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August 19, 2020

Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)

All the flavors of your favorite spinach artichoke recipe are stuffed into these low-carb spaghetti squash boats. Made with tender seared chicken breast, bacon, and covered in a creamy dairy-free spinach and artichoke sauce, it’s the ultimate healthy comfort food! Paleo, Whole30, and Keto too!

spinach artichoke spaghetti squash boats with chicken

Spinach Artichoke Goodness

Looking for an easy low-carb dinner? Enter spaghetti squash. It’s a healthy swap for regular spaghetti noodles or pasta, and it is filled with nutrients!

It’s a great way to sneak some extra vegetables in your meals, and it can be cooked in so many ways. One of my favorites is this Baked Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

If you obsess over everything spinach artichoke, then you’ll also love this Dairy-Free Spinach Artichoke Dip or this Spinach Artichoke Chicken Skillet. These recipes are both dairy free, so they’re perfect if you don’t tolerate dairy.

The Easiest Way To Cut Spaghetti Squash

No more uneven spaghetti squash boats, or almost chopping your fingers off with this tip. If you’ve ever tried to cut a spaghetti squash in half, it is very difficult, even with the sharpest knife!

In order to soften the squash before cutting, I recommend microwaving the squash. To do this, poke holes in the squash with a fork, and microwave it for 3-4 minutes. When it’s done, take it out of the oven with oven mitts.

The squash will be hot! Wait a few minutes before slicing the squash in half with a sharp knife. If the squash still isn’t budging microwave it for another 1-2 minutes.

Spaghetti squash boats stuffed with chicken, bacon, spinach, and artichokes.

How To Microwave Spaghetti Squash

Microwaving spaghetti squash is super easy to do, and is the quickest method to cooking spaghetti squash.

  • Start by poking holes around the spaghetti squash with a fork and place the squash in the microwave cooking it for 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove the squash from the microwave, with oven mitts. The squash will be hot! Once the squash is cooled enough to touch, trim the ends off, and slice in half.
  • Using a spoon, scrape the seeds and stringy parts from the center of the squash and discard. Grab a microwave safe casserole dish that will fit both the squash halves and place them cut side down in the dish.
  • Add 1/2-1 inch of water to the bottom of the dish.
  • Microwave the squash on HIGH, uncovered, for 10-20 minutes, depending on squash size. For smaller spaghetti squash start with 10 minutes. Squash is ready when you can easily poke through the skin with a fork.

How To Roast Spaghetti Squash In The Oven

Roasting is my favorite method when cooking spaghetti squash. Not only does it lock the flavor in, but the edges of the squash caramelize making it so addicting!

To make the squash easier to cut in half, start by poking holes in the squash with a fork (just like you would a potato). Place the whole squash in the microwave and cook for 3-4 minutes. Take the squash out with oven mitts (the squash will be hot!)

Trim the ends off the squash, and slice evenly in half. If squash is still too hard to slice, place in the microwave for another 1-2 minutes.

Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts from the center of the squash using a spoon. Discard the seeds and stringy parts.

Drizzle olive oil over the squash and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Set the squash halves face down on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the squash is tender when poked with a fork.

Smaller sized spaghetti squash will take less time to cook than a large size.

Tips For Making the Creamy Sauce

  • Make sure to shake the can of coconut milk before using. If you open the can, and it is clumpy, stir with a spoon or whisk before adding it to the sauce. I recommend Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk, but most brands should be okay to use. Make sure the coconut milk is unsweetened and full-fat.
  • Don’t forget the lemon juice! It’s a small ingredient, but overall completes this recipe.
  • The arrowroot starch needs to be mixed with equal parts water before adding to the skillet. This is what thickens the sauce. Let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes after mixing it in.
  • Nutritional yeast gives the sauce a cheesy flavor, and makes this recipe dairy-free. You can find it in the spice isle at your local grocery store.
Spinach, artichokes, chicken, bacon, and creamy sauce in skillet

Recipe Tips and Variations:

  • Swap out chicken breast for boneless chicken thighs or chicken tenders.
  • Use unsweetened coconut crème if you don’t have any coconut milk. Coconut crème is much thicker than coconut milk. You may have to add more chicken broth to the sauce to prevent it from drying out. Read about coconut crème vs. coconut milk here.
  • To make ahead: roast the squash and keep in the fridge for up to 1 day.
  • Store: leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • Reheat: can be reheated in the oven or in the microwave.

Making This Recipe?

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Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)


  • Author: Abbey Blackwell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

All the flavors of your favorite spinach artichoke recipe are stuffed into these low-carb spaghetti squash boats. Made with tender seared chicken breast, bacon, and covered in a creamy dairy-free spinach and artichoke sauce, it’s the ultimate healthy comfort food! Paleo, Whole30, and Keto too!


Ingredients

Scale

for the spaghetti squash:

  • 1 medium-large spaghetti squash, or 2 small
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

for the chicken breast:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenders, cubed
  • 1/2 tablespoon basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or extra-virgin olive oil

for the creamy sauce:

  • 56 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth, or bone broth
  • (1/2)13.5 ounce can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk (I recommend Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch mixed with 1 tablespoon of cold water
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

Spaghetti squash:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. To soften the spaghetti squash before cutting, poke holes in the squash with a fork, and place the whole spaghetti squash in the microwave. Heat for 3-4 minutes. Take spaghetti squash out of the microwave with oven mitts, as the squash will be hot. Trim the ends of the squash, and slice evenly in half.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy parts in the center of the squash. Spray or drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Place squash halves cut side down and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until squash is tender when poked with a fork. Smaller squash will need less time, than larger squash.

Chicken:

  1. While the squash is cooking, season the cubed chicken with basil, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil over medium heat in skillet. Sauté cubed chicken breast for 5-6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate. Set skillet aside, you will use it to make the creamy sauce.

Creamy Sauce:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, coconut milk, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Set aside.
  2. In the same skillet used for the chicken, sauté the bacon, garlic, and onion over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until bacon is cooked.
  3. Add the sauce to the skillet. Stir in cooked chicken, artichokes, and arrowroot starch and let simmer for 2-3 minutes on low heat, or until the sauce thickens. Lastly mix in the spinach and stir for 1-2 minutes until softened.

Assembly:

  1. Remove spaghetti squash from the oven and use a fork to scrape the inside of the boats to release the squash strands. Spoon the spinach artichoke mixture into each boat and stir to combine. Serve hot.

Notes

  • If sauce is getting dry while simmering, add in a little more chicken broth.
  • Make sure to shake the can of coconut milk before using. If you open the can, and it is clumpy, stir with a spoon or whisk before adding it to the sauce.
  • Arrowroot starch and arrowroot powder are the same thing. If you want your sauce thicker, add 1 teaspoon arrowroot mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water to the skillet. You can also use cornstarch to thicken the sauce, however it is not Paleo/Whole30 friendly.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: stuffed spaghetti squash, paleo, keto, whole30, bacon spinach spaghetti squash, chicken stuffed spaghetti squash

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Hi, I’m Abbey! Certified Training and Nutrition Coach. Of course, I’m a foodie as well, and I love to show others how GOOD healthy eating can taste. Here you’ll find fitness & nutrition content specific to weight loss, as well as easy, real food recipes. I’d love to get to know you!

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