This is one of THE tastiest ways to get in your veggies that I know! These healthy, 21 Day Fix Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Boats are all-in-one meals that deliver almost 2 cups of veggies per serving. With all of that cheesy goodness and these adorable boats to eat out of, they're kid approved too!
You guys. Can I just tell you that the day I made this for these pictures, I kept checking the clock to see how far away dinner time was because I couldn't freaking wait to eat? I'm not kidding. If you asked my husband, he would tell you that I may have mentioned eating dinner at least 3 times throughout the day.
Pre-21 Day Fix, I used to make this pasta dish that we all loved. It was from Cooking Light Magazine and it was called Bow Ties with Roasted Red Pepper and Cream Sauce . It was one of my go-to company dishes in fact, because it was easy, so delicious, and even the kiddos would ask for seconds.
Recently I was REALLY craving that pasta. I had many of the ingredients on hand, but wanting to make it Fix-friendly, I couldn't use the half and half. Enter Greek yogurt. I wasn't really thinking that it was going to taste the same or maybe even all that similar, the flavor differences between cream and yogurt being what they are, but I thought that it would be enough to kill a craving. Also, I didn't have the recipe on hand or anything, so essentially I just did my best to make it taste the way I wanted it to taste.
It turned out super creamy, cheesy and so flavorful from the roasted peppers, it was exactly what I was wanting. I didn't even tell my husband that I was trying to recreate that dish, and the first thing he said was, "This tastes just like that bow-tie pasta that you make." <insert touchdown dance here>
So how did this go from pasta dish to spaghetti squash dish? Basically I LOVE spaghetti squash and have been wanting to make some of these boats for a while, because I knew the kids would love them, not because I thought they would be fun to eat out of or anything. It was for the kids. Obviously.
You may notice that unlike a lot of other spaghetti squash recipes, there is no coating of oil needed for the squash.
I learned this easy water technique from Hungry Girl and it works perfectly every time. All you have to do is halve the squash (you can stick it in the microwave for a few minutes first, to soften it), scrape out the seeds, place the halves cut side down in a 9X13 or 11X15 baking dish and add about a half inch of water, then bake. No oil needed! Save those teaspoons people, wouldn't you rather be eating peanut butter? Or my current addiction: Cocoa-Coconut Barney Butter? OMG. (<-- affiliate link!)
Here's what the squash looks like when it's done:
Meanwhile, in a blender, you'll puree the tomato sauce and the roasted red peppers together.
Cook your chicken and then add the puree:
After heated through, you'll turn off the burner and stir in the yogurt, cheese and basil:
Using a slotted spoon, fill your cooked squash with the chicken (you'll serve the excess sauce on the side when it's all finished):
Cover with mozzarella and bake until your boats look gloriously cheesy like this:
If you've been on the fence about trying out spaghetti squash, I implore you, do it!! It's my absolute favorite pasta swap, plus kids really do like eating out of these fun boats and it may just increase your chances of getting some veggies into them!
If you make this recipe be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thefoodieandthefix on Instagram so I can check it out! It makes me ridiculously happy to see what you guys are making 🙂
- 1 medium squash (about 3 lbs - this will give about 4 cups cooked squash total)
- 1 16 oz jar of roasted red peppers (about 2 cups peppers), well drained
- 1 15 oz can of no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 ½ lbs raw chicken breast, trimmed and chopped (this will make about 3 cups cooked)
- salt and pepper, for seasoning chicken
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (1% or nonfat)
- 6 Tbs grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella, divided (you'll use ½ cup on each squash half)
- chopped basil - a few tablespoons, however much you like
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Soften the squash a bit (so you can cut it) by cooking it in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. No need to try to poke holes in it, just throw it in, it'll be fine.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then remove and discard the seeds and all of the stringy stuff - unless you want to roast the seeds, then by all means go for it.
- Place the squash cut side down in a 9X13 or larger baking dish. Add ½ inch of water. A three pound squash will take about 35 minutes to cook, if yours is larger, it may take a bit longer. Once the squash is fork tender and it breaks away into strands easily with a fork, it's done.
- While the squash is cooking away, in a blender, puree the roasted red peppers and the tomato sauce together, set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet sprayed with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray to medium-high heat. Season your chicken lightly with salt and as much pepper as you'd like. Brown chicken in the pan until cooked through.
- To the pan of chicken, add in the pureed peppers and tomato sauce and heat through. Turn off the burner and stir in the yogurt, pecorino and basil.
- Your squash should be done at the point. Once it is, remove it from the oven and carefully flip over your squash halves. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
- Using a slotted spoon to remove excess sauce, spoon the cooked chicken into the two squash halves, then cover each half with ½ cup of shredded mozzarella. Put the squash back in the oven until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes or so. Cut each half in half so there are 4 pieces total and serve with the extra sauce.
21 Day Fix Container Counts per Serving: 1 Red, 1 Blue, 1 ¾ Green
Weight Watchers Freestyle Points: 4
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: ¼ of recipe (½ of 1 "boat")
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388Total Fat: 11g