Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Bake with Chicken & Tomatoes.

I have been holding out on sharing this recipe because I am so excited about it, even though it might not look that delicious... bland-colored food is tough to photograph! It involves the lovely pale yellow spaghetti squash.

K and I have been eating a lot of spaghetti squash over the past winter and fall {can I say past yet about winter? It was 25 degrees yesterday}. For awhile it was only using recipes for an actual spaghetti substitute, like the Iowa Girl Eats recipe for Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs. Then we moved on to more exotic recipes, like Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai from A Couple Cooks {delicious, you have to try it!}

I find spaghetti squash to be my favorite alternative to rice or pasta, if that's your jam. I'm not anti rice or pasta, but it's nice to mix things up sometimes. Recently I was looking up the history of squash in a search for recipes, and found out it is considered to be one of the first foods cultivated by Native Americans. Also, it is a fruit, not a vegetable. Who knew?

This particular recipe uses one of my favorite Irish cheeses, and it was my first time tasting the Blarney Castle style of cheese. It did not disappoint!

You can definitely use pre-shredded cheese in this recipe instead, but I think fresh shredded works best because of the melting factor. That's a scientific term.

Spaghetti Squash Bake with Chicken & Tomatoes
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 cup grape tomatoes {sliced}
1 cup shredded chicken {I used rotisserie}
1 yellow onion {chopped}
2 cloves garlic {minced}
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + 2 teaspoons
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 cup skim milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup bread crumbs
Dash of salt and black pepper

How to~
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the spaghetti squash by slicing it in half and removing the seeds. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Roast the spaghetti squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet for ~45 minutes to 1 hour. {The required time depends on the size of the squash/heat of your oven. I check mine at 30 minutes and every 5-10 minutes thereafter}.
  • When the squash is done roasting, use a fork to remove the flesh and set it aside.
  • Heat a saute pan and add olive oil. Saute chopped garlic and onion for ~3 minutes on medium, stirring occasionally. Add cornstarch and stir.
  • While the garlic/onion is cooking, shred cheese and slice tomatoes in half. 
  • Add chicken broth and milk to the saute pan and increase the heat, whisking occasionally for 3 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken. Add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and salt, to taste.
  • Remove sauce from heat and stir in cheese until melted, about one minute.
  • Stir in squash, peas, sliced tomatoes, and shredded chicken. Add to baking dish and top with 1/3 cup bread crumbs.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for ~20 minutes.

{Adapted from Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese by Gina's Skinny Recipes}

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