Spaghetti Squash Chicken Pesto

*Just a note to all of our vegan and vegetarian friends: The following recipe contains chicken and parmesan cheese. Please tune in again later for more veg friendly posts!*

This is the third in a series of posts on squash, the first was acorn squash, and the second was kabocha squash. After Christy schooled me in squash a few weeks ago, Mike and I tried making spaghetti squash for the first time. He topped it with canned tomato sauce and I threw on a vegetable mix.

Last week we were grocery shopping on Fresh Direct and decided to try spaghetti squash again. Pesto sauce won this round, since canned tomatoes are off my nutritional plan and Mike wanted an unprocessed alternative.

In the mood for an omnivore meal we picked out organic, free range chicken (how to choose chicken is something I’m still researching, so that will be a post for another day). To save a little time, we bought Fresh Direct’s Green Basil & Pignoli Pesto. It was made by their chefs, so no weird preservatives or ingredients.

On Sunday evening at 7:00, Mike put the squash in the oven while I was steaming vegetables. The Steelers, his favorite team, were playing Sunday night football so around 7:40 we seasoned the chicken with garlic and italian seasoning and popped it in the oven. Then at 8:00, Mike assembled the ingredients for our quick and healthy meal under my camera’s eye. We were eating before the 8:20 kickoff. Take a look!

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Well, this is a little embarrassing: I didn’t get a final photo of the meal because I was so hungry I started eating the minute it was on my plate!

Mike deemed the meal satisfying and said we should eat tons more squash. As a pasta lover, I was a bit disappointed. I love pasta so much I eat it plain! I think I heaped on a little too much pesto (maybe in an effort to disguise the lack of pasta). The pesto was a little oily for my taste–but that could be because I used too much. Also, since I rarely eat oil, my taste buds are more sensitive to it.

I think we’ll definitely try spaghetti squash again and next time I might make my own pesto–or use less of it.

Have you ever cooked spaghetti squash? How do you feel about pasta or carb replacements? 



  1. Funny thing about carbs … they help the body produce serotonin. That’s why depressed/blue/sad people tend to crave them — natural antidepressant.

    That said, any time I can make my carb intake healthier and less processed, I’m all for it. I like squash, but I’ve never tried spaghetti squash, might have to give it a whirl sometime. what’s the texture like? is it kinda sweet like most squash?

    (Also, am I bizarrely fascinated by differences in dinner-eating time. I’ve almost always eaten dinner between 5 and 6 unless there were extenuating circumstances … except during my semester in NYC, when I ate closer to 7 most nights)

    1. I didn’t know that about carbs. Very interesting! All I know is there part of a balanced diet and I absolutely love them. Like you said, cutting back on processed carbs is good idea. I try to eat brown rice, quinoa and sprouting bread for most of my grains. Sometimes I throw in some wheat pasta because I love it so much.

      Spaghetti squash isn’t sweet like other squash. It has a bland flavor, which is why it’s good for a pasta replacement. It’s also a little bit firmer and crunchier than pasta or other baked squash.

      My “dinner time” varies based on plans for the evening. Mike and I often eat later because of work or other scheduling conflicts. I eat at least five times a day, so if I know we’ll be eating a late dinner together I have a snack. Or I’ll eat a full meal and then have a snack with him when he eats dinner. I do something similar when I go out to eat with other people. Last Sunday, when we made the spaghetti squash I was simultaneously steaming vegetables, so we were both picking at those for about an hour before we ate. Sort of a warm, grazing salad, if you will.

      1. Thanks for the flavor info. That makes sense for it as a pasta replacement then — easy to blend other flavors.

        And yeah, if I ate dinner late for whatever reason, I would definitely start spacing meals out differently and add snacks. As it is I sometimes have a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack (almonds, fruit, etc) but not regularly.

        Not to pick on you or anyone … I just find it interesting.

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