a large baking sheet, drizzle with oil and rub with your hands to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • While the zucchini is baking, combine the chicken and bbq sauce in a bowl and stir to coat the chicken with sauce. Add 1 cup of cheese and stir to combine.
  • Generously fill each zucchini half with the saucy bbq chicken mixture, pile it on top to use all the filling. Top each zucchini with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 269kcal · Carbohydrates: 14g · Protein: 21g · Fat: 14g · Saturated Fat: 6g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 5g · Cholesterol: 64mg · Sodium: 717mg · Potassium: 454mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 11g · Vitamin A: 633IU · Vitamin C: 19mg · Calcium: 220mg · Iron: 1mg
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cheesy bbq chicken baked in zucchini

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