An easy and delicious low carb feast, Italian Chicken Zucchini Boats is made with shredded chicken, homemade Pomodoro sauce and mozzarella cheese. This is one of our secret tools to surviving the low carb diet.
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As of this week my husband has lost 40 lbs.
He is probably going to kill me when he reads this as he is a very private person but I am going to share this with you none the less.
I am beyond proud of him not only because of the weight loss but also because he made a commitment to himself and he is sticking to that commitment so extremely well.
Part of this journey for him has been to follow a low-carb approach to eating.
Not a Ketogenic approach, but rather keeping the net carbs consumed at one sitting around 12 grams.
Part of my responsibility in his journey is coming up with interesting and delicious meals that help keep him satisfied and happy.
Without a shadow of a doubt these Italian Chicken Zucchini Boats have done just that.
Between the flavorful Pomodoro sauce, hearty zucchini and the satisfying chicken and cheese, we both were quite content.
Why Make Chicken Zucchini Boats
Trying to feel satisfied while eating a low carb diet can be extremely challenging at times. The more recipes you have that fill you up while putting a smile on your face, the better. These Chicken Zucchini Boats do exactly that. They are easy to make, full of flavor, healthy and a wonderful way to use the abundance of fresh zucchini this time of year.
In addition, if you are struggling trying to get fresh veggies into your kids and/or family, these Stuffed Zucchini are the way to go.
How To Prepare Zucchini For Stuffed Courgette
To prepare zucchini, also know as courgette, wash and trim stems. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a larger soup spoon, carefully scrape out the seeds leaving a hollow space for the shredded chicken and Pomodoro Sauce filling. Spray a large roasting pan with a healthy nonstick cooking spray and line pan with zucchini halves, hollow side facing up.
I have a question. Am I the only one who thinks large chunks of shredded chicken breast is one of the most amazing ways to eat chicken? When it’s shredded into large chunks it has a very satisfying texture, while holding onto sauces extremely well. There are two main ways to easily make incredibly juicy and delicious shredded chicken.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Place chicken breasts in the bottom of Instant Pot with 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Place lid on pot and close to sealed. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes for smaller breasts and high pressure for 8 minutes for larger breasts. Once time has elapsed allow a natural release for 5 mins. Simply put, a natural release means to allow Instant Pot to sit untouched for 5 mins while the float valve slowly lowers. A quick release may be needed after the 5 minute period by using a long handled spoon to carefully turn steam release handle. Once all the steam has been released and the float valve is lowered, it is safe to open the Instant Pot.
At this point the chicken breasts should have an internal temperature of 165℉ and no longer be pink. If either of these are not achieved, place chicken back into Instant Pot and continue cooking on high pressure for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Once chicken is completely cooked transfer onto a large plate and using two forks, pull apart chicken breasts into large chunks. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Poaching Method for Shredded Chicken
Add boneless skinless chicken to a large pot and fill with cold water, covering 1 inch above chicken. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper to the water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower to a simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165℉ and is no longer pink.
Once cooked, carefully remove chicken breasts and place onto a large plate. While chicken breasts are still hot, use two forks to pull apart chicken into large chunks. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.
Pro Tip: It is much easier to shred chicken when breasts have just finished cooking and are still very hot. DO NOT use your hands to shred as it will cause burning. Rather, use a fork in each hand and pull the meat apart with the prongs of the fork.
Pomodoro Sauce is a quick, fresh and crazy flavorful Italian tomato sauce. I personally use canned San Marazano tomatoes because quite frankly, they are the best. Also, either fresh or dried herbs may be used. The key to making a great Pomodoro Sauce is to personalize it to your taste preferences with the total amount of garlic and herbs.
With zucchini being extremely low in calories, approximately 33 calories for 1 medium courgette, it can be a huge support in keeping calories within moderate range to support weight loss. In addition, zucchini is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals making it a helpful tool in maintaining optimal health.
More Satisfying Low Carb Meals
More Delicious Italian Dinners
Italian Chicken Zucchini Boats
- 6 med zucchini *about 3-3 1/2 lbs
- 2-2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 8 oz whole milk low moisture mozzarella *grated, approximately 2 cups
- 1 med brown onion *diced, about 1 cup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp minced garlic *about 4-6 lg garlic cloves
- 1 28 oz can San Marazano tomatoes
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh oregano *or 2 tbsp dried
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil (about 3 sprigs) *or 2 tbsp dried
- sea salt & pepper *to taste
- Place chicken in a large pot and add cold water, covering 1 inch above chicken breasts. To the water add sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower temperature to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 mins or until internal temperature reaches 165℉.
- Once poached carefully remove chicken breasts onto a large plate. Using 2 forks immediatley pull apart chicken into large chuncks. Do not use hands as this will cause burning. Once shredded sprinkle with addittional salt and pepper if needed and set aside. Note: See in post above for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken instructions.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium/high heat. Add oil and onions. Sauté until onions begin to soften, about 3 mins. Add garlic and continue sautéing for another 2 mins. Note: If using dried herbs add them in at the same time as the garlic.
- Raise heat to high and add in canned tomatoes along with juice. Using a spatula break apart tomatoes into large chunks. Simmer for 7-8 mins,stirring frequently. Add in fresh herbs the last few minutes of simmering. Take off heat and stir in shredded chicken.
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Wash and trim stems of zucchini.
- Carefully cut zuchini in half lengthwise.
- Using the egde of a large soup spoon scrape the inner seeds form zucchini halves leaving a hollow space running the length of the zucchini.
- Spray a large roasting/lasagna pan with healthy cooking spray and line pan with zucchini halves, hollow side facing up.
- Fill each zucchini half evenly with shredded chicken and Pomodoro sauce mixture.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for 30 mins or until zucchini reaches desired doneness.
- 2 roasting pans will be needed if large lasagna pan is not available.
- Sauce and chicken can be prepared earlier in the day or the day before for a quick dinner.
- Leftovers make great lunches or can be frozen for a quick & easy dinner at a later date.