The best way to describe these awesome Buffalo Chicken Boats is by saying zucchini meets my Buffalo Chicken Sandwich filling for an amazing flavor combination.
In an effort to try more recipes with less carbs in them, I decided to use the zucchini that I purchase every grocery trip as a vessel for our usual Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches. Not only was it delicious on day 1, but the day 2 warmed up leftovers were even more flavorful. Are you like me and find that many meals develop more flavor and taste better on day 2?
I’m a person that can’t handle a lot of spice in my foods, but my family loves spicy foods so I’ve made recommendations for the amount of buffalo sauce to use in the filling for these Buffalo Chicken Boats. Taste the mixture before filling the zucchini boats and if you feel like it could use extra buffalo sauce then add more. I’m also careful on the amount of salt that I add while cooking the filling since the dressing and hot sauce have salt in them.
I like to bake the boats empty so that I can drain off the excess water that you normally have when you cook zucchini and squash. I also like that the zucchini boats are less firm when the final cooking time is complete. I prefer my zucchini boats to be fork tender for cutting.
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I serve 1 zucchini per person with a side salad.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a baking sheet with foil or grease a large casserole dish.
Prep the zucchini by cutting them in half, scooping out the filling, and brushing them all over with oil. Dice up the center of the zucchini, the celery, and the purple onions.
Roast the zucchini skin side up for 15 minutes. While the zucchini roast, make the filling.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tsp. of oil. When the oil is warm saute the diced celery, purple onions, and 1/2 of a cup of the diced zucchini center for about 4 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper, the garlic powder, and the parsley flakes. I don’t add a lot of salt and pepper since I use Ranch dressing and cheese which both have salt, but taste the filling and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
Add the cream cheese and allow to warm and start to melt. Next add the shredded chicken, ranch dressing, and buffalo sauce. Stir the mixture together and allow everything to warm through. Add 3/4 of each cheese reserving some for sprinkling over the top of the filled Buffalo Chicken Boats. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you see fit, I can’t handle spicy foods so if you prefer a spicier dish add more buffalo sauce.
Remove the partially cooked zucchini boats from the oven after 15 minutes. Drain the excess water from the boats and the pan. Place them skin side down and fill the centers with the chicken mixture. Top the filled Buffalo Chicken Boats with the remaining cheese and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. You can broil the top at the end if you prefer.
Serve with extra Ranch dressing and Buffalo Sauce. I like to garnish my Buffalo Chicken Boats with diced celery and purple onions.