Don’t be fooled by the title, you will be able to make this delicious dinner fit into your diet! The pasta is actually spaghetti squash, so it is a much lower carbohydrate and calorie-friendly option to satiate any pasta-cravers palate.
I am a sucker for spinach and artichoke anything! Pizzas (obviously..), dips, pinwheels, you name it! So I wanted to incorporate it into a high-protein chicken dish. I originally was just going to make a spinach and artichoke covered chicken, but I thought a pasta element would be perfect! Thus, the idea for spaghetti squash was born.
First, in order to be able to prepare this dish you must cook the spaghetti squash. I pierce the squash with a fork multiple times, place on a microwavable friendly plate, and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes. While that is in the microwave, preheat the oven to 350F. I allow that the squash to cool. Once cooled, I cut the squash in half length-wise. Remove the seeds from center of the squash. Place the squash cut sides down on a cookie sheet or baking pan lined with tin foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool. You can then scrap the insides of the squash–this will come out in strands, this is what you will be using as the “pasta” portion of the dish.
- Spaghetti Squash (I used 860 grams total– This was about 1 1/2 baked spaghetti Squash) — Feel free to use 1 total squash to save yourself from having to prepare two, but the macros will be a little different.
- 1/3 cup raw yellow onion
- nonstick cooking spray, or olive oil
- 3 tbs raw minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
- 3 ounces fat free cream cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped– approximately 1.5 cups
- 3 large handfuls of raw baby spinach
- 1.5 lbs of cooked chicken breast, cubed
- 1/2 cup Mozzerella cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
I began by cooking my onions in a LARGE (preferably with a high rim, 4 quarts or larger in size) saute pan with a bit of nonstick cooking spray, after about 3-4 minutes, I added in the garlic. I cooked that down for a couple minutes– I then added in the sour cream and the fat free cream cheese. Once the cream cheese is melted, I added 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (save the other 1/4 cup for the end)
When the Parmesan cheese is fully melted I added in the artichoke hearts and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Add in the cubed chicken breast to the mixture. Give a good stir to fully incorporate.
Lastly, add in your cooked spaghetti squash, remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, salt, pepper, and the chopped fresh parsley. Mix well. I used kitchen tongs to help mix– it will be a large portion.
Macros per 350 gram serving:
256 Calories 5.4 fat 21 carb 31.7 protein
This dish is also very high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium from the squash. Spaghetti squash contains antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, as well as many B vitamins, which promote cell function. I was unaware that this squash also contains some essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids— These are great for heart health and prevention of heart disease. Learn something new every day! I read this information here
As you can see, there are many health benefits for choosing spaghetti squash over pasta in your favorite dishes. I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe!