Creamy Cajun Chicken Spaghetti Squash
Cajun Chicken Spaghetti Squash is made with Cajun-spiced chicken and roasted spaghetti squash tossed in a delicious cream sauce. This healthy low-carb recipe is packed with indulgent flavors that will have the whole family going back for more.
Cajun chicken and spaghetti squash? Seriously, I can’t think of a better duo. Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, Cajun chicken pasta always seems to be the most tempting item on the menu. However, restaurant-style Cajun chicken pasta usually contains well over 1,500 calories and is loaded with sodium.
For the sake of my own peace of mind and not falling into a food coma after finishing my bowl, I decided to make my own lightened-up version of this iconic dish. Enter: Cajun Chicken Spaghetti Squash. This recipe is way lower in calories and carbs than the original, but with all the same decadent flavors you love.
This dish is made with pan-seared chicken breast, a slightly spicy creamy sauce, and lots of veggies all served over delicious roasted spaghetti squash.
I typically prepare my spaghetti squash ahead of time so it’s already roasted and ready to go. Then, all you have to do is saute your chicken and veggies, add your cream sauce ingredients, and mix it all together. Just like that, you’ve got a wholesome and delicious meal.
Try pairing this dish with a side salad like this Easy Spring Mix Salad or this Arugula Salad. You can also never go wrong with some toasted garlic bread on the side to soak up all of that creamy deliciousness. I’m telling you, you are about to fall in love with this recipe!
How to Pick Spaghetti Squash
Not sure how to choose the right spaghetti squash? Don’t worry. Below are some things to look out for when shopping for the perfect spaghetti squash.
- Firmness: A good spaghetti squash should be firm enough that it doesn’t give when you press on it.
- Skin: Its skin should be spotless and free of cracks and soft spots.
- Stems: Try to avoid any spaghetti squashes that are missing their stems. Instead, look for stems that are firm, dry, and rounded.
- Weight: The right spaghetti squash should feel a bit heavy for its size. Don’t be afraid to pick up a few different squashes to form a good comparison.
What You’ll Need for Cajun Spaghetti Squash
To make this healthy spaghetti squash recipe, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Spaghetti Squash: Spaghetti squash is the perfect low-carb alternative to your favorite pasta noodles. It has a very mild flavor that pairs wonderfully with all sorts of sauces and toppings. For another low-carb alternative, you could try serving this dish with zucchini noodles instead.
- Chicken breast: A good chicken pasta dish is hard to beat. Chicken breast is one of the leanest sources of animal-based protein and tastes incredible with Cajun seasoning.
- Veggies: I like to use a combination of bell peppers, scallions, and onions for this recipe. They add tons of amazing color, flavor, and nutrients. Feel free to use any vegetables you have on hand. Broccoli and spinach both work great here.
- Reduced-fat cream cheese: Herein lies the secret to this recipe’s delicious creaminess. Cream cheese serves as the base of our flavorful cream cheese and truly brings the whole dish together. To keep this dish on the lighter side, I like to use reduced-fat cream cheese.
- Cajun seasoning: You can use the store-bought kind or make Cajun seasoning from scratch with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Recipe Tips and Variations
Here are some of my top tips and variations for this flavorful dish:
- Substitute your pasta. If you aren’t a fan of spaghetti squash, feel free to swap it out for another vegetable-based pasta instead. Some of my favorites are zucchini noodles and sweet potato noodles. Regular pasta works just fine, too!
- Make it vegetarian. This dish tastes just as delicious sans-meat. The chicken in this dish can easily be swapped out for tofu, or simply left out altogether. You can also make it totally vegan by swapping out the cream cheese for a plant-based cream cheese instead.
- Switch up the veggies. You can customize this dish depending on the veggies you have at home. Some of my favorite alternatives include spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, and broccoli.
- Add parmesan cheese. Mixing some parmesan cheese into your cream sauce adds a little extra oomph that will surely leave your whole family drooling.
- Give it a kick. If you love spicy food as much as I do, try adding crushed red pepper or a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
- Change the protein: Make this dish with shrimp (like these Cajun Shrimp Taco recipe), chicken sausage, salmon, or ground turkey.
Leftover Spaghetti Squash Storage Tips
If you haven’t yet cut into your spaghetti squash, it can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months. However, if you’re looking to store your leftovers, wait for the dish to cool and transfer it to an airtight container. Once properly contained, you can store your leftover spaghetti squash in one of two ways:
- In the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
- In the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
To reheat the dish, thaw it in the fridge overnight first. Once thawed, add the leftovers to a microwave-safe container and heat for 60-90 seconds, stirring halfway through. Alternatively, you can reheat leftovers on your stovetop by placing them in a saucepan and cooking on medium to low heat until warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this healthy spaghetti squash recipe:
How do I cook spaghetti squash?
You can cook spaghetti squash either in the microwave or in the oven. To microwave, pierce the squash with a fork and cook it whole for 10-12 minutes. To bake the squash in the oven, cut it in half and spray with cooking spray. Then, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes at 375°F (until fork-tender).
Is spaghetti squash healthy?
Yes! In fact, spaghetti squash is a bit of a superfood. It’s incredibly low in calories but packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Spaghetti squash is also super high in fiber, meaning it keeps you feeling full for longer.
Is this dish spicy?
The Cajun seasoning in this dish gives it a bit of a kick, but the heat is somewhat tempered by the dairy in the cream cheese. To make your Cajun chicken spaghetti squash even spicier, you could try adding extra Cajun seasoning or red pepper flakes into the mix. You could also add a few shakes of hot sauce just before serving the dish.
Creamy Cajun Chicken Spaghetti Squash
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- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1.33 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning, divided (or more)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 red pepper, sliced thin
- 1 green pepper, sliced thin
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or more)
- 14 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup scallions
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Prepare the spaghetti squash in the oven or microwave. To roast, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Spray with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet covered in foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes until tender. To microwave pierce the squash all over with a knife or fork. Cook each squash whole for 10-12 minutes until tender. Carefully cut in half and remove seeds. Scrape the squash away from the skin using a fork.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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