Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken

I’m not sure what exactly we did to offend the sun in Milwaukee, but it went on solar strike for nearly two consecutive weeks. By the sixth day of gray skies, my mood began to turn equally gloomy, so I decided to warm things up around the house however I could. I turned on peppy music, cranked up the thermostat, and added homey, comforting recipes such as these cheesy Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken and Bacon to our menu.

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken, Bacon, Spinach, and Garlic. A healthy, low carb meal that tastes just like chicken alfredo! Easy, gluten free, and absolutely delicious. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplatedIs the weather a dominant topic of conversation where you live too? It comes up often in Wisconsin. Yes, the weather is the ultimate go-to for easy small talk, but I suspect that its popularity is also due to the mutual relief that can be found in knowing that others find the cold and gray as abysmal as you do.

I wonder if people in California or Florida talk about the weather with the same frequency. Can you bond over moderate temps and abundant sunshine the way you can over frigid air and permaclouds?

Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken, Bacon, and Cheese. Easy and DELICIOUS. A healthy, low carb meal that your whole family will love. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

While I can’t give you that answer, I can say with certainty that, no matter the temperature and region, we can all unite around simple, delicious weeknight dinners such as these Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken and Bacon. They’re comforting enough for a cold Wisconsin night while being healthy enough to be appropriate for a lighter evening meal.

These Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken and Bacon remind me of chicken alfredo, without the heaviness and excess. Like chicken alfredo, they are creamy, cheesy, and satisfying, but (unlike chicken alfredo) they are well-balanced and won’t send you into a total food coma afterwards.

Spaghetti Squash Boats with Bacon, Chicken, and Cheese. Easy, low carb, and healthy! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Instead of pasta, these spaghetti squash boats rely on the roasted spaghetti squash itself, which shreds into thin, noodle-like strands. Alfredo’s signature heavy cream is replaced by protein-packed Greek yogurt. The chicken is juicy and garlicky, and a handful of sautéed spinach gives the dish beautiful color and an extra serving of veg.

To keep things from becoming *too* virtuous (we are still going for comfort food, after all), I topped the spaghetti squash boats with a shower of extra-crispy bacon. I love the way the crunchy pieces contrast with the melty cheese and creamy chicken, and the bacon’s smoky flavor makes these boats a little more special too.

Healthy Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken, Bacon, and Cheese. Easy, low carb, and delicious! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

It’s been sunny all week here (AT LAST), so I’ve been spending extra time outside, face pointed right into that big, beautiful sun. According to the grocery store cashier, radio DJ, morning talk show hosts, and check-in lady at my gym (all of whom mentioned the weather in the last 24 hours), the clouds are due to hold off for a bit longer. And when they return? I’ll be ready with a big, warm serving of Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken and Bacon.

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Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken

Simple and healthy Spaghetti Squash Boats stuffed with creamy chicken, bacon, spinach, and cheese. A healthy, comforting meal!

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Squash:

  • 2 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds each)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Chicken Bacon Spinach Filling:

  • 4 strips thick-sliced, center-cut bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus additional for serving

Directions:

  1. Bake the squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 2 tablespoons water into the baking sheet (this prevents sticking). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the squash flesh is fork-tender and the skin gives a little when pressed. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate and pat dry. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then add the spinach. Stir the chicken and spinach together until the spinach wilts, then stir in the Greek yogurt, half of the mozzarella cheese, and basil.
  3. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to shred and fluff the inside flesh so it’s no longer attached to the walls and makes a “nest.” Divide the chicken filling evenly among the boats, using a fork to lightly mix it with the spaghetti squash. Arrange the stuffed squash on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the reserved bacon and remaining mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake until the cheesy is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve hot, sprinkled with additional fresh basil.
  • The squash can be roasted and “shredded” up to 1 day in advance. The entire dish can be assembled up to 1 day in advance as well. Bake as directed just before serving.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or gently in the microwave. I do not recommend freezing, as the spaghetti squash will become mushy.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 4)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 291 Calories
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 82mg
  • Sodium: 680mg
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 35g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

30 comments

  1. My daughter and I were just talking about spaghetti squash! the last time I made it was sometime in the 90’s! Clearly this recipe is my spaghetti squash intervention! I do remember thinking that spaghetti squash had a very sweet taste which marinara sauce (imho) didn’t complement. This version seems to have enough savory components to balance out the sweetness. Do you ever remove any of the squash and save it for a later recipe? 

    • Hi Marina, I don’t usually remove any of the squash—I just enjoy the whole thing! You are welcome to remove some if you prefer. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you do decide to give it a try!

