Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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!

Easy Zucchini Appetizers

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 Recipe

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 Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Zucchini
5 from 9 votes

Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These easy cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a must-try appetizer!

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 158 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – peas and crayons


  • 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


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  3. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from water with tongs, run under cold water, and set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. Soften cream cheese on the counter or in the microwave for 30 seconds, until easily stirred.
  7. Add yogurt (or sour cream), 2/3 of your cheddar cheese, pickled and fresh jalapeños, garlic powder, and salt.
  8. Add as much jalapeño as you want to control the heat. As written, they’re medium.
  9. Mix well and set aside.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. For extra-melty poppers, microwave for 30 seconds before serving. (optional but OMG cheesy!)
  14. Garnish with parsley if desired and dig in!

Recipe Notes

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!

Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Amount Per Serving
Calories 158 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 36mg12%
Sodium 260mg11%
Potassium 313mg9%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 645IU13%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 151mg15%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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!

Zucchini Boats
Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini

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.

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Recipe Rating


  • Susan Reed

    5 stars
    I had to cook mine foe about 15 mins longer but WOW! These are such a delicious appetizer and treat!!
    Thank you for posting the recipe!

    • So happy to hear you’re enjoying the recipe Susan – thank you!

  • Marsha

    5 stars
    Welp these are amazing- and a great way to use zucchini! I was really starting to get sick of these suckers this summer. Anyways I took a risk and saved myself the time and extra pot to wash in the sink and foregoed the blanching! They came out perfect without it 😊

  • Kathy

    5 stars
    What a great recipe. Tastes like a popper without the deep fryer. We used 3 fresh jalapeños and left seeds in 1 just for the perfect heat. Definitely recommend the crisping the bread crumbs.

    • So glad you enjoyed the recipe Kathy – thanks! I’m totally with you on crisping up the breadcrumbs. It makes them so golden and flavorful!

  • Tracey Roush

    5 stars
    This was amazing! My first year growing zuchinni and wondering what to do with it. Lots of sauteed with onions mushrooms and peppers. Bread, obviously. Your recipe was comparable with jalapeno poppers with the added bonus of being healthier.
    Thank you so much!

  • Regan

    It’s my first time on your page and I just wanted to say that ‘Peas and Crayons’ is an adorable name, I love it. Will be making these for my zucchini-hating (and jalapeño popper-loving) son! 🙂

    • Thank you Regan! I’m so honored you’re here! xoxo

  • April

    5 stars
    These are fabulous! I’m going to have to add them to my regular meal rotation.

  • Joanie

    5 stars
    These are so addictive, I could make a meal out of them. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  • John Piotrowski

    5 stars
    Garden has lots and lots of zucchini, more than I can give away. This is a great way to use excess zucchini. A little filling goes a long way, but more is better!

  • Denise Novakovic

    Can you freeze them to eat in the wintertime?

    • I’m not sure, but for sure let me know if you get a chance to try it Denise! I’ve never frozen zucchini before that wasn’t nestled into bread or a veggie burger so far 🙂

  • Yum! This is a good option for those that don’t do spicy.

    • Oh for sure! It can be made super mild + manageable if needed. Thanks Debbie! 🙂

  • Michelle

    5 stars
    Yum! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Funny, I have been craving jalapeno poppers too! What a great way to make them healthy (and use up all that crazy summer squash).

    • It’s a tasty craving to have! <3 Thanks Annie!

    • Joyce White

      5 stars
      Hi Annie What do you do with the inside of Zucchini do you scoop it out and use that as well?

      • Hi Joyce! You can scoop it and use it in another recipe or simply discard. I try to only scoop the seed portion without losing too much of the zucchini goodness!

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