These Buffalo chicken zucchini boats are an easy and tasty low carb dinner. Plentiful summer zucchini is hollowed out, stuffed with chicken and topped with hot sauce and cheese. Six simple ingredients combine to make a delicious spicy dinner in about half an hour.
This is a simple dinner with just a few ingredients that is both tasty and and quick to make. Tender zucchini are stuffed with leftover chicken and spiced up with hot sauce for a delicious and different low carb dinner idea.
Using up Zucchini
I love zucchini, but in the summer there can just be too much zucchini. I don’t plant zucchini in my garden but my family belongs to a CSA to get fresh organic vegetables. Every week in the summer we get zucchini and summer squash – every, single week for two months straight!
So I serve sauteed zucchini a for dinner a few nights a week, but by mid-August we are looking for something different to make with all that squash. You can make desserts like this Chocolate Zucchini cake or dinner like this Zucchini Sausage Casserole. Making stuffed zucchini boats is another great idea as a way to change things up and make something different.
Scooping out the Zucchini Boats
The first step in making the stuffed zucchini boat is to hollow out the squash to hold the filling. I used one large zucchini and one large summer squash for this dinner. This resulted in four large Buffalo chicken zucchini boats which was enough to serve four people. If you have smaller squash you will want to use more than two zucchini.
You need to slice the squash in half lengthwise. Try to make both halves about the same size. I used a knife to cut along the edges of the zucchini and then scooped out the filling with a spoon. Put the extra zucchini aside to use in the filling. Ideally you will leave about 1/4 inch edge along the zucchini boat to hold the filling.
Making the Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boat Filling
To make the Buffalo chicken zucchini boat filling I first cooked the scooped out squash. The squash was heated in a frying pan over low heat for a few minutes to soften it. Then I added a bunch of leftover cooked chicken to the skillet and stirred it to mix everything together.
In this recipe I used grilled chicken thighs that were leftover from the previous night’s dinner. You could also use rotisserie chicken. If you don’t have leftover chicken you can add raw chicken to the frying pan and brown it with the zucchini. Either dark or white meat will work fine in the Buffalo chicken zucchini boat, just use whatever you have!
Chicken Wing Sauce vs Hot Sauce
When making this recipe you need to realize that chicken wing sauce and hot sauce are not the same thing. Chicken wing sauce is hot sauce combined with spices and butter, so it is less spicy than straight hot sauce.
I originally planned to make this recipe with chicken wing sauce, but my son used ours all up a few days ago. Having him home from college this summer is making keeping food in the refrigerator a challenge!
Naturally I didn’t realize the wing sauce was gone until I was already cooking. So I used hot sauce and combined it with butter and garlic powder to make a quick homemade wing sauce. This actually worked out quite well and the sauce was creamy and spicy.
In addition using hot sauce gives you more control over how much spice the Buffalo chicken zucchini boats have. I just mixed the sauce ingredients in the skillet with the squash and chicken and let it cook for a few minutes. It turns out the chicken wing sauce wasn’t necessary after all!
Baking the Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats
Once the filling was ready I spooned it into the prepared squash shells, heaping the filling up. Then I sprinkled each Buffalo chicken zucchini boat with a bit of cheddar cheese because cheese makes every meal tastier.
The zucchini boats need to bake for about 20 minutes, which makes this a meal you can have on the table in just over half an hour. I love quick meals like this one that don’t require a ton of ingredients or complicated cooking techniques!
Make Ahead Meal
Chicken stuffed zucchini boats are also a great meal to prepare ahead of time. You can stuff the zucchini with the filling and then refrigerate them, covered until dinner time. They will just need an additional 5 minutes or so of baking time if they have been refrigerated.
What to Serve With Zucchini Boats
These Buffalo chicken zucchini boats are an excellent low carb and high protein meal. You can serve them by themselves for dinner or add a green salad to make a complete meal.
I topped off each Buffalo chicken zucchini boat with some creamy ranch dressing to balance out the spiciness. And if you want them to be even spicier you can always put a bottle of hot sauce on the table! These taste strongly of Buffalo chicken and the zucchini kind of fades into the background – so even if you aren’t a big zucchini fan they will still be a delicious summer meal.
- 2 large zucchini
- 2 cups cooked chicken (2 breasts or 4 thighs)
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise.
- Score the edges of the squash with a knife then use a spoon to scoop out the inside of the zucchini. Leave an edge of about 1/4 of an inch around the sides.
- Add the squash scooped out of the zucchini to a frying pan on low heat. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir the cooked chicken into the squash.
- Add the butter to the frying pan and once it melts stir in the hot sauce and garlic powder.
- Let the mixture cook for 5 minutes.
- Spoon the mixture carefully into the squash shells, heaping it up to fill them.
- Top the shells with the cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Serve drizzled with ranch or blue cheese dressing and extra hot sauce.
If you don't have leftover chicken you can use raw chicken. In that case brown the chicken well before stuffing the zucchini.
You can make these ahead of time and refrigerate before baking. If you do that add 5 minutes to the baking time.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 550mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 21g
Nutrition facts are estimates.