Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

filed under: Food + Drink on August 10, 2019

If you are a fan of buffalo sauce then you simply must try these Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats.  Piles of cheesy shredded buffalo chicken on top of a perfectly cooked whole zucchini and topped with green onions, tomatoes, buffalo sauce, and creamy ranch dressing.  We made all of this using my Homemade Buffalo Sauce!

Close up of the filling in a Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boat

Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

Since we perfected our homemade buffalo sauce we just can’t get enough of it.  We are constantly coming up with schemes to work it into recipes that we have never tried before.  It just so happens to be zucchini season here in Minnesota.  If you have ever grown zucchini in your garden you know that it just keeps producing.  Let’s just say there is no shortage of zucchini around here.  So, how do we take our buffalo sauce and combine the two?  How about just stuffing the hollow of the zucchini with piles of shredded chicken, cheese, and ranch?  Works for me!

View of Three Buffalo Zucchini Boats on a Plate

Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats Recipe

To get started with this recipe you will need: (Scroll down for printable recipe)

  • Zucchini – (Courgette) We obviously prefer to use our garden zucchini, but if you have to purchase at the supermarket, select medium-sized zucchini that are firm and feel heavy for their size. They should be green or yellow with shiny skin.
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Red onion
  • Rotisserie chicken 
  • Greek yogurt
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Ranch dressing
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Green onions

Stuffing buffalo chicken and cheese into an uncooked zucchini boat

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

To make these buffalo chicken zucchini boats, start by hollowing out the center of the zucchini.  We used two large zucchini, you likely can’t find them that size at the supermarket.  Maybe at the farmers market though.  If you are purchasing at the supermarket you are going to want to pick the medium-large zucchinis. Cut it in half and using a spoon, scoop out all of the seeds and .  Set these on a foil-lined and greased baking sheet.

Heat some oil in a skillet and add the onions.  Allow those to cook about 3-5 minutes and then add in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 more minute).  Remove the pan from heat while you add in the chicken, hot sauce, greek yogurt, ranch dressing, and shredded cheese.  Stir it all together and then slowly scoop the mixture into the hollows of the zucchini.

Using aluminum foil, create a tent around the pan.  You want the boats covered with foil, but you DON’T want the foil to touch the tops.  This will make the cheese stick right to the foil and that is just not where you want it.  Pop the pan into the oven and bake about 45-50 minutes.  The cheese should be completely melted and the zucchini should be tender.  Remove the foil and broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the tops.

Remove the boats from the oven and top with a drizzle of ranch, hot sauce, diced tomatoes, and diced green onions.

Serve!

Drizzling Hot Sauce over a Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boat

When it Comes to Zucchini, Size Matters

Size matters! A large zucchini (or summer squash) will have larger seeds and more watery flesh than smaller zucchini. Typically, small to medium zucchini (of all varieties and colors) will offer more texture and flavor. The skin is thinner and crisper, and it has a mildly sweet and nutty flesh. (Depending on growth conditions and region.)

Certain recipes work best with different sizes. In this recipe specifically, we opt to use our large zucchini (think the size of your forearm). When cut in half, the four halved vessels will fit onto a standard baking sheet. The larger boats will naturally relax a bit after being baked, meaning they will not hold their U shape as well as smaller. This is not a problem, just something of note.

We also opted to cut the large boats in half before baking. When the large zucchini boats are cut there is a chance of the filling spilling out one end. (I did this for purely selfish reasons as I wanted that to happen!) If you are using the smaller boats, this will not be an issue.

If you aren’t growing your own zucchini and are purchasing from the grocery store, they will be much smaller and you will use up to 6 small zucchini that have been cut in half, making 12 boats. (You may need 2 pans.) The amount of Buffalo Chicken filling will not change if you are using smaller zucchini.

IMPORTANT: The larger boats need to bake a bit longer which how this recipe is written. If you are using small zucchini, please start checking for doneness at 30 minutes. When the zucchini is done baking it will be soft, appearing dry on the outside edges, and very moist and almost translucent on the inside. The skin (if you are using green zucchini) will be darker.

Cutting into a BUffalo Chicken Zucchini Boat

Looking for More Buffalo Recipes?

How do I pick my favorites!?

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken 

Homemade Buffalo Sauce

Skillet Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
 

If you are a fan of buffalo sauce then you simply must try these Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats.  Piles of cheesy shredded buffalo chicken on top of a perfectly cooked whole zucchini and topped with green onions, tomatoes, buffalo sauce, and creamy ranch dressing.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Buffalo Chicken, Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats
Servings: 8
Author: Amanda Rettke - iambaker.net
Ingredients
  • 4 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 3 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
Topping
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons green onions
  • 1 small Roma tomato, diced
Optional Garnish
  • ranch dressing
  • buffalo sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Prepare a sheet pan with aluminum foil and non-stick spray.

  3. Using a large spoon, hollow out the centers of each zucchini half, and set on the baking pan.

  4. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions saute for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove pan from heat.
  5. Add shredded chicken, hot sauce, greek yogurt, ranch dressing, shredded cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.
  6. Spoon buffalo chicken mixture evenly into the hollow of each zucchini.
  7. Top each evenly with the remaining shredded cheese.
  8. Create an aluminum foil tent around the zucchini boats, being careful not to touch the tops.
  9. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender.
  10. Remove the foil and broil for 2-3 minutes until the tops of the cheese turn golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven and top with green onions, and tomatoes. (If drizzling with ranch dressing and buffalo sauce, do that now as well.) Best served hot.

Recipe Notes

IMPORTANT: The larger boats need to bake a bit longer which how this recipe is written. If you are using small zucchini, please start checking for doneness at 30 minutes. When the zucchini is done baking it will be soft, appearing dry on the outside edges, and very moist and almost translucent on the inside. The skin (if you are using green zucchini) will be darker. 

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