You’re going to love this recipe for Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash. It combines some of my family’s favourite fall foods – chicken, cheese, squash and tomato sauce.
Spaghetti squash is a unique and fun winter squash variety. The long fibrous strands don’t taste exactly like spaghetti, but their color, texture and mild flavour are perfect for your favourite pasta sauces. And, as an extra bonus, once you remove those beautiful golden strands, you can use the shell as a cooking vessel. Whoo hoo, less dishes to clean!
This fall, I decided to stuff my spaghetti squash with ground chicken, tomato sauce, squash and cheese. It was so good, the whole family loved it and this recipe has become one of our favourite ways to enjoy spaghetti squash.
Do you cook with ground chicken? It’s such an easy way to add a little variety to your weekly meal routine. I like that it’s a nice lean source of protein and that it’s easy to use in so many different dishes. In this recipe, it pairs perfectly with the seasoned tomato sauce, cheese and spaghetti squash. We also enjoy it in recipes like Chicken Cheeseburger Pizza, Chicken Kofta or these amazing little Chicken Tartlets which make the best holiday appetizers. If you need even more inspiration, visit Manitoba Chicken Producers to find more incredible recipes.
It’s always a pleasure to partner with Manitoba Chicken Producers to share tasty and affordable recipes like this. It also feels good to support local growers. If you want to do the same look for this logo when shopping for chicken.
Cutting and Cooking Spaghetti Squash
To make the task of cutting and cooking the spaghetti squash easier, read this article on How to Cook and Cut Spaghetti Squash. Choose the method that works best for you to get a mountain of cooked, spaghetti strands. Personally, I like to soften my spaghetti squash in the microwave for a few minutes (poke with holes first) and then use a big knife to slice through.
Substituting Ground Chicken with Leftover Cooked Chicken
If you have leftover cooked chicken, you can use it instead of ground chicken. Shred or chop the ground chicken and stir into tomato sauce to heat through. Once everything is thoroughly heated, continue by mixing in the cheese, filling the squash shells and baking.
Cooking in a Casserole Dish
If your squash shells tore or you just prefer using a casserole dish, you can bake this dish in an oven proof dish instead of the spaghettis squash shell.
Prepare the various components ahead of time. Prepare the spaghetti squash and the sauce 2-3 days ahead and keep in fridge until ready to assemble. OR assemble the entire dish and store for 2-3 days before baking. To bake, remove from fridge while oven is preheating to 350°F. Then bake for 40-50 until hot and bubbly – if browning too much, cover with foil.
Because of the high water content in the spaghetti squash, I don’t recommend freezing this dish, either baked or unbaked.
Using Different Cheese
Use whatever kind of cheese you like! We love the combination of ooey gooey mozzarella with the salty, more robust flavour of Parmesan. Old, sharp cheddar would be very tasty. Swiss or gouda would be tasty and gooey. Gosh, you could even mix in a little ricotta to resemble the taste of lasagna. So many options!
Recipe – Cheesy Baked Chicken Spaghetti Squash
Easy Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- 1 large cooked spaghetti squash
- 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 2 cups tomato sauce or 498ml diced/crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Wash, cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds.
- Rub lightly with 1/2 Tbsp canola oil and place cut side down on baking sheet.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until fork tender.
- Once cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape strings out of squash halves. Set squash strands and empty shells aside.
Sauce & Assembly
- In large pot, heat remaining canola oil.
- Add onion and cook until tender, but not brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Add ground chicken, stir and cook through, about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes, vinegar and seasonings. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to let flavours combine and sauce to thicken.
- Remove from heat. Add spaghetti squash strands, half the Parmesan, half the mozzarella and half the basil or parsley. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
- Spoon hot sauce mixture into empty spaghetti squash shells. Top with the remainder of the Parmesan and mozzarella.
- Place under broiler until cheese is melted and toasted. About 2-4 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with remaining parsley or basil. Let rest for 5 minutes and enjoy.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
More Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Recipes
Here are some more tips and recipes perfect for this season.
Will you give this cheesy baked chicken spaghetti squash a try? When you do let me know what you think and if you’re on social media, please take a photo and tag #getgettys and @ManitobaChicken so we can see it and like it!
This recipe was written in paid partnership with the Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, opinions are my own and a sincere reflection of life in my home.
Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer sharing tips and recipes to build confidence and teach skills on how to use whole seasonal foods. She is the author of several recipe books, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.