Comfort food gets lightened up thanks to spaghetti squash! You’ll love this gluten-free, cheesy, Pesto Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Spaghetti Squash and you won’t miss the pasta!
I can’t believe it’s already the end of October! Most of the fall leaves have fallen off the trees and everything is starting to look a little brown around here. Our weather is as bipolar as ever. Last week we started out in the 60’s, went up to the 80’s mid-week and then plummeted to the 40’s at the end of the week. Just like spring, fall this year has been all over the place.
Since fall is prime time for squash and you guys seem to like my stuffed spaghetti squash recipes, I thought it was time for a new one. Pesto Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is the perfect lower carb way to enjoy those comforting Italian flavors minus the pasta.
Just because it’s fall and the sweaters are on and the swimsuits are off doesn’t mean we need to forget about eating well for the next five months. Just remember that all the damage you do now you’ll be regretting come spring when you’re getting ready for that trip to the beach. That doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself once in a while or enjoy some of your favorite comfort foods, just keep it all in check.
One of my favorite ways to cut down on carbs and calories on days where I don’t have a hard workout or know I won’t be burning as many calories is to replace pasta with a lower carb option like zucchini, cauliflower or in this case spaghetti squash.
Not only are you getting a delicious pasta alternative and an extra serving of vegetables, but all the vitamins that are packed into spaghetti squash as well. One serving contains nearly 10 percent of your daily needs of vitamin C and this time of year I’ll take all the vitamin C I can get! Give this stuffed squash a try and I promise you won’t miss the pasta!
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons pesto, divided
- Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and garlic powder to taste
- 1/3 cup chopped roasted red peppers
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts for garnish (optional)
- Place the chicken in a resealable freezer bag along with 1 tablespoon of pesto and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Seal the bag and massage the pesto and seasoning into the chicken. Marinate for at least 15 minutes, but an hour or overnight is even better.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Drizzle or spray a little olive oil on the cut sides of the spaghetti squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the halves cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes (depending on the size of your squash) or until tender.
- While the squash roasts cook the chicken.
- Use a fork to scoop the squash flesh from the peel and to separate the flesh into strands. Place the strands in a bowl along with the cooked chicken.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of pesto, roasted red peppers, parmesan cheese, parsley and basil to the bowl and stir everything together until combined.
- Put the filling back into the squash shells and top with the shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475 Total Fat: 28g Saturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 110mg Sodium: 901mg Fiber: 4g Sugar: 7g Protein: 38g
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