Baked Chicken Carbonara with Spaghetti Squash

 
Baked Chicken Carbonara with Spaghetti Squash.jpg

This creamy, decadent dish is one of my most requested, and guess what? My teenager asked for it as part of our meal-prep this week so of course I was all too happy to make it happen!

I have always been a sucker for Italian food. Of course when I first started this whole autoimmune journey, pasta (grains/ gluten) was one of the first things I gave up, so buh-bye Italian! At first it was hard...not gonna lie. I had grown so accustomed to flying in the door, boiling spaghetti, opening a can of Ragu or whatever, helping with homework, cleaning, the whole deal…but I learned a couple of things:

First, be patient. This whole transition is just that…a TRANSITION. It doesn’t happen overnight, and mistakes are gonna happen. And that is absolutely a-okay.

Second, be creative. When I first figured out how magical the spaghetti squash was, it was just a matter of time before I started trying to recreate my favorite Italian recipes. “Would coconut cream work with this? It’s so sweet! Surely not!” BUT BOOM….it works and it’s amazing! Don’t be afraid to try new things — you never know what new favorite thing you may discover!

Third, PREP. I know, it sounds horrible. But 1 of these carbonara’s produces 6-8 meals (depending on how big the hubs makes his portion). It’s totally worth the prep time.

Ok, enough of that. On with the recipe!

Author:

Baked Chicken Carbonara with Spaghetti Squash

prep time: 20 Mcook time: 45 Mtotal time: 65 M
A grain-free version of one of my favorite Italian dishes.

ingredients:

  • 1 medium squash, cut length-wise
  • 2 large free-range chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 strips uncured bacon (precook and break into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 cup Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped and divided
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt, divided
  • 2.5 tsp Garlic Powder, divided
  • 2 cans coconut cream, set about 4 tbsp of the water from the can aside.

instructions:

How to cook Baked Chicken Carbonara with Spaghetti Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Add two tbsp olive oil to a skillet and heat to medium.
  3. Coat the chicken in 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
  4. Add chicken to the warm oil and cook until done through. Cut into cubes when done.
  5. While chicken is cooking prepare spaghetti squash: In a pressure cooker (I used my trusty Instant Pot), add 1 cup of water. Stack the squash halves on top of the wire trivet and cook on manual for 7 minutes. ***an oven may also be used, utilizing a glass baking dish. Cook for approx 45 mnts***
  6. Quick release pressure at end of cycle.
  7. "Shred" inside of squash with a fork into long ribbons.
  8. Place in a glass baking dish (9x13)
  9. In a separate skillet, add remaining olive oil and heat to medium. Add onions and cook until just-tender.
  10. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant
  11. Add mushrooms and cook until tender
  12. Add the coconut cream, remaining seasonings, chicken and bacon. Cook for 7-10 minutes on low-medium.
  13. Stir in half of the fresh parsley.
  14. Use a ladle to evenly distribute the carbonara sauce/ chicken onto the Spaghetti Squash. If needed, add a bit of the coconut water around the edges of the spaghetti squash (optional. I found this made for extra "sauciness").
  15. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through completely through. Garnish with fresh parsley upon serving.
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