December 8, 2016

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

This is one of my favorite healthy and delicious meals!

It is such a go-to for me. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that we just had it last week, and the Big Guy will not appreciate back-to-back weeks of spaghetti squash since he really only tolerates it rather than embraces it.

Here is the best thing about this recipe - you can use it as a guide only. Mix it up with ingredients you like better than these. Often, I throw in some random leftovers or produce that will soon expire. Another reason it’s a favorite!

So, here’s how I usually go about making this recipe in phases.
I cook the spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot on a Sunday, maybe the chicken that day also.
These are the two ingredients that take the longest, so I try to get them out of the way. It makes my life easier, and who isn’t about easier?

Then, the night we are planning to eat the stuffed spaghetti squash, I cook the remaining ingredients, combine, sprinkle with some cheese and finish baking in the oven. Tadah!
For purposes of this post, I will provide instructions as if you were cooking the recipe at one time.

2 medium-small spaghetti squash [+/- 6 inches long]
2 chicken breasts, large, chopped in 1/2 – 1 inch chunks
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup pesto, extra to taste
1-2 cups fresh baby spinach, torn/chopped
1 extra large carrot, shredded
1 package sliced baby bella mushrooms
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz shredded cheese
1-2 Tbsp parsley to garnish

1. Cook spaghetti squash in the InstanPot or Oven. For Instant Pot instructions, click HERE.
If cooking in the oven, follow IP instructions except bake on 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

2. While the squash roast, cook chicken in skillet with grapeseed oil and garlic powder until chicken is no longer pink.

3. Remove cooked chicken from skillet and toss with pesto. Set aside.

4. In a small pot, heat a small amount of grapeseed oil to medium-high heat. Sauté the shredded carrot and mushrooms (or any other veggies except spinach) until tender.

5. Add the spinach and pesto chicken to sautéed vegetables. Stir until spinach is wilted.

6. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Now, add half of the cheese to the chicken and vegetable mixture.

8. Cut the spaghetti squash halves in half again to create 1/4 piece of squash. Then fluff the squash with a fork to loosen the strands.

9. Once fluffed, top the 1/4 piece of squash with the pesto chicken and vegetable mixture. Go ahead, just pile it on!

10. Lastly, sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over each piece and place in the oven long enough to melt the cheese (or warm thoroughly if your spaghetti squash was cooked in advance).

Recipe adapted from Peas and Crayons.

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