Meal Ideas: Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Squash with Asparagus
This post is part of the Meal Ideas series. Finding something to eat that is simultaneously affordable, quick to prepare, healthy, AND delicious can be next-to-impossible sometimes. In this section I post pictures of the food I make, links to recipes I love, and some tips for saving time and money while still cooking great-tasting healthy food.
This is one of my favourite go-to weeknight meals for the spring and summer. It’s seasonal and flavourful and, best of all, it’s easy to put together quickly. The following recipe serves 2-4 people (depending on the appetites of those in question), but I usually double it because it reheats well. If you’re not a big fan of chicken, this is also excellent with sautéed or grilled shrimp.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 large cooking (yellow) onion
- 1 Tbsp cooking fat (coconut oil, duck fat, or butter would be best)
- 1 bunch asparagus (broccoli would also be good if asparagus isn’t in season)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- frying pan or wok (big enough for the amount of meat you’re using)
- steamer basket (optional – you can boil the asparagus instead)
- blender or food processor (I use a hand blender)
- Cut several slits in the outside of the spaghetti squash with a knife
- Place spaghetti squash in the microwave
- Microwave for 3-5 minutes (depending on the size of the squash), then turn over and microwave for another 3-5 minutes
- While the squash is microwaving, dice the onion and chop the chicken (1 inch pieces)
- Remove the squash from the microwave
- Cut the stem-end off the squash, then cut the squash in half lengthwise. Set to cool
- Snap the ends off the asparagus and place them in the steamer basket over a saucepan with some water. Set over high heat until the water boils, then reduce heat to medium.
- Melt cooking fat in the frying pan over medium-high heat
- Sauté onions until translucent
- Add chicken to pan. Sauté until cooked through, stirring often.
- While the onions and chicken are cooking, combine the basil, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in the blender. Blend until smooth.
- When the squash is cool enough to touch, remove and discard the seeds. Then, use a fork to shred the squash into spaghetti-like strands.
- Toss spaghetti squash with the pesto, onions, and chicken. Serve with asparagus.