This spaghetti squash recipe is all over Pinterest, and I was itching to test it out. As a kid, my absolute favorite thing on the planet was going to Olive Garden & getting the Fettuccini Alfredo. You know…back in the day when “carbs were good for you” I had a hollow leg and had absolutely no idea what calories were. All I knew was that cheese and noodles and chicken & breadsticks and that magical salad were waiting for me and my dad during their Never-Ending Pasta Bowl special. We lived somewhere between B.F.E. and a corn field, so a trip into “The City” was a VERY special and rare occasion.
Of course now, I live in “The City”, and Olive Garden is there all the time…and unfortunately, I now know HOW many calories are in their fettuccini alfredo (1220, for the record)…so I tend to just stick with the soup & salad & breadsticks (especially the Zuppa Toscano—see my recipe for it here!) But that doesn’t mean I crave it any less.
Finally, I can indulge my need for cheesy garlicky goodness!
INGREDIENTS: (Serves 2)
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/4 tsp each of paprika, garlic salt, & onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp crushed dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried basil (or a Dorot basil cube)
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup fat free milk
- 1/2 Tbsp fat free cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tablespoons extra for topping
- 1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes (optional for extra heat)
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and then place flat side down into a baking dish with about 1/2 cup of water. Bake at 350F for about an hour.
Once squash is cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands into the center.
In a medium skillet spritzed with olive oil, cook the chicken over medium heat; season both sides with the mixture of paprika, garlic salt & onion powder. Cover with a lid to help speed up cooking and to help keep the chicken from drying out. When fully cooked, slice & set aside covered to keep warm.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour, cooking for another minute while stirring. Whisk in the milk, basil & rosemary until no lumps remain.
Once heated through, add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and add in the Parm, Cajun seasoning, black pepper and crushed red pepper. (NOTE: I recommend including the CRP because the alfredo is a bit sweet, and the heat from the peppers really helps cut that.)
Spoon the sauce into each of the spaghetti squash halves. Use a fork to get the sauce down into the “spaghetti” so it’s well coated. Top with the chicken strips and extra Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
Serve hot with a side salad and a slice of warm garlic toast. We loved this because it makes two HUGE portions—that come in under 500 calories each!!!!. Even so, it was SOOO much food that I actually had to set half aside for lunch the next day!
NutriFacts: (per serving)
Total Fat 20.1 g
Saturated Fat 8.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.1 g
Cholesterol 68.9 mg
Sodium 1,071.2 mg
Potassium 774.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 31.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.1 g
Sugars 11.8 g
Protein 38.2 g