Mexican Zucchini Boats

There’s no wrong way to eat zucchini. Whether you’re using your Hamilton Beach® electric spiralizer to make long zoodles, baking it into zucchini bread, or  sautéing slices for a simple summer side dish, there are plenty of recipes that incorporate this seasonal veggie.

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Mexican Zucchini Boats
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  • 6 small zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 cups chopped grilled chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • ½ cup medium salsa
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno, seeds included
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Scoop out center of zucchini halves. Place zucchini boats in baking pan. Sprinkle zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, 1 cup cheese, black beans, corn, salsa, red bell pepper, cilantro jalapeno, cumin, chili powder and remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Spoon about 1/3 cup mixture into the zucchini boats. Reserve remaining mixture for other uses.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake an additional 5 to 6 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  7. Sprinkle with additional cilantro, if desired.


Test Kitchen Tip: Use the remaining chicken mixture for tacos, burrito bowls or salads.

Mexican Zucchini Boats

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this summer squash  is making zucchini boats. Zucchini boats are extremely easy to prepare and even easier to customize. Experiment with Italian, Thai, and Mexican flavor profiles to see which the family likes the most.

Mexican Zucchini Boats

Make these Mexican zucchini boats for a low-carb Taco Tuesday dinner or when you want to make sure the kids are eating their veggies.

Mexican Zucchini Boats

First, cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Then scoop out the center of the zucchini using a lemon baller, small ice cream scoop, or a tablespoon. Salt the zucchini halves (this is the only opportunity you’ll have to season the vegetable before it bakes) and set aside.

In a medium bowl, make your filling. Combine chopped chicken, cheese, black beans, corn, salsa, bell pepper, cilantro, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, and salt. For a shortcut, pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery story or use grilled chicken leftovers from the weekend’s cookout. Want a vegetarian version? Skip the chicken altogether and add extra beans.

Mexican Zucchini Boats

Spoon ⅓ cup (you might need more depending on if your squash boat is more of a yacht than a canoe) of the mixture into the zucchini halves. The Test Kitchen wrote this recipe so that you’ll have plenty of extra filling to use throughout the week in taco cups, rice bowls, or quesadillas. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees in your Hamilton Beach® Easy Reach Toaster Oven. Add a little (or a lot) of extra cheese on top and bake another 5 minutes.

Mexican Zucchini Boats

Sprinkle with some fresh cilantro and dinner is served. Serve with chips and homemade salsa for a Mexican-themed dinner any night of the week.

Mexican Zucchini Boats

Mexican Zucchini Boats


Find the Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Convection on Amazon or

Other Test Kitchen recipes to try: 

Italian Zucchini Boats

The Best Homemade Zucchini Bread



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