With just 10 ingredients, this Sun-dried Tomato Spaghetti Squash with Chicken is an easy, delicious meal. The oil and garlic sauce coats the squash and pairs beautifully with the sun-dried tomatoes and chicken. Make it for dinner tonight!
I remember when I first tried spaghetti squash and I was like, “what is this magical food that mimics my beloved pasta?!”. I just love it so much. Pasta is great too, but I think it’s nice to switch it up every now and then. And that’s why I’m sharing this Sun-Dried Tomato Spaghetti Squash with Chicken.
This skillet dinner is great because
- it uses just 10 ingredients
- you can turn it into fast weeknight meal if you roast the squash ahead of time
- it has a balanced macro split; not overly carb heavy like some pasta meals
- if you have kids, it might get them to eat squash (it worked for me!)
- it wards off vampires with the garlicky sauce (just kidding, it’s not overpowering at all 🤣)
- Spaghetti squash – two medium sized, about 3 to 3.5 pounds each
- Olive oil – to brush on the squash and to cook the garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Chicken breast – one pound (2 large), boneless/skinless, cut into bite size pieces
- Italian seasoning – to sprinkle on the chicken while it’s cooking
- Garlic – 5 cloves, minced
- Red pepper flakes – optional, but highly recommended
- Sun-dried tomatoes – 1/2 cup, measured after dicing them into small pieces
- Grated parmesan – optional garnish, omit for dairy free
- Fresh basil – julienned (see my tip below for how to do this)
How to make it
1. Prepare the spaghetti squash. Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and goopy stuff. I like to use a serrated grapefruit spoon to make this easier. Brush the inside of the squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place face down on the parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes or until the skin pierces easily with a fork.
2. While you’re waiting for the spaghetti squash to be cool enough to handle, start the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Sauté until fully cooked, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. In the same skillet, turn the heat down to low and add 1/3 cup olive oil and the minced garlic. Simmer the garlic over low heat until softened and turning golden brown, at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, use a fork to fluff the spaghetti squash into strands (just leave them in the skin, because you’ll be transferring the strands to the skillet shortly).
4. Once the garlic is done, add the spaghetti squash strands, reserved chicken and sun-dried tomato to the skillet. Use tongs to toss everything until evenly distributed and coated in the garlicky oil. Leave it a minute or two to ensure all the ingredients are warmed through, then serve with your chosen garnishes.
Tips for Success
1. Roast the squash ahead of time. If you roast the squash as part of meal prep, this meal comes together in less than half an hour. Simply roast and store the prepared squash in the refrigerator (remove the strands from the skin before storing), then warm it up in the skillet with the oil and garlic, after the garlic is golden and softened. You may want to cover it to help it warm up faster. Once the squash is heated through, add the reserved chicken and sun-dried tomato and toss to combine.
2. Select good spaghetti squash. You want to get the yellowest squash you can find (versus the pale white-ish colour), free from any nicks or dents in the skin. I find the cooked texture is a lot more appealing with the yellow squash.
3. Don’t burn the garlic. Be sure to turn the heat down to low to cook the garlic and keep an eye on it while it’s simmering in the oil.
- Swap out the sun-dried tomato. This dish would be great with diced roasted red pepper instead!
- Add 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach. Wilt it in the garlic and oil before adding the other ingredients.
- Use more sun-dried tomato. Adjust the amount to your taste!
How do I julienne basil leaves?
This might be obvious to some, but when I first learned this tip during my restaurant operations class in university, I was so excited.
To julienne (aka chiffonade) basil, pile 8-10 leaves on top of each other, with the largest leaves on the bottom. Tightly roll up the pile from one end like a scroll, then using a sharp knife, thinly slice the roll. Once you pull apart the thin slices you’ll have beautiful basil ribbons, perfect for garnish.
Other skillet meals you may enjoy
- Vegetable Orzo with Chicken
- Potato and Spinach Frittata
- Southwest Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Skillet
Sun-Dried Tomato Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
To roast the squash
- 2 medium-sized spaghetti squash (mine were 3-3.5 lbs each)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt
For the skillet
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces (2 large breasts)
- Italian seasoning (enough to lightly sprinkle on the chicken)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup small dice sun-dried tomato
- grated parmesan
- fresh basil, julienned
- Prepare the squash. Preheat oven to 400 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. I like to use a serrated grapefruit spoon to make the scooping easier. See Note 1 for a tip on cutting spaghetti squash.
- Brush the inside of the squash halves with a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, then place face down on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces through the skin. At the end of cooking time, test some strands of spaghetti squash to be sure they're cooked to your desired texture.
- While you're waiting for the roasted squash to be cool enough to handle, start the chicken. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced chicken and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Sauté until fully cooked through, then transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, turn the heat down to low and add 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and simmer on low until the garlic softens and starts to turn golden brown, at least 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the garlic evenly cooks. Meanwhile, in each of the squash halves, use a fork to pull the strands of cooked spaghetti squash away from the skin.
- When the oil and garlic is ready, add the spaghetti squash strands, sun-dried tomatoes and reserved chicken. Use tongs to toss the squash until the oil evenly coats it and the other ingredients and everything is warmed through. Serve immediately with your desired garnishes. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.
- An easy, safer way to cut spaghetti squash: Cut off the stem and bottom end, not too much, just enough so the squash can stand flat on the cutting board. Now that it’s steady, you can safely press your knife from the top to bottom, using your hands to rock the knife back and forth, if necessary. Be sure to use a sharp knife! Dull knives are prone to slipping.
- Nutrition estimate does not include garnishes.
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I’d love to hear from you!