Channel all the flavor of fried jalapeño poppers into a healthier baked zucchini boat!
Do you love jalapeno poppers, but hate how unhealthy they are? We’re here to deliver the goods. Our Jalapeno Popper Zucchini Boats recipe offers a fresh twist on the classic appetizer. It channels all the flavor of your favorite crispy, fried food while making it significantly healthier by turning it into a zucchini boat. This low-carb side dish or appetizer has all the flavor of jalapeno poppers, including a spicy kick and all the melted, creamy, cheesy flavor you love.
Why Use Zucchini?
Did you know zucchinis are technically classified as a fruit? In fact, botanically, they’re considered a berry! Zucchinis are an excellent food to include in your regular diet because they’re high in water and fiber. They also contain significant amounts of minerals, like potassium and manganese, along with vitamins B6, C, K, riboflavin, and folate. The real reason we use them for this recipe is their mild flavor, which makes them super versatile. Zucchinis pair well with just about everything!
Jalapeno Popper Zucchini Boats
For these Jalapeno Popper Zucchini Boats, try to find zucchini that are on the wider side. The bigger the zucchini, the more filling you can pack in. Then, start by cutting the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out enough of vegetable flesh so you’ll have lots of room for the filling, but leave enough so the zucchini will keep its shape. If you think your zucchini may fall over and leak in the oven, feel free to cut a little off its backside to create a flat platform.
You’ll then bake the zucchini to soften them and make the zucchini partially tender. Now comes the magic: Add all the fillings and return the zucchini to the oven until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
Now that the zucchini boats are cooked, let’s talk toppings. If you wanted to make this dish a little more filling, you could turn it into a main dish or a light dinner by adding cooked shredded chicken or smashed butter beans to the cream cheese filling. For the jalapeno part of these Jalapeno Popper Zucchini Boats, feel free to use pickled or fresh according to your taste. While we’ve suggested mincing them, you could also slice a few on top for presentation.
On the topic of pickled things, we think these Oven-Fried Pickles would taste great when served alongside this recipe. And if you’re into the whole zucchini boat concept, don’t stop here! We also made Pizza Zucchini Boats with all your favorite Italian flavors. Oregano, mozzarella, garlic, and a whole lot of yum.
Preparing These For a Party?
While this recipe feeds eight, this Jalapeno Popper Zucchini Boats recipe could easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to feed a crowd! You could also cut the eight boats into smaller pieces and serve them with toothpicks for a fun party appetizer.
Want more party appetizer ideas? Get cooking with these 13 Tasty Treats to Bring to Your Next Party.
Jalapeno Popper Zucchini Boats
- 4 zucchini halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup cheddar cheese fat-free, shredded
- 6 turkey bacon strips cooked, crumbled
- 2 jalapeños seeds removed, minced
- 2 garlic cloves fresh, minced
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place cut side up on a baking sheet spray with non stick spray. Bake for about 10 minutes or just until the zucchini begins to soften.
- Remove zucchini from oven and let cool. Once cool to the touch, scoop out the middle of the zucchini to create a boat. Set aside the scooped portion.
- In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese. Mix on medium high speed until soft and fluffy. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the scooped out portion of the zucchini and add to the cream cheese, mix on low until combined. Gently stir in remaining ingredients.
- Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the center for the zucchini boats and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese mix is melt-y. Let cool slightly before serving.
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