“Oh, wow!”– my roommate, when I gave her a bite of tonight’s kitchen experimenting. This dish comes from an (oldie, but goodie) recipe my college roommates and I used to cook, except back then I still had gluten in my life (womp womp). I was the kween of pasta and have been really craving the satisfying mixture of basil and avocado creamy sauce spread over “pasta” and chicken. I added some bacon because bacon makes life worth living. At the same time, this can be a vegetarian dish if you omit the chicken/bacon (and to be fair, much easier to prepare).
Here it is in all it’s yummy glory, a much healthier version that’s gluten free and AIP and Paleo friendly. The dish itself is a bit laborious; though, with some planning and simultaneous cooking, it’s totally worth it. Preparing the spaghetti squash “pasta” takes the longest time.
The only bad part of this recipe is that it’s 2 servings and you cannot store the extra avocado sauce without it going bad… don’t worry, I don’t think you’ll have any left over if you’re eating alone.
Prep time: 10 minutes (not counting thaw time for chicken)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 1 spaghetti squash (around 1 lb, or buy more and bake a bunch all at once)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 ripe hass avocado
- 4 tbs fresh basil leaves, chopped (don’t have to be fresh, but it’s better)
- 4 tbs cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 sea salt
- 1 tbs garlic powder (can use fresh, but I am usually too lazy to do that)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Paleo bacon strips**
- 1/4 black pepper**
**Not necessarily AIP Paleo compliant– only use if you’ve successfully reintroduced seed-based spices/herbs (it will still be tasty without these).
Step One: Make sure chicken is thawed. Preheat oven to 450°F.
Step Two: Roasting the spaghetti squash into “pasta” is the longest step. Cut the spaghetti squash into rings by cutting off each end piece where the stem is, and then cutting in about 1″ thick. Most videos will show you cutting it in half, but I find this method easier. This video shoes you what it looks like after roasting, so you’ll get the idea of what size it should be when you cut. After cutting the rings (or if you cut it in half), put on a baking sheet (I use foil on mine) that has olive oil on the bottom. Arrange so that there’s no overlapping parts and then cover all of the exposed spaghetti squash flesh with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and black pepper. Once oven is heated, put the baking sheet of oiled spaghetti squash in for about 45 minutes. Check every 10 minutes to ensure it’s not burning. While baking, move onto the next steps to cook in the meantime.
Step Three: Cook bacon in a flat pan over medium heat until nice and crispy (or as you prefer, but crispy is best in order to crumble). Remove bacon and place on napkin while you move onto cooking the chicken.
Step Four: Cut the thawed chicken breasts into bit-sized pieces or strips. In the same pan as you cooked the bacon, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan with about 1/8″ of oil. Put pan over medium heat (careful if you never removed from the stovetop, it will be very hot and you need to put the chicken into the pan with caution as not to splatter the olive oil… not that I learned from personal experience or anything…) and add chicken. As the chicken cooks, stir every few minutes to prevent burning. Sprinkle 2 tbs of basil, 2 tbs of cilantro, 1/2 tbs garlic powder, 1/8 tsp salt, and a couple dashes of black pepper into the chicken. While the chicken cooks, move onto the next step (while still making sure to stir chicken and check the spaghetti squash). Once chicken is finished cooking, remove from heat and cover to keep warm while finishing up with the spaghetti squash.
Step Five: Time for the yummiest avocado pasta sauce! In a bullet blender, add: pitted avocado, 1/8 tsp salt, few dashes of black pepper, 2 tbs of basil, 2 tbs of cilantro, 1/2 tbs garlic powder, 2 tbs olive oil. Blend until smooth. Taste-test because you may want to add more salt/garlic/basil to your taste.
Step Six: At this time, the spaghetti squash is likely finished. It should be a darker yellow color and soft when pushed on with a fork where it starts to be stringy and easily come apart. If not, leave in the oven and continue checking it until finished baking. When it’s ready, remove the spaghetti squash and start pulling the soft flesh from the skin. It will come apart looking like long strings of spaghetti noodles. The video demonstrates this. Usually one ring’s worth of the spaghetti squash is enough for two servings, but if you like a lot of the squash, add as much per serving as desired. I personally prefer a higher sauce-to-“noodle” ratio.
Step Seven: Prepare your stomachs and your plates! Divide spaghetti squash noodles, pile on the chicken bites, scoop on the creamy avocado sauce, and crumble one piece of bacon over each plate. Add another dash of salt and black pepper (though you may want to taste-test first).
Enjoy! Please let me know if you try or adapt for your taste.