Easy Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash or Pasta

DSC_4168

Chicken alfredo in any version is a hit in our house.  I don’t make it as much as I once did, as 7 years ago we had a young hockey player who played for the Saint John SeaDog hockey team billet at our home.  Can you guess what he wanted for dinner before every practice and game.  I happily obliged and quickly learned how to make chicken alfredo for one.  Well, more like two, he was a growing young man.

Like many of my recipes, I change-up this recipe depending on what I have in the kitchen for ingredients.  Sometimes I add the cooked and cubed chicken breast and mix it in the sauce and pour it over the pasta.  Which can be any type of pasta you prefer.  Most times I mix the pasta and sauce together and serve with a breast of chicken and a vegetable on the side.  Or chop sauteed asparagus or broccoli into bite size pieces and mix with the cubed chicken, pasta, and sauce all together top with extra cheese and place under the broiler for a minute or two until the cheese is bubbly and melted.  Serve and take in the glory as everyone yells “Your awesome”  Yes, you will be a dinnertime super hero.

For a lighter version of this recipe I have recently started using spaghetti squash.  It’s guilt free, mild in taste, and has a similar texture to spaghetti once baked.  And I am willing to bet that if you didn’t tell your little (or big) selective eater they would never know, especially if you asked if they wanted extra cheese on top 😉  Win, Win, in my book.  This recipe takes 1 hr to prepare from start to table.

Easy Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash or Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredient list:        Serves 4

  • 1 medium to large (2-3lb) spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 cup (62.5ml) of water for the squash pan
  • * if using pasta measure 1 lb uncooked cooked into a pot of boiling salted water and cook to al dente 
  • 12 small boneless skinless chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup (62.5 ml) of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced or 1 tsp minced garlic from a jar
  • 1/4 cup  (34 grams) flour (all purpose or gluten free)
  • 1 – 1/4 cups (300ml) milk (I used 2 %Lacteeze )
  • 1 cup (125 grams) parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh black pepper
  • pinch of ground nutmeg

Squash prep:

DSC_4179Preheat the oven set to 375° while you prep the spaghetti squash

DSC_4181I remove the stem as it is hard to cut through

DSC_4182Cut the squash in half lengthwise

DSC_4185Remove seeds and flesh of the squash.

DSC_4187Place the squash skin side up and add a 1/4 cup of water to the pan as pictured below

DSC_4188Place the squash in the preheated 375° oven, set the timer for 45 minutes.  You should be able to push a fork through to the skin.

Chicken prep:

DSC_4103Once the squash is in the oven heat a nonstick pan with 1 tsp olive oil and bring to med-high heat.

DSC_4104I prefer to use skinless chicken thighs and to keep them moist while in the oven I pan sear the top side of the thighs.

DSC_4105Using tongs place the thigh smooth side down and sear for 3-4 minutes until golden and starting to caramelize on one side.

DSC_4108Be careful not to crowd the chicken thighs together as they will steam versus caramelize

DSC_4116Baste an oven proof baking dish with the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil.

DSC_4119Place the seared thigh into the baking dish as pictured

DSC_4120I like to use a baking dish that leaves little room for the chicken to fall apart.  This keeps the chicken from drying out.

DSC_4124Season with Sea salt and pepper and place in the oven to roast until cooked thoroughly.  The chicken should be cooked for 25 minutes longer or when the inside temperature reaches 165°.  I add to the oven when the time shows 20 minutes left on the timer for the squash cooking time.  This gives me 5 minutes to prep the squash before the chicken needs to be removed from the oven.  Once the timer goes off I remove the squash and start a 5 minute timer so that I don’t forget the chicken.

Sauce Prep:

DSC_4125Place the butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan and place over med/high heat

DSC_4126Add the garlic

DSC_4127Stir to  combine and heat the butter until bubbly and hot.  If your butter is starting to brown, the heat may be too high.  Remove the pan from the heat and turn the temperature down.  Don’t stop stirring the butter.

DSC_4129Add the flour and whisk together until combined.

DSC_4130It will look lumpy and turn into a thick paste

DSC_4131And a little clumpy.  Keep stirring

DSC_4132Cook the to remove the raw flour taste, about 1 minute.  Take care not to burn and don’t stop stirring.

DSC_4134Add the milk 1/3 (100ml) at a time and keep whisking.  Using cold milk helps the sauce from turning lumpy at the end.  Remove from heat to whisk the paste for 15 seconds.

DSC_4135Return the pan back to the stove and add 1/3 more of the cold milk.

DSC_4136Repeat until all the milk is added and the sauce is creamy and smooth.

DSC_4140Add 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

DSC_4142Start whisking DSC_4143Whisk until all the cheese is added.  Whisk until melted, smooth and creamy.

DSC_4145Add your sea salt, pepper, and nutmeg for seasoning.   Cover and set aside as the oven should be going off right about now.

DSC_4192Remove the squash from the oven and place on a plate.  Don’t forget to reset the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking the chicken.  If you would like a vegetable on the side like steamed broccoli, or grilled asparagus, start now.  This will give the squash a couple of minutes to cool for easier handling.  For this dish I sautéed asparagus in a 1/2 tsp of oil and seasoned with salt and pepper for 5 minutes over med/high heat.

DSC_4193My husband says I have hands of steel as I can pick up the hottest things liked boiled eggs.  However, I recommend you use a dish towel to hold the squash in place while you gently use a fork to release the squash strands from its skin.

DSC_4198The squash falls out rather easy into a bowl I have set in place to catch my “healthy spaghetti”

DSC_4201 DSC_4150Starting to see the resemblance to pasta?

DSC_4151

DSC_4152Pour the prepared white sauce over the spaghetti squash

DSC_4155Smells so good already!

DSC_4157Stir to combineDSC_4161The sauce clings to the spaghetti squash the same way it would to pasta.

Ding Ding! the oven timer is ringing.  Remove the chicken from the oven.  Time to plate and serve.

DSC_4164Serve with the chicken, a side of vegetables and garnish with a dash of parmesan cheese.

DSC_4168Enjoy!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Easy Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash or Pasta

    • The Handy Homemaker says:

      Thanks Slobodanka. I’ve also been mixing with Pesto and tossing in carmelized onions and sauteed mushrooms and cherry tomatoes served with a side of grilled chicken. Delicious as well. Although alfredo sauce is a family friendly sauce 😉 😉 even with my big kiddo’s. Miss you.. Thanks for your comments. xo

      Like

  1. mary stiles says:

    Sounds great Mina and one I will try soon. I use spaghetti squash in place of pasta quite a bit. It really helps with the carbs when one is diabetic and I don’t miss the pasta at all.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s