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Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

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Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner. It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner.  It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!  #FallFlavors #spaghettisquash #ChickenParm

 

I had a debate on this recipe. The debate was between using chicken breasts or like a breaded chicken tender. I’ve been playing with chicken breast tenders for another recipe and thought about using them for this recipe. But I decided to go the healthy route and stick with the chicken breasts.

 

What is spaghetti squash?

 

When I was growing up, we had green and yellow squash. That’s it. None of these acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and other squashes. And we only ate pumpkin in pie. Never in a soup or roasted as a side vegetable for dinner.

 

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner.  It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!  #FallFlavors #spaghettisquash #ChickenParm

 

Spaghetti squash is a fun squash. It’s a winter squash that has a pretty hard outer skin. Which makes it perfect for stuffing. They range in color from ivory to a darker orange. The darker orange having the highest amount of carotene. 

 

Mine was about the size of a football. They average about 12 inches in length and 6 inches in diameter. Mine was a little narrower around than that. It was the perfect size for just two people. 

 

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner.  It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!  #FallFlavors #spaghettisquash #ChickenParm

 

When you cook a spaghetti squash, the flesh easily shreds into long strands like spaghetti. Hence, its name. It does this because of the way the fruit grows. The flesh of the squash wraps themselves around the axis of the fruit. Growing in long strands inside the fruit.

 

What does spaghetti squash taste like?

 

It’s actually pretty bland. Spaghetti squash, for me at least, tastes more like a yellow squash than anything else. I think it has a high water content, too. It has a crunchy texture but that can easily dimmish when it’s overcooked. And if you overcook it, it will not form the strands of “spaghetti” you’re looking for.

 

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner.  It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!  #FallFlavors #spaghettisquash #ChickenParm

 

Don’t let the bland flavor fool you. That means it’s a great base for any flavor. And that was most obvious when I cooked this the first time. On a whim, I threw some of the rosemary olive oil on there when I roasted them. This usually doesn’t impart that much flavor, but for the spaghetti squash, it made the flesh super delicious with rosemary flavor. I was surprised.

 

So, when it came time to fill and bake the squash again, I knew the sauce would season the flesh of the squash perfectly. It was almost like eating actual spaghetti. Except with the little crunch that the spaghetti squash had. That’s the only way I knew I wasn’t eating actual spaghetti.

 

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner.  It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!  #FallFlavors #spaghettisquash #ChickenParm

 

How do you make chicken parm stuffed spaghetti squash?

 

For me, the hardest part was slicing the squash in half! They’re not that easy normally, but I have an injured shoulder. That’s makes it extra hard to cut in half. The arm that holds the squash couldn’t hold it still enough for me to cut. That’s another story I might cover some day. But not today.

 

Funny story. I had the squash on the counter while the oven was heating up. I’m sitting on the couch and I hear a thud. The puppy has knocked it off the counter. And it split the wrong way around the equator. I needed it cut around the poles.

 

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner.  It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!  #FallFlavors #spaghettisquash #ChickenParm

 

First you must roast the squash. I cooked mine for about 45 minutes. I checked to see if it was fork tender and that it would shred with a fork.

 

While the squash cooked, I browned up the chicken. I cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. I thought about doing a grilled chicken breast or even a whole breaded cutlet, but that would be too cumbersome to eat with the squash. So, bite-sized pieces it is!

 

When the chicken was good and browned, I deglazed the pan with some wine. Feel free to use stock if you want. I sprinkled on some herbs and spices to add more Italian seasoning flavor. Then I poured the marinara over the chicken and let it simmer until the squash was cooked and slightly cooled.

 

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner.  It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!  #FallFlavors #spaghettisquash #ChickenParm

 

You don’t want to be handling those things straight from the oven piping hot. When they’re cool enough to handle, move them to the casserole dishes or the sheet pan. You can use aluminum foil to prop them up and keep them upright if you don’t have casserole dishes.

 

Finally, I filled the squash with the chicken mixture, covered, and baked for about 30 to 45 minutes. Or until the squash was heated through and easily shredded. That’s when I topped them with the Parmesan and the Provolone cheese. I like my cheese a little on the darker side than most. So, I baked mine for another 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re a lightly browned person, opt for the 5 to 10 minutes.

 

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner.  It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!  #FallFlavors #spaghettisquash #ChickenParm

 

What does chicken parm stuffed spaghetti squash taste like?

 

This Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash tastes bright, light, and healthy. Even with the cheese on top, this dish tastes light and delicious. The chicken is tender and full of the marinara flavoring. The cheese is creamy and salty all at the same time. The spaghetti squash has all the flavors in those strands of goodness.

 

Roasting the squash upside down ensures that the skin is a perfect shell. The first time, I roasted them right side up and the shell was tender and sometimes infiltrated my bites. So not appealing. Roasting them upside down makes sure it’s the perfect vessel to hold in all the chicken and sauce.

 

If you roast the squash ahead of time, this Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash whips up in no time. Just remember to remove them from the frige at least 30 minutes before stuffing and baking. Or add an additional 20 to 25 minutes to the cooking time to allow for them to heat up in the oven.

 

OR you could assemble everything ahead of time and then bake them. That would work as a make ahead, too. Either way, just make this chicken parm stuffed spaghetti squash. You’ll love it!

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Yield: 4

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Chicken Parm Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is a light but hearty dinner. It’s light because it’s made with chicken breast and squash, but hearty because they are both very filling!

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, rosemary flavored
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic flavored
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 28 ounces marinara sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 6 ounces sliced Provolone cheese (about 4 slices)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400.
    2. Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds.
    3. Drizzle the squash with the rosemary flavored olive oil. You can use regular olive oil if you don’t have rosemary olive oil.
    4. Roast the squash face down for 45 minutes to an hour or until the squash is fork tender and shreds easily when scraped.
    5. Turn the squash flesh side up and set aside.
    6. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and swirl the pan with the garlic olive oil.
    7. Brown the chicken on all sides.
    8. Deglaze the pan with the wine (or broth if you prefer). Simmer until reduced by half.
    9. Stir in the marinara, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and crushed red pepper.
    10. Simmer 20 minutes.
    11. Preheat oven to 350.
    12. Place the squash halves in individual casserole dishes. Or use aluminum foil on a baking sheet to keep them from rolling around on the pan.
    13. Spoon half the mixture into each of the squash.
    14. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 to 50 minutes or until the squash is heated through.
    15. Remove the foil and top each with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 2 slices of Provolone cheese.
    16. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese the brown and bubbly.

Did you make this recipe?

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