Squash and cheese, baby. It’s mac and cheese’s lighter, healthier counterpart. Trust me, you will not miss the mac one bit.
If you’ve never baked spaghetti squash, it is SO easy. Simply slice, bake, shred out the goods and discard the shells. It also makes A LOT. I used a relatively small squash and it easily made four servings. Hellllo easy weeknight dinner!
Speaking of easy, this whole recipe is super simple and requires very little prep work. Once the squash is cooked, the remainder of the recipe takes about 15 minutes to throw together. Best of all – it’s all made in ONE PAN. If you loathe doing dishes even half as much as I do, go ahead and break out your happy dance.
I used Trader Joe’s Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage, though Al Fresco also makes a Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage that is sold is most major grocery stores. Can’t go wrong with either!
The sausage is pre-cooked, though I like to brown it just a bit in a sauté pan to bring out all of that delicious flavor.Super creamy thanks to the secret weapon: part-skim ricotta cheese. Mixed with low sodium chicken broth and a generous amount of garlic, these ingredients team up to create a seemingly rich sauce that is very low calorie. No need to feel guilty about going in for seconds 😉
Easy cheesy meal lovin’ people rejoice!
Creamy Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage and Spinach
Makes ~5 cups prepared; Serves four
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash (~2 lbs)
- 3 links of chicken sausage of choice – I used Trader Joe’s Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage – cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 large handfuls of fresh spinach
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season with salt and pepper and bake about 1 hour, or longer if needed on a baking sheet, cut side down. Let cool for ~15 minutes. Using a fork, shred “spaghetti” out of squash and discard shells.
- In the meantime, in a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped chicken sausage and sauté ~3-4 minutes per side, until browned. Remove from pan and reduce heat to low. Add remaining tbsp of olive oil and minced garlic. Cook ~2 minutes until aromatic. Turn heat back up to medium and add spinach. Cook spinach until wilted (1-2 minutes). Add ricotta and chicken broth and mix well until combined. Return chicken sausage to pan and let mixture simmer on low heat for ~5 minutes.
- Place spaghetti squash in a large bowl and pour ricotta mixture over it. Mix until combined. Top with shredded parmesan (optional) and serve. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts per Serving (1 1/4 cup)
Calories: 245; Total Fat: 13 gm; Saturated Fat: 4 gm; Cholesterol: 127 mg; Sodium: 350 mg; Carbohydrates: 18 gm; Fiber: 3 gm; Sugar: 8 gm; Protein: 14 gm