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These Salsa Chicken Zucchini Boats require very few ingredients and minimal prep! They’re a simple lunch or dinner idea that’s so easy.

Update: This recipe was originally published in 2018 and has been republished with all new photos.

Recently these have been a go to lunch for me. I made them the first time because I had a hankering for Mexican food. That got me thinking about fun ways to introduce those big flavors.

These Salsa Chicken Zucchini Boats really remind me a lot of enchiladas! Of course they are a much healthier way to feed that craving.

No cheese. (You’ll survive, I swear.)

Instead of tortillas I’m using zucchini sliced lengthwise and turned into little boats. Scooping out the center of each zucchini means there’s room to stuff chicken and salsa in there!

For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):

  • Zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Shredded fully cooked chicken
  • Salsa
  • Salt and pepper

What kind of salsa should you use?

As you can imagine, the salsa adds tons of flavor. Feel free to use your favorite brand. Both thin or chunky salsas will work.

I prefer My Brother’s Salsa in Fire Roasted. I tend to keep several jars of it in my pantry because I go through it so fast! I put it on everything.

How to prepare your chicken

Any fully cooked chicken will work beautifully in this dish. If you have leftover chicken that’s perfect! Or purchase a store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time.

Want to cook chicken just for this recipe? If you’re in the mood to prepare your own chicken simply sauté skinless and boneless breasts or thighs in a little oil on the stovetop. Season with salt and pepper or any combination of seasonings you like. (I like garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder.) Then shred or chop the finished chicken up!

Can you add cheese?

This simple entree is designed to be dairy free but shredded mozzarella would be a great addition! Add a little to the top of each boat before baking if you like.

Can you meal prep with this?

Yes! The zucchini will be tender and soft after roasting and will remain so when reheated. I personally love making this entree in advance. It’s a great healthy lunch to have ready to go in the fridge!

More recipes like this:

Instant Pot Shredded Salsa Chicken

Avocado Salsa Chicken

Ultimate Chicken Salad

Air Fryer Zucchini

Grilled Zucchini & Squash

5 from 4 votes

Salsa Chicken Zucchini Boats

By Christina
Salsa Chicken Zucchini Boats are incredibly simple and flavorful! Plus they’re Whole30, Keto, dairy free, gluten free, and low in calories!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 4 zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup shredded or chopped chicken, rotisserie, breasts, or thighs all work great
  • 3/4 cup salsa

Optional Topping: fresh chopped cilantro

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    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    • Cut the top (with the stem) off each zucchini. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise to create 2 boats from each zucchini.
    • Use a spoon to gently scoop out the center of each. I do a shallow scoop because I hate to waste the zucchini.
    • Lay the zucchini boats side by side in a baking dish. (A baking sheet also works well.) Drizzle olive oil over top. Use your fingers to spread the oil evenly over the tops of each boat. Salt and pepper.
    • Combine shredded chicken and salsa in a bowl. Stir. Scoop the chicken and salsa mixture down the center of the boats.
    • Place finished boats in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. (25 minutes is perfect for my oven. If you’re using large zucchini you may need to go for 30 minutes. Just check it at 25.)
    • Remove from oven and top with fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!


    Nutritional information is for one whole zucchini which means it includes two boats.
    The chicken and salsa mixture is plenty for 4 medium sized zucchini. If you’re using large zucchini you may want to double the mixture.


    Serving: 2zucchini boats, Calories: 113kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 379mg, Potassium: 703mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 665IU, Vitamin C: 36.5mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 1.2mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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    Recipe Rating


    1. Vicky says:

      These look like such a filling and healthy meal. I am trying to watch what I eat so I like the idea that there are no cheese in these and they are still flavorful.

    2. Melissa J Hicks says:

      Really simple and tasty. They were so good, I ate them and forgot to take a picture. I had a larger zucchini, so even after 30 minutes, it could have cooked more, but they were really delicious! I can’t wait to have the leftovers and I will make again. So easy. Thanks!

    3. Debora says:

      Such an easy weeknight meal! This one hit a home run at our house! Loved it!

      1. Christina says:

        So glad to hear it!

    4. Samantha says:

      Our household is full of dietary restrictions and I have friends with type 2 diabetes. This recipe was the most delicious yet easiest one ever! Even the clean up was easy. I used Costco brand canned chicken to simply my life even more. I laid the scooped out zucchini onto the baking pan above the rows of zucchini boats and topped it with the leftover chicken and salsa mixture. This was a PERFECT recipe. It was kid approved by a super picky junk-loving eight year old, kid re-requested repeatedly by an 11 year old with loads of allergies, and the diabetic adult friends asked for more. This will be a staple in our kitchen. Thank you so much!!!