Chicken Enchilada Squash Boats

It has been a bit of a blogging lull for me the last couple weeks.  I got sick.  Sicker than I can remember being in a long time!  And being out of commission for a week left me behind on life!  I am getting back into the swing of things finally and excited to share this recipe with you...writing this post makes me want to eat it again!

I saw this recipe for Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats on the Skinny Taste blog and I couldn't wait to make them.  I had loads of yellow squash that I got from Market on the Move that needed to be used up right away and I am currently obsessed with homemade enchilada sauce...so it was meant to be!  I adapted the recipe a little bit to make more....because we eat a lot I guess.  You can definitely eat 2-3 of these boats without feeling super stuffed because they're so low-cal/carb. We liked this so much that I made them a few days later for my sister in-law after she had a baby and they loved it too!

I would like to say that, making homemade enchilada sauce is key. You can absolutely sub a can of sauce if you have to/want to...but the homemade sauce makes it!  On the Skinny Taste blog she gives nutrition facts, I changed the recipe a little bit and added a little more chicken, so this recipe may be a few more calories but that would be a good guideline if you're curious!

Chicken Enchilada Squash Boats
recipe adapted from Skinny Taste

Enchilada Sauce--I recommend making it!  Half the recipe is plenty so freeze the rest for later.

6-7 medium yellow squash or zucchini
1 colored bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 c. red onion, finely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/3-1/2 c. chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
2 Tb. tomato paste
1/4 c. + 2 Tb. water
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb chicken, cooked & shredded (crockpot, boiled, grilled, however you like)
shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Wash and dry the squash and slice lengthwise in half.  Using a small spoon or scoop, scoop out the insides of the squash and set aside, leaving a 1/4 around the edges.  Place the squash boats upside down on a plate and microwave 1-3 minutes.  You want to just take the crispness off of the raw squash. After a minute rearrange them on the plate to get even cooking.  While you are par-cooking the squash boats, chop the reserved flesh that you  have set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 400. Heat oil in a large skillet and saute onions & bell pepper over medium heat 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to soften.  Add in chopped squash and continue cooking a few more minutes.  Stir in chopped cilantro & garlic and season with salt & pepper, cumin, chili powder and oregano.  Stir in the tomato paste and water, reduce heat to medium-low and let everything cook together 2 minutes.  Mix in the shredded chicken and heat through.  At this point if you would like the filling a little saucier, pour in a little bit of the enchilada sauce to your liking.  

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray (you may need a second pan depending on the size of your squash).  Pour a little bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Fill each boat with chicken filling, press it down and place in the pan.  Top each boat with 2 Tb. enchilada sauce and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. Cover the pan(s) with foil and bake 30 minutes.  Any leftover chicken filling makes for a great salad topping or also would freeze well. This is a great meal to serve with cilantro lime rice, chips and salsa, or Mexican style pinto beans.

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