Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash
Indulge in a flavorful and nutritious twist on traditional pasta with Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash, a delicious low-carb alternative that's sure to satisfy your cravings without compromising on taste. This vibrant dish combines tender strands of roasted spaghetti squash with succulent chicken, fragrant basil pesto, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella cheese for a mouthwatering meal that's both hearty and wholesome.
- pizza pan or baking sheet
- mixing bowl
- baking dish
- 1 spaghetti squash (medium)
- 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless (diced)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
- ½ cup basil pesto (store-bought or Homemade Basil Pesto)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese balls (cherry size)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Olive oil (for drizzling)
- Fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare the Squash: Carefully halve the spaghetti squash lengthwise using a sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. Drizzle the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the Squash: Place the squash halves cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the flesh is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Prepare the Chicken: While the squash is roasting, season the diced chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Shred the Squash: Using a fork, scrape the cooked flesh of the spaghetti squash into strands. Place the strands in a mixing bowl.
- Combine Ingredients: Add the cooked chicken, halved cherry tomatoes, and basil pesto to the mixing bowl with the spaghetti squash. Toss until well combined.
- Assemble and Bake: Transfer the chicken and squash mixture to a baking dish. Add the mozzarella cheese balls.
- Bake: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve: Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve hot and enjoy!
- Feel free to customize the recipe with your favorite protein, such as shrimp or tofu, and additional vegetables like spinach or bell peppers.
- For a vegetarian option, omit the chicken and add extra vegetables or plant-based protein alternatives.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
- To make this dish ahead of time, you can roast the spaghetti squash and cook the chicken in advance. Simply assemble and bake the dish when ready to serve for a quick and convenient meal.