Warm meals that provide lots of comfort are perfect for cold weather. This recipe is a spin-off of your usual Chicken Alfredo! It’s lower in calories and it has a large serving of vegetables as the main ingredient. You can replace the chicken with shrimp or even chickpeas for a vegetarian option. The spinach is high in iron, folate, and other vitamins needed for optimum health. The spaghetti squash is used instead of pasta for more nutritional benefits such as fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
Kitchen Items You Will Need
- Large knife
- Baking sheet or roasting pan
- Large skillet
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, halved
- 1½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken (you could also boil or cook chicken breasts in the slow cooker)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp flour*
- 1½ cup unsweetened cashew milk or unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 3 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- 4 tbsp parmesan cheese - divided
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Use a large knife to cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise from stem to tail. Rub the flesh with olive oil or lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. Lightly season with salt and pepper and place the squash halves cut-side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before handling. Turn oven broiler to HIGH.
- While the squash cools, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add minced shallot and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for ~2-3 minutes, until softened. Next, add butter and garlic and sauté until aromatic, ~1 minute.
- Whisk flour into garlic butter mixture continuously for about 30 seconds until well-combined. Carefully pour in cashew milk and turn heat to high, bringing mixture to a low boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer for ~5 minutes, until mixture starts to slightly thicken.
- At this point, you can begin scraping out the seeds of the spaghetti squash and discarding them, and scraping out all the spaghetti-like strands to be incorporated into the mixture.
- Add shredded chicken and fresh spinach to skillet, stirring frequently until spinach wilts down. Add the squash strands, 2 tbsp parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Mix until well-combined.
- Fill squash boats with chicken alfredo mixture, dividing evenly amongst each half. Top with remaining parmesan cheese (~1 tbsp per boat). Broil for 6-9 minutes, checking every few minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly crisp. Top with additional parsley and serve!
This delicious calorie filled recipe serves 2-4 people and is perfect for sharing with your friends and family attempting to avoid the cold.
This recipe is brought to you from Jacob Lalanne and Allison Junca whom are both North Oaks dietetic interns.