Spaghetti squash makes a great foil for pasta and grains and “stuffed” dishes are always appealing and fun. This low carb stuffed spaghetti squash can be extremely versatile using chicken, pork sausage or ground beef as the protein in the stuffing. This particular recipe uses chicken, as chicken with enchilada sauce makes a stuffing that is familiar to most tastebuds, inexpensive and easy to cook. The recipe lends itself easily to adaptation and creativity however.
Using Spaghetti Squash as a Pasta Foil:
In this particular dish, the spaghetti squash strands have the taste and texture of rice noodles. I frequently use spaghetti squash as a bed for skillet dinners or stir frys, but they it is also great just as a side dish slathered with butter and some good salt.
Spaghetti squash is pretty simple to cook and can be ready in 10 minutes. Some people cook winter squash in an oven to get the full richness of a nutty winter squash. It’s not really necessary with spaghetti squash however, as the taste is so much lighter. I usually cook them like this:
- cut them in half lengthwise
- take a large spoon and scrape out the seeds
- turn them flesh-side-down onto a plate and microwave for 10 minutes
- let cool enough to handle them (or use a mitt) and then take a fork and scrape out the strands from the shell. They come out looking like…….well, like spaghetti!
Easy Adaptations for the Low Carb Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe:
The chicken in this recipe is easy, but it is fairly bland and needs a spice mix of some sort to liven it up. I used the harissa spice mix that we sell online, but there is a wide range of spice mixes that would be good. Choose your favorite and go with it. If you don’t want to bother with a mix, just add a little mild chile pepper or cayenne pepper. I’ve included a few spice mixes at the end of this post that you may want to try.
The type of protein could also be easily and tastefully adapted. Ground pork sauteed until no longer pink would be a good substitution that I plan to try next time. Hamburger or ground beef would work fine also. Any protein of your choice would work as long as it is shredded or fine enough to mix well with the somewhat delicate strands of squash.
Changing up the variety of cheese is another option, as is adding some sauteed onions or other vegetables. It’s really a great dish to experiment with as it’s tough to destroy it!
Low Carb Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe:
- 2 8-oz boneless,skinless chicken breasts
- 1 large spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce, divided
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
- 1 tsp spice mix (I used harissa, use your favorite spice mix – many would work)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- Add the chicken to a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the chicken about 15 minutes, or until no longer pink on inside. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let it cool a bit so you can handle it
- While the chicken is cooking, microwave the squash by placing the halved, seeded squash on a plate flesh-side down and microwaving for 10 minutes (or until flesh is tender).
- When the chicken is cool enough to work with, shred the chicken breasts with two forks and place in a large bowl.
- When the squash is cool enough to work with use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the bowl with the chicken. Set the intact shells aside. Add 1 cup enchilada sauce, zucchini, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp spice mix to the chicken/squash mixture. Mix everything together thoroughly.
- Place the shells on a broiler-safe pan and divide the mixture between the shells. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and the shredded cheese.
- Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes. If a deeper browned cheese crust is desired, move pan to the upper rack and turn the broiler to high for a couple of minutes (watch carefully)
- To serve, cut each shell in half (they are filling, 1/2 shell is usually enough for 1 serving).
- CAL 408
- FAT 22 CARBS 20 G
- SUGARS 7 G
- PROTEIN 34 G
- FIBER 4 G
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