Spaghetti squash with spinach, mushrooms and chicken tossed in a creamy roasted red pepper sauce. A dish so divine and satisfying, you’ll never believe how light and nutritious it is.
There are numerous ways to roast red peppers at home, however my preferred method is in the oven. Though I will warn you in advance, these babies know how to produce some smoke! I would recommend either turning your oven fan on or opening a nearby door or window. I managed to set my fire alarm off three times during the roasting process, thanks to my charming 1-bedroom condo. Assuming your living quarters are a tad more spacious than mine, you should be able to make it through this process unscathed. And trust me, SO worth it.
Not only did we roast red peppers for this sauce, we also roasted a big head of GARLIC. For those of you who don’t roast garlic on a regular basis, TRUST ME: you’re wandering around in a culinary void. Roasting garlic brings out a sweet, mellow, almost buttery flavor that is extremely versatile in recipes. Mix it in mashed potatoes, mix it with a little mayo and use as a spread, toss it into steamed veggies or simply toss it in your favorite pasta dish. So undeniably delicious. I literally eat them by the clove. Maybe that’s why I’m still single……. LOL jk 😉 thank you, Altoids.
Anyhoo, it’s no shocker I’ve posted another squash dish. If it weren’t squash, you know it’d be something pumpkin. I’m trying to pull the reigns back on my pumpkin addiction. Though now I seemed to have over-compensated with squash. Anyone have any recipes requests they’d like to see that do NOT include the before-mentioned??
The all-star of this recipe really is the sauce. You could add in whichever veggies or protein source you’d like. I personally love the combination of sautéed mushrooms with red peppers and garlic, though zucchini or even brussels would be mighty tasty. Get creative! It’s your party on a plate.
As I’ve mentioned, roasting a spaghetti squash makes a LOT of food. This recipe could easily feed a family or serve as the perfect lunch to pack up during the work week. It’s also fine to freeze and reheat for later use. Pair it with a side salad or some crusty Italian bread and you have yourself a ridiculously nutritious, delicious meal.
Let’s just hope your fire alarm won’t repeatedly yell at you like mine did. Cheers!
Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (should make ~4-5 cups cooked)
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves from one head of roasted garlic (if you chose to not roast garlic, simply use 2 cloves of minced garlic)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 pack of fresh white mushrooms, sliced
- 3 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil for cooking
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Slice red pepper into halves and remove the stem and seeds. Place the red pepper halves on foil with the skin side up. Roast for ~20 minutes, until the skin gets nice and charred.
- Remove the blackened red peppers from the oven. Using tongs, place them in a zip-close bag to allow them to steam. Set the bag aside and leave the peppers to sit for 20 minutes. Remove the skin from the peppers after they have had a chance to cool. The blackened skin should easily peel off. Transfer red pepper to food processor.
- Decrease oven heat to 400ºF. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Rub flesh with a little olive oil and bake for 1 hour, cut side up. This is also the ideal time to roast the garlic. Simply remove some of the peel and trim the top off the head of garlic. Drizzle olive oil over the exposed surface. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and place directly on oven rack. Roast for 1 hour – remove the garlic and spaghetti squash at the same time. Add 3 cloves of roasted garlic to food processor.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add chicken, cook 5 minutes, turn and cook 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Slice in strips or bite-sized pieces once cool enough to handle.
- Maintain heat of skillet and add another tsp of olive oil. Add diced onion and cook until softened, ~3-4 minutes. Transfer to food processor. Add mushrooms to skillet and cook until tender, ~4-5 minutes. Add spinach and sauté until wilted, ~1-2 minutes. Add cooked spaghetti squash and chicken. Reduce heat to low.
- Once roasted red pepper, garlic and sautéed onions have been added to the food processor, add chicken broth and basil and process mixture until pureed. Pour sauce into skillet and toss to combine. Serve.