Cheesy Pesto Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Cups Chopped Chicken, Cooked
  • 1/4 Cup Pesto
  • 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 3/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 Tsp Italian Spice Blend [like Mrs. Dash]
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Tomatoes
  • 6 Slices of Mozzarella or 2-4 oz Shredded Mozzarella
  • Fresh Parsley/Basil to Garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out/remove the seeds.
  3. To prevent sticking, rub the rim of the squash’s flesh with a small amount of olive oil or place a small amount of water inside baking dish.
  4. Place spaghetti squash inside baking dish face-down and bake for 40-60 minutes, until rock-hard exterior of the squash is softened. [Squash can be stored for up to 3-4 days after roasting in oven.]
  5. Toss chopped, cooked chicken in pesto in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  6. Add ricotta, Parmesan, garlic powder, dried parsley, and/or Italian seasoning together in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  7. Line each spaghetti squash with chopped tomato (or a thin layer of your favorite red sauce).
  8. Add a layer of ricotta mix to the spaghetti squash.
  9. Next, add a layer of pesto chicken. Sprinkle some additional chopped tomatoes.
  10. Top with mozzarella.
  11. Cover baking dish with foil, leaving some room at the top so the mozzarella doesn’t stick.
  12. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  13. Garnish with fresh parsley/basil leaves.
  14. Leftovers can be reheated via oven or microwave.

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NOTES

I love substituting spaghetti squash for spaghetti because it’s healthier, yet looks just as fantastic (if not more amazing). I was inspired to make this recipe based on the available leftovers in my fridge at the time. I did not use ricotta or fresh parsley/basil. I also improvised, instead of measuring out specific amounts. 

First, I baked the spaghetti squash until softened enough to scrape some of the insides into spaghetti-like “noodles.” Doing this scraping will later help with being able to mix everything during consumption. Then, I proceeded to add alternating layers (think lasagna) of tomatoes, chicken (I used chopped Kale and Mozzarella Chicken burger patties from Costco),  mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, pesto, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, and oregano. End result: Absolute deliciousness in a bowl. The hardest part is slicing the hard spaghetti squash in half prior to baking, but afterwards, it’s a pretty easy recipe.

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