Cheesy Pesto Chicken and Veggie Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is one of our favorite ways to eat spaghetti squash! This crazy colorful recipe is easy, cheesy, and full of flavor!
2 medium-small spaghetti squash (approx. 1.5 lbs each and 6-7 inches long)
2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup pesto plus extra to taste
1-2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
1 extra large carrot (shredded)
1 medium red bell pepper pepper (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
6-8 oz shredded cheese
1-2 TBSP fresh parsley to garnish
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. For easy cutting, feel free to stick each squash in the microwave for 5 minutes to soften it up just a tad. The knife slides through way easier this way!
Next grab a lipped baking sheet or a rimmed baking dish.
To prevent sticking, rub the cut side of the squash with a teeny bit of olive oil or simply place a little water inside your baking dish. Both work great!
Place inside a baking dish or atop rimmed, lined baking sheet [some liquid will escape] and roast face-down for 30-40 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Cooking time will vary a bit depending on the size of your squash, and the once rock-hard exterior of the squash will be visibly softened.
The squash can be roasted and stored in the fridge for a few days if you’d like to meal prep and plan ahead for a speedier dinner. You can also make the whole shebang one weekend and pop it in the fridge until about 30 minutes before dinnertime. Wind up with a little bit leftover? It reheats marvelously the following day! Now let’s get back to the recipe!
While the squash roast, cook chicken via your favorite method or squirrel away leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. I poached mine.
Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and toss with pesto.
In a small pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil to medium-high heat and sauté your bell pepper and carrot for a few minutes until tender. Next add the spinach and pesto chicken and stir to wilt the spinach.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Next add your cheese to the hot mixture. Mix a little over half the cheese in with the chicken and veggies and save the rest for topping.
To stuff the squash you can simply pile on your pesto chicken and veggies or fluff the squash first with a fork before stirring in all you yummy mix-ins so there’s yummy squash in every bite!
Top with the rest of your grated cheese and cover the baking dish in foil, leaving a little room at the top [like a tent!] so the cheese doesn’t stick.
Bake at 350 degrees F for around 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Garnish with fresh parsley and/or basil leaves and dig in!
Though this dish has a few components that are all cooked differently, don’t fret! You can cook the chicken while the squash roasts and the veggies while the chicken poaches and, before you know it, the kitchen will be clean and you’ll have food in your face. Love it!
I poached my chicken (I love how tender and juicy it gets) but you can literally use any method of cooking chicken that your happy heart desires, seriously! Bake it, grill it, slap it in a slow cooker, snag leftover chicken from last night’s roast or even pick up a rotisserie at the store… anything goes!