Thursday, February 21, 2013

Everything is better with Zucchini!

I think zucchini might be my favorite vegetable. My go-to side dish for any meal is plain old steamed zucchini (and usually summer squash). It's delicious, light and makes any plate beautiful and colorful - this is probably the coolest thing I've ever done with zucchini.

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats


For the enchilada sauce

Olive oil
3 Garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Chipotle chile in adobo sauce
     (more if you like it spicy, I just use the whole can)
1-1/2 cups Tomato sauce
1/2 tsp Chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp Ground cumin
2/3 cup Chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

For the zucchini boats

4 medium Zucchini
1 tsp Olive oil
1/2 cup Green onions, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
1/2 cup diced Green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
8 oz grilled & shredded Chicken breast
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Chipotle chili powder
3 tbsp Chicken broth
1 tbsp Tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Topping

Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, shredded
Chopped scallions and cilantro for garnish


Enchilada Sauce

In a medium saucepan, heat oil and sauté garlic. Add chipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

Zucchini Boats

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.

Drop the zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute; remove from water.

In a large saute pan, heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini and cilantro; season with salt and pepper and cook about 4 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder, water, and tomato paste and cook a few more minutes, then add in chicken; mix and cook 3 more minutes.

Place 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with chicken mixture, pressing firmly.

Top each with 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.

Top with scallions and cilantro for garnish and serve!

There's a lot of ingredients in this recipe and the prep can be time consuming. I definitely recommend this as a weekend/day-off dish or else dinner time may be a bit delayed.... BUT IT'S TOTALLY WORTH IT!! The enchilada sauce is really smoky and delicious. I've made this dish a few times and tweaked things here and there so it's definitely versatile. It would be super easy to convert this to a vegetarian dish with some extra veggies or non-meat protein. One time I was crazing carbs and converted this to a regular enchilada dish with flour tortillas and it was just as delicious (although not as healthy).

Make this dish... You won't regret -- just make sure you have someone else willing to do the dishes!

1 comment :

  1. With sharp cheddar you can't go wrong. Those seriously look delicious.