Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

I was so pleased that I could still find zucchini in the store, and the perfect size too!!  So I will share this recipe with you!  I have been wanting to try these for a long time and finally took the plunge.  I have scrolled past it on Pinterest many times but finally the fantastic picture pulled me in and refused to be ignored.  And boy, am I glad it did.  I loved it.  🙂  And it is so much lighter and healthier than the typical, tortilla wrapped “dump a can of who knows what” kind!  I am thinking about trying it a few different ways…like maybe with the sauce from my Creamy Avocado Enchilada post!!  What do you think, should I?  🙂

The layers of flavor are fantastic in this dish.  Smoky, a little spicy, and all the flavors of an enchilada…in fact, it smelled so good that when I brought left overs for dinner at work that my manager kept repeatedly commenting on how delicious it was making the back room smell.  I’m legitimately surprised that she didn’t steal some while I was out of the room!!  Yes, we’re good enough friends that we steal bites of each other’s food.  I love my job.  🙂

ANYWAYS!

This beauty is adapted from the lovely skinnytaste.com!

Here’s what you need:

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper, Minced (with 1 tsp or so of sauce)
  • 1 1/2 C Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 2/3 C Chicken Broth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the boats:

  • 4 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 C Green Onions
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Medium Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro paste
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 2 C Shredded Chicken (I used leftovers from a Roasted Chicken I had made!)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Chicken Broth
  • Shredded Cheese and green onions for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Start with your sauce.  Put a sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter or coconut oil.  Toss in your garlic and stir just until fragrant (it is so easy to burn garlic!), 30 seconds or so.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until you are ready for it!
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and bring a pot of water to a boil.
  4. Cut each zucchini in half long ways, and use a melon baller to scoop out the fillins!  Obviously you want leave about 1/4 inch flesh to hold your enchilada goodness.  That’s why it’s called a boat!  It will look like a little boat yay! WAIT! SAVE THOSE ZUCCHINI INSIDES!  Chop them up and set aside…you are going to use them for the stuffing.  It’s great because you are sneaking in extra veggies where no one will notice 🙂
  5. Drop your “boats” into the boiling water for just one minute or so, then take them out and set aside.  Just to get them starting to tenderize.
  6. In a pan over medium high heat, melt your butter or coconut oil.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in for just about 30 seconds.  Add zucchini and stir in.  Cook for about 4 more minutes, until everything is starting to get tender.
  7. Add cilantro and other seasonings along with lime juice and chicken broth.  Stir and simmer for a few minutes, then stir in chicken and cook until warmed through.
  8. Pour about half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 dish.  Lay your boats across the bottom in a single layer, then fill evenly with the stuffing.  Dump the rest of the sauce over the top of the boats like you would normal enchiladas!  Top with a layer of cheese and sprinkle on some extra green onions.  Slide into your preheated oven and bake until cheese is melty and zucchini are tender.

photo 4 (4)

Start with your sauce.  Put a sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter or coconut oil.  Toss in your garlic and stir just until fragrant (it is so easy to burn garlic!), 30 seconds or so.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until you are ready for it!  Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring a pot of water to a boil.

photo 1 (5)Slice zucchini in half long ways.

photo 2 (5)Scoop out the insides with a melon baller…leaving about 1/4 inch border or “boat.”

Drop your zucchini halves in boiling water for one minute, then remove and set aside.

photo 5 (4)

In a pan over medium high heat, melt your butter or coconut oil.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in for just about 30 seconds.  Add zucchini and stir in.  Cook for about 4 more minutes, until everything is starting to get tender.

photo 1 (4)

Add cilantro and other seasonings along with lime juice and chicken broth.  Stir and simmer for a few minutes, then stir in chicken and cook until warmed through.

photo 3 (3)

photo 4 (3)

photo 1 (2)

photo 2 (2)

photo 3photo 4 (2)Pour about half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 dish.  Lay your boats across the bottom in a single layer, then fill evenly with the stuffing.  Dump the rest of the sauce over the top of the boats like you would normal enchiladas!  Top with a layer of cheese and sprinkle on some extra green onions.  Slide into your preheated oven and bake until cheese is melty and zucchini are tender.

photo 5 (2)photo 2photo 1

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3 thoughts on “Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

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