Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Asparagus and Chicken

I love roasted spaghetti squash and have been making it weekly for about three months now. I started eating it as a substitute for pasta while on the Whole30 nutritional program but continue cooking it simply because I enjoy it all dolled up as a vegetable. When I tell people how much I love spaghetti squash, the first thing they ask is how do I cook it. I roast it. I’ll show you how.

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How to Prep and Roast a Spaghetti Squash:

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Preheat oven to 425º

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Be careful, the squash surface is hard, and the squash tends to want to roll around making it a challenge to cut. To get started, I usually stab it with a knife and then pull the knife down to create a fissure across one side. Next, I turn the squash over and do the same thing on the other side.

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Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and fibrous pulp.

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Line a roasting pan with parchment paper and place the two squash halves on it. Drizzle olive oil on each half and use a basting brush to spread the oil over the interior.

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Turn the squash over in the pan and roast for 45 minutes to one hour. The squashes I have been using have each weighed about four pounds and were fork-tender in one hour. Smaller squash will cook in a shorter amount of time.

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Remove from oven and turn the squash over. You’ll immediately notice the stringiness of the squash. Use a fork to scrape the sides and fluff the tender, caramelized pulp. At this point, it is an empty canvas for whatever you wish to do to flavor it, much like spaghetti.

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This is one of my favorite ways to prepare spaghetti squash for a delicious, healthy, low-carb side dish, or if you want to make it an entrée, add cooked chicken.

Yield: 2 servings as an entrée

Ingredients:

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½ roasted spaghetti squash (3 cups or 1.5 pounds cooked squash)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch asparagus (1 pound un-prepped)
1 bunch green onions (4 ounces un-prepped)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
Sea salt and garlic pepper to taste. Start with ½ teaspoon of each and add more as desired.

Mise en Place:

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Use a fork to shred and toss the roasted spaghetti squash.

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Prep the asparagus and green onions.

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Saute asparagus and onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes.

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Stir in squash. Add sea salt and garlic pepper to taste. When I was just learning to cook, I hated to read the words “to taste.” I had no idea where to begin. My advice is to start with ½ teaspoon of salt and garlic pepper (¼ teaspoon if just using plain pepper without the garlic). Add more seasoning until it tastes good to you. We happen to use less salt than most people.

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I decided to make this an entrée for dinner and added grilled chicken.

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Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.

For a quick side dish, mix shredded squash with salt, garlic pepper, butter, and Parmesan. Another way to serve is to toss it with marinara sauce.

Cooked squash will last in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days before it turns mushy. Alternatively, store it in a bag and freeze until ready to use.

Buon Appetito!

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