“Lettuce Wrap” Zucchini Boats

It’s been a few years since I have successfully grown zucchini.  You might ask how is that possible.  Zucchini grows profusely for everyone.  People sneak it onto neighbors’ porches just to get rid of it.

It’s not easy growing for me and the squash bugs.   I even went to a vegetable gardening class last year with a regionally famous horticulturist.  His advice…buy zucchini at the farmers markets.  It’s too hard to fight the squash bugs.

Enter my mother (who by the way is a Master Gardener).  She told me to start spraying a mixture of diluted tea tree oil on the stalk as soon as leaves were formed.  It is the miracle cure.

My first zucchini and my first (and only) tomato.

I’m not overrun with squash (yet) but I have picked four beauties.   I’ve made bread, pickles and this entree.  I adapted a P.F. Chang knock-off Lettuce Wrap recipe to kick this dish off.

“Lettuce Wrap” Zucchini Boats


Need to use up the extra zukes from your garden (or your neighbors)? This is a great way to do it.


  • 1 large zucchini (or 2 medium ones)
  • 3 T. toasted sesame oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 c. hoisin sauce
  • 2 T. lite soy sauce
  • 1 T. seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 T. Sriracha (not optional here)
  • 1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 T. Holy Basil (tulsi) or Thai basil, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Trim the stem end of the zucchini, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out a small channel of seeds with a spoon (but an ice cream scoop works great here).  Place the zucchini in one layer on a sheet pan, brush generously all over with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.  Turn the zucchini cut side down. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until just tender but still firm when tested with the tip of a small paring knife.
  2. Heat remaining sesame oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the chicken as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  3. Stir in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha until onions have become translucent, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in chestnuts and green onions until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Stir in basil saving a bit more for garnishing.
  6. Remove zucchinis from the oven and place on serving platter.  Spoon chicken mixture into the scooped out squash.  Garnish with more basil as desired.
  7. Serve.

Yield:  4


For more zucchini recipes, click here.

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