Ground Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These stuffed zucchini boats are packed full of Italian flavor and super easy to make. Made with ground chicken, fresh basil, Italian seasoning and diced tomatoes all stuffed into zucchini boats and topped with mozzarella cheese. These are the perfect weeknight meal! 

These stuffed zucchini boats are packed full of Italian flavor and super easy to make. Made with ground chicken, fresh basil, Italian seasoning and diced tomatoes all stuffed into zucchini boats and topped with mozzarella cheese. These are the perfect weeknight meal! 

I really love stuffed zucchini boats but haven’t made them in forever. In fact, that last time I made them I think it was the time I made chipotle stuffed zucchini boats for the blog.

This time around instead of going for that taco type flavoring I went with a classic Italian favorite – chicken Parmesan.

Usually, when you think of chicken Parmesan you think of fried chicken cutlets topped with flavorful red sauce and tons of mozzarella cheese.

Well, this is like that but lighter, less fried and fresher.

And obviously stuffed into a zucchini. 

These chicken parmesan stuffed zucchini boats are the perfect weeknight meal! 

If you’re not in the mood for baked stuffed zucchini boats you can always serve it over zucchini noodles or even pasta.

BUT I promise you it’s super easy to stuff these babies.

Also, totally off topic but as I write this I’m looking out my window and see nothing but white. It’s windy, it’s snowing and I’m inside my house under an electric window stuffing my face with dill dip and crackers.

I guess dill dip is not the normal winter snowstorm food but I’m going with it. Plus this stuff is LEGIT and I cannot get enough of it.

I’m going to work on a copycat recipe and get that to you ASAP!

What’s so great about stuffed zucchini boats?


It’s such a healthy way to get all your meat and vegetables into your diet. It’s all cooked in one casserole dish and can be stuffed with any stuffing you love.

I obviously went to the chicken Parmesan route for these stuffed zucchini boats but you could also do taco, Italian sausage or even garden vegetables.

They are so great and easy you’ll want to make to make stuffed zucchini boats all year round!

These chicken parmesan stuffed zucchini boats are packed full of Italian flavor and super easy to make.

But, back to a recipe I do have on hand – these stuffed boats! Well, stuffed zucchini boats. Not a real boat. That would be weird.

Since I didn’t want to waste any of the zucchini I took the inside I scooped out and threw it into the meat stuffing mixture.

I figured it was a great way to even sneak some vegetables right into the stuffing.

These chicken parmesan stuffed zucchini boats are packed full of Italian flavor and are the perfect weeknight meal! 

If you want to keep the dish even lighter use less cheese or maybe substitute in some low fat or fat free mozzarella.

Love my stuffed zucchini boats?

Try some of my other recipes including zucchini: Sweet and Spicy Zucchini PicklesGreek Zucchini FrittersZucchini Corn Feta Pizza, or Zucchini Tomato Kale Pasta.


Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These chicken parmesan stuffed zucchini boats are packed full of Italian flavor and super easy to make. Made with ground chicken, fresh basil, Italian seasoning and diced tomatoes all stuffed into zucchini boats and topped with mozzarella cheese. These are the perfect weeknight meal! 

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 4 small zucchini (about 8 inches long)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray, set aside.

Cut the tops off the zucchini and cut lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and a little bit of the inside squash.

Don't throw away the scraped out insides. Place the hollowed out zucchini boats into prepared dish and set aside.

In a 12-inch skillet set over medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot add in the ground chicken, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Break up the ground chicken and mix the meat and spices together so everything is equally distributed. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is no longer pink.

Add the garlic and zucchini insides (from when you scraped out the zucchini) and cook for 30 seconds.

Pour in the tomatoes, stir and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened up. You don't want too much water left in the mixture to make sure it's thick enough for stuffing.

When it has thickened up stir in the fresh basil.

Add an equal amount of filling to each of the zucchini halves and top with the shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover the pan with foil, bake for 25 minutes, uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.

36 Responses to “Citrus Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs”

  1. #
    Julie @ Tastes of Lizzy T — March 18, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! I wish my dinner looked like that every night. 🙂 I rarely buy chicken thighs, but you’ve convinced me that I need to!

  2. #
    Caroline LaMorte — March 18, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Wow these look fantastic! I am totally making these with some haricot vert with shallots and lemon zest! I’ll let you know how they turn out!

  3. #
    Kathy Penney @Penney Lane — March 18, 2015 at 8:26 am

    These look crispy and amazing! Love the citrus flavor with the chicken.

  4. #
    Lisa @ Low Carb Yum — March 18, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Oh man, this is one of the best looking recipes I’ve seen in a while! I’m usually a breast chick, but I may convert over to a thigh girl with this one. Yum! I can smell the citrus now.

  5. #
    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats — March 18, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Chicken thighs are pretty amazing! Love the citrus herb flavors – seriously stunning as always Brandy!

  6. #
    Rachel Cooks — March 18, 2015 at 8:48 am

    This is 100% my kind of meal. Looks amazing!

  7. #
    Paula Jones — March 18, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I just love chicken and prob eat it 4 times a week, def going to try your recipe! Looks scrumptious!

  8. #
    Ashley | The Recipe Rebel — March 18, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I feel bad for not even having heard of the show. Lol. Maybe I should check it out! If it’s as good as these thighs look, it must be a winner! Pinned 🙂

  9. #
    Cookin Canuck — March 18, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I’m a chicken thigh person through and through, and these looks beyond amazing. Citrus and herbs just scream “spring”!

