These easy cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a must-try appetizer! They channel all the flavor of a crispy fried jalapeño popper in a healthier baked zucchini boat!
I did something a bit naughty the other day.
I threw caution to the wind and gave into my unshakable jalapeño popper craving. It was unavoidable really, what else are you supposed to do with a garden full of spicy green peppers?
I’ve made it through nearly my entire arsenal of fiery jalapeño recipes this Summer. We faceplanted into jalapeno dip, spicy chickpea veggie burgers with jalapeños both IN and ON the burger itself, sweet potato nachos, tacos, taco salads, and all the usual eats. I even froze and pickled them by the bowlful.
Yet here I sit, with eleventy billion still staring me in the face and more on the way. I had no other choice but to make jalapeño poppers. Poor me, right?
Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Of course I decided to get weird about it and stuff my easy, cheesy jalapeño filling into Summer’s other favorite veggie: zucchini!
I suspected they would be awesome, but I cannot even begin to elaborate on how amazing these were. I’m talking face-planting, finger-licking, plate-licking, party-throwing, table-dancing, cannot-stop-eating AMAZING.
Did I mention they’re quick and easy too? You can serve them as an appetizer, after-school snack, side dish paired with your favorite protein and a big salad. Or if you’re my husband and I, you can make them for lunch and regret nothing!!!
Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats
These easy cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a must-try appetizer!
- 3 zucchini squash
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 3 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese plus extra for topping
- 3-4 TBSP plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1-2 TBSP diced jarred/pickled jalapeños
- 1 jalapeño (seeds/stem removed + minced)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- parsley to garnish optional
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes.
Remove from water with tongs, run under cold water, and set aside.
Once cool enough to handle, use a mellon baller, spoon, or pairing knife to scoop out the seeds from the center of the zucchini out (potato-skin style!) leaving maybe 1/4 inch or so to maintain shape.
Soften cream cheese on the counter or in the microwave for 30 seconds, until easily stirred.
Add yogurt (or sour cream), 2/3 of your cheddar cheese, pickled and fresh jalapeños, garlic powder, and salt.
Add as much jalapeño as you want to control the heat. As written, they’re medium.
Mix well and set aside.
For an extra-golden, extra-crispy topping, toast your panko in a skillet on medium-low heat with a teeny bit of butter, oil, or spray oil until golden. This is optional but delicious!
Blot your zucchini dry with a paper towel and spoon in your filling, approx. 2-3 TBSP of filling per zucchini boat. Top with remaining cheddar (and even extra if you’re feeling super cheesy!) and sprinkle panko on top.
Bake at 400 degrees F on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes until tender yet firm. For softer squash, feel free to add a few extra minutes bake time.
For extra-melty poppers, microwave for 30 seconds before serving. (optional but OMG cheesy!)
Garnish with parsley if desired and dig in!
Feel free to use all pickled or all fresh jalapeños for this recipe, depending on what you have on hand! I looooove the taste of pickled jalapeños mixed in with the fresh ones and always include both, hence the measurements. Anything goes – just rock those jalapeños! Use a little – or a LOT!
Adjust down for mild and amp things up with extra fresh jalapeño for a supremely spicy popper. You can even amp things up further with a little hot sauce mixed into the filling! Have fun with it + let your taste buds be your guide!
This recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to feed a crowd! As written it yields 6 zucchini boats, which can be cut in smaller pieces and served with toothpicks for a fun party appetizer.
Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!
If you get a chance to try these Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!
Gluten-free friends, fret not!
You have a few delicious options here ❤️ First off, you can snag a package of gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and call it a day. You can also snag your favorite gluten-free bread and make homemade breadcrumbs out of them. Lastly, you can 110% skip the panko topping altogether and opt for sliced or diced jalapeños on top of the cheese. <<<- I’m totally trying this next round (with extra cheddahh) because YUM!
Make ’em hot, medium, or mild!
These Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats can be made melt-your-face-off spicy, medium, or mild super easily! As written, I found them to be on the medium side. They had a little punch but weren’t fan-your-face spicy by any means, more zesty than anything.
Adjust down for mild and amp things up with extra fresh jalapeño for a supremely spicy popper. ? You can even amp things up further with a little hot sauce mixed into the filling! Have fun with it + let your taste buds be your guide!
Super amazing right?! You guys have GOT to make this!
Wait, why are you still reading?
To the kitchen! You need these easy, cheesy jalapeño popper stuffed zucchini in your life pronto.