I’ve featured Acorn Squash Boats (stuffed with barley and veggies) last fall, but a cool new recipe idea I found features my all-time favorite squash: spaghetti. It’s one of the sweetest, and that pairs so well with a savory, robust tomato sauce and Italian seasonings.
Here’s the twist: let’s do squash boats chicken parmigiana style.
Holy yum! They were good. And as always, any food tastes better when it’s presented in a fun, innovative way. With spaghetti squash boats, you get a squash that can function as a dish, which you can eat straight out of or just use as a dish for baking.
I baked the chicken right on top. Eating wasn’t too tricky, but I like scratching out all the noodles, so that’s what I did.
A few tips before you get started: know that for this single-serving recipe you could do half of one large squash, but I was lucky enough to find one very small one at HyVee
I also “baked” the squash in the microwave. You can roast yours for longer in the oven, but again, because I’m always racing to get things done-including dinner, unfortunately–this method worked better for me. But for an even better flavor, I encourage you to roast.
1 small or half of one medium spaghetti squash
1/4 cup organic marinara
1 small roma tomato
onion, chopped & to taste
3-4 oz. chicken breast
1 T parmesan
dash of cayenne
-To “bake” the squash in the microwave, you’ll want to halve the squash and spritz with cooking spray. Microwave on high for 3 minutes facing down. Turn squashes upward and microwave another 3 minutes. You may need to microwave for another minute if you can’t take a fork to the squash and pull out a few tender noodles with ease. But in testing the squash, don’t tear all the noodles out yet.
-Meanwhile, season chicken with basil. Broil on high for 4-5 minutes, flipping if necessary.
-Meanwhile and meanwhile, you can start sautéing onions and tomatoes in a small frying pan with cayenne, to taste.
-Now once your squash is finished, your veggies sautéed, and your chicken broiled to a nice, crispy texture, start to arrange the boats. To do this, I recommend placing the boats on your broiling or baking dish. Spoon the veggies in the bottom of the boats, top with marinara, then chicken, then more sauce, parmesan, and extra basil if you like. Broil or bake until desired crispiness is achieved. I waited about 4 minutes, once the parmesan crumbs had melted down a bit.
-Serve right out of the oven, nice and warm. A bowl works well if you’re wanting to scrape everything out, but you can also plate the boats. And don’t worry about the skins, which will probably be tender enough to peel away (but are also sweet enough to eat).
Again, I love innovative ways to eat, and that.s why I love this recipe. Food should be interesting, creative if possible and enjoyable always. What do you think?