  10. #
    Kacey @ The Cookie Writer — March 18, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I keep seeing that show pop up on my Netflix recommendation, which is weird since I am into sci-fi and such, but I will admit, it intrigues me! I have made a very similar recipe and what I love is that it uses cheap parts of the chicken, but does not lack in flavour!

  11. #
    Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) — March 18, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    The skin on those looks ridiculously good. YUM. I don’t make thighs often, but these might just change the tides on that.

  12. #
    Colleen (Souffle Bombay) — March 18, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    John is a leg & thigh guy and I am defiantly a boob girl…when it comes to poultry that is lol! He’s dark and I’m white…that’s why we get along!

  13. #
    Stephanie @ Back for Seconds — March 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Your food always makes me SO HUNGRY! These look perfect!

  14. #
    fabiola@notjustbaked — March 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    You’ve done it again, I am drooling. These look absolutely perfect. Nothing better than crispy chicken skin. Ok bacon and cake. But I love a good crispy chickens kin.

  15. #
    Annie @Maebells — March 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I am SO BAD about binge watching shows! I cannot control myself! I watched all 7 seasons of The West Wing in an embarrassingly small amount of time! I’m going to blame it on the fact that Netflix auto plays the next episode instead of the fact I have no self control! hahaha!

    And I am loving this roasted chicken! The citrus flavors are just perfect!

  16. #
    The Food Hunter — March 18, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I may need to make this for dinner tonight!

  17. #
    Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files — March 18, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Total ‘boob man’…ha. And This chicken? I need on my dinner table asap.

  18. #
    Catherine — March 18, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Dear Brandy, I have always preferred the thighs over any other part of the chicken. They are just delicious. This is my kind of dish! I love the citrus essence…so good! xo, Catherine

  19. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — March 18, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Chicken thighs for the win! Love this herb roasted version!

  20. #
    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes — March 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Ok this post cracked me up – I think I’d be a leg man too! haha! Love this delicious looking chicken dish.

  21. #
    Kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox — March 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I’m dying to watch “Kimmy” but I know I’ll get stuck watching it all day and all night long. And these thighs….I’m definitely a thigh fan and that crispy skin…holy.. 🙂

  22. #
    Kelley — March 18, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Confession – I binged watched the whole season yesterday. Like in one sitting. (Well, I moved from my ipad to my TV when it died.. but still). So I totally hear you. So good! I’m ready for season 2 already. Unbreakableeee..

  23. #
    Lana | Never Enough Thyme — March 18, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    This is so totally my kind of recipe! Citrus and chicken and herbs? Oh, yeah. And could I please have some bread to mop up those juices with? Thank you!

    Plus – “giant ball of weird” – I died laughing. That’s so me.

  24. #
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life — March 18, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    What a beautiful dish! I love cooking with citrus!

  25. #
    Valerie — March 18, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I’m a thigh lover too! This recipe looks fantastic! I love anything with lemons!

  26. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — March 18, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    I keep seeing people talking about that show but I’m trying to save it for when I’m stuck in a hotel room with all 3 kids and both dogs next month. Gahhh, I really, really, really want to watch it!

    I make some thighs similar to this but yours look so crispy and delicious! We’re totally thigh people so I’ll be trying this soon!

  27. #
    Laura — March 19, 2015 at 12:38 am

    I am all about the thighs too. Breasts have no flavor! And speaking of flavor, wow! I love citrus and herbs in the sprig–this is a perfect spring dish!

  28. #
    Des @ Life's Ambrosia — March 19, 2015 at 12:44 am

    I said adios to chicken breasts a few years back. Unless, like you said they are in a sandwich or fried. Otherwise dark meat all the way! I will have to check out that show, we are finishing up SOA right now and wondering what we should watch after. Thanks for the recommendation!

  29. #
    Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom — March 19, 2015 at 7:59 am

    OMG!! You crack me up!! “If I were a man, I guess I’d be a leg man over a boob man!” ROFL!!! I’m a chicken thigh girl myself over breast, except when it’s in mayo for chicken salad!

  30. #
    Coleen @ The Redhead Baker — March 19, 2015 at 10:04 am

    As usual, I’m drooling over your photos! Chicken thighs are my favorite, too! Especially with citrus — they go so well together!

  31. #
    Angie — March 19, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I’d be a leg man too 🙂 Things are so much better in just about every way, unless it’s fried, smothered in cheese, then hand me a breast please.

  32. #
    Senika @ Foodie Blog Stalker — March 19, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I need a new binge-worthy show so I’m totally starting tonight! I’m a thigh girl fo sho. Nothing beats that crispy skin & juicy meat! Add in 3 types of citrus? GENIUS. Pinned!

  33. #
    Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me — March 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Total boob man! This is my kind of dinner, easy simple and beautiful!

  34. #
    Anita — March 21, 2015 at 12:46 am

    I love chicken thighs! This is a totally gorgeous dish that I’m bookmarking!

  35. #
    Thalia @ butter and brioche — March 24, 2015 at 12:15 am

    So simple, yet so delicious.. this dish is perfect!

  36. #
    Caitlin — March 25, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I made this today and it was heavenly! So glad I found it on foodgawker 🙂

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