  2. (Hey, there’s another Marina! ^^) I definitely need to jump on the spaghetti squash bandwagon. It’s 60 degrees here today but it’s going to snow tomorrow, so these would definitely be the ultimate comfort meal! :)

  3. I already have chicken prepared and everything on hand except for squash and bacon. These look fantastic!! Maybe I could whip them up for us to enjoy this evening. =D Your comment on the weather and if people talk about it where the weather is gorgeous cracked me up – it’s a good question! We’ve had a few gloomy days here in TN too, so I’m hoping this will brighten our home, or at least our dining table, too!

  4. All aboard! Because that recipe looks amazing (:

    Rating: 5
  5. Erin, even those of us who live in places like sunny El Paso, Texas, like to enjoy our sunny weather.  We actually had a lot of rain (for the desert) in January, so we’ve had our share of cloudy skies.  But it is apparently spring now:  pleasant temps, mostly sunny skies…  I’m very happy to no longer live where it’s cold.  Despite having such good weather, this recipe sounds like a good excuse to try spaghetti squash again.  I cannot remember the last time I cooked it, so it has probably been at least 20 years.  The recipe may have to wait until next fall, because we’ll be traveling very soon, but I’m definitely saving it.  You know how to do comfort food.

    • Thanks, Susan! I hope you enjoy it once you do get to try it. :)

      • Erin, we had these for dinner tonight, and they were delicious.  Definite comfort food, and definitely a keeper recipe.  The time on baking the squash was right on for getting them to come out perfectly.  I’m really glad I put them on the menu this week.

        • That’s great, Susan! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. I really appreciate your taking the time to let me know how it went!

  6. My family would Love this! Hearty, healthy and flavorful – the perfect combination! Thanks for sharing.

    Rating: 5
  7. I tried his recipe tonight! It turned out great. It’s renewed my appreciation and love of spaghetti squash. Hoping to cook more with it from now on. Even my husband liked this healthy dish! Thanks!!

  8. Made it today as part of my meal prep for lunch this week and I can tell that I’m really going to enjoy it.

    It was my first time trying spaghetti squash, and I was flummoxed by the hard shell for a bit before Google showed me the microwave trick. But once I actually managed to halve the squash, this recipe was low-prep. And as a low-calorie, high protein meal it fits so well in my diet. Thank you, Erin!

    Rating: 4.5
  9. AMAZING!! So good and everyone loved them. I don’t think I have ever liked so many recipes on one site. Thank you! 

    Rating: 5
    • YAY Mollie! I’m so happy to hear everyone loved the recipe. Thanks so much for reporting back and for the kind words about my recipes! I truly appreciate it.

  10. Wanted to tell you that I wanted to make this but was missing a few ingredients…so figured I’d just wing it. I had a small butternut squash that I roasted and scooped out. Then I fried the bacon till crisp, added the chicken and cooked till slightly browned. I did not have any spinach or yogurt/sour cream so what I did was add some salt, pepper,onion flakes, shredded mozzarella and dried basil. I dumped it all into a small casserole dish, added a little more cheese and baked it till bubbly. Oh my goodness – was it ever good. I was making something different for my husband anyway so the timing was perfect. Thanks for this recipe and I’m glad that I experimented with it.

    Rating: 4.5
  11. Erin,
    I made this recipe and changed assembly a bit.
    After I baked the squash, I removed all the tasty
    spaghetti squash and reserved it while I put together the rest of the recipe. I initially misread your directions but it didn’t matter.
    I added the reserved squash into the rest of the ingredients in the skillet and then stuffed and baked.
    This recipe is as delicious as it looks!!
    Thank you,
    Jane Warren 

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Jane! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe and that it all worked out in the end! Thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out.

  12. Wow! This was absolutely delicious! I’ve been trying to cook healthier and have been using many of your recipes.

    Rating: 5
    • I’m so glad you liked it, Lisa! Thank you for giving the recipe a try and leaving this feedback—I truly appreciate hearing that you’ve been trying and enjoying my recipes!

  13. I made this tonight for dinner. It was so delicious! Thanks for a great, low calorie recipe! 

    Rating: 5
    • You’re welcome, Kerry! Thanks for giving the recipe a try and taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  14. My friend and iI both wanted to try Spaghett Squash. We made this last week and we loved it! Our men were very pleased with it. They want us to make I t again very soon. Thanks for sharing.

    Rating: 4.5
  15. I made this tonight for dinner. Everyone in my family really liked it!  My husband is trying to lose weight so this recipe was perfect!

    Rating: 5
    • Renee, I’m happy to hear this recipe was a success! I truly appreciate your taking the time to leave this nice review.

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