When my husband and I first got married, I was commuting an hour one way to take college classes full time in order to finish my bachelor’s degree. As a result, I was usually completely spent by the time I got home. I relished any quick and easy recipes that I could find that were still semi-nutritious. This chicken, cheese, and spinach bake soon became a staple in our tiny household and was a winner with guests that came over to share a cozy meal with us during the harsh New England winter storms. It doesn’t take long to throw together, and has the appearance of taste of much more complicated recipe than it actually is.
However, much as we loved the dish, it became clear that the amount of pasta and cheese inside made it a not-so-healthy option that usually put us into a carbohydrate coma. Particularly when I tended to be more than generous with the amount of cheese that I added to the dish.
Not much longer I discovered the wonder that is spaghetti squash. I avoided it for a long time, intimidated by the idea of cutting it open and removing the flesh, but before long I bit the bullet and purchased one. This helpful tutorial online made cutting open the squash a breeze, and pulling out the strands once it was roasted was easy as pie. I quickly realized that I could replace the pasta in any of my favorite dishes with spaghetti squash for an easy way to make a recipe more delicious.
So with a few changes to the original recipe, here is a cozy and delicious chicken and spinach bake sure to warm you up on a fall day!
Chicken and Spinach Spaghetti Squash BakePrint This
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 onions, chopped
- 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and roasted
- 4 chopped chicken breasts
- 1 can Italian-diced tomatoes
- 1 pkg cream cheese
- 1 (10 oz) pkg frozen spinach, thawed
- 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup of shredded Italian blend cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Roast spaghetti squash if you have not done so already. A spaghetti squash can be extremely difficult to cut if you just go at it, but if you put it in the microwave for five minutes, it makes the squash softer and easier to cut. Here you can find step by step instructions on how to cut and roast a spaghetti squash.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet. Saute onion, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from skillet.
- Cook chicken in skillet until cooked all the way through.
- Mix chicken, spinach, onion, garlic, tomatoes, cream cheese, and Italian blend cheese in a medium-sized bowl.
- Using a fork, scrape out the contents of the spaghetti squash to create the long strands.
- Add spaghetti squash strands to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and gently mix to combine.
- Pour into baking-safe container and cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with mozzarella cheese. Cook for 10 to 15 more minutes until heated through and browned around the edges.
- Let cool and serve with a salad or side.