Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Spinach

We are clearly on a fall flavor kick here on A Healthy Hint. Squash is a staple fall vegetable choice for us, but spaghetti squash in particular is something we feature in our recipes year-round. This is because we are carb hounds and love a good noodle dish… and our guess is that 9 out of 10 of you feel the same way! However, despite our love for pasta, it is not a meal we usually find ourselves eating and consider a hearty pasta dish more of a cheat meal for us, personally. That left us with a little problem: how can we go about satisfying our pasta cravings without sacrificing our target daily carb intake? Solution: spaghetti squash. This vegetable is such an easy one to make, and still has a ‘noodle-like’ texture which hits the spot for us when we are meal prepping.

For this recipe, our key ingredient is: Spaghetti Squash     

Here’s why we care about this recipe:

  • Spaghetti squash is chalk-full of a range of vitamins. It has large traces of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, along with B-6 and vitamin K. Research even suggests that obtaining vitamins through this squash as a food source is more beneficial than taking your daily vitamin supplement (as per Colorado State University).
  • It also contains a large amount of manganese, which regulates blood sugar, gives your metabolism a boost, and overall functionality of our nervous system. It also boosts our sex hormones. A true win-win…
  • It is a low-calorie food, which means you can eat heaps of it without worrying about intaking a large amount of calories in one sitting. In one cup, there are only 42 calories (vs roughly 220 calories for a cup of pasta). We are ALL about meals that are portion dense without being calorie dense. Spaghetti squash offers the perfect solution for anyone who can relate to this!
  •  It is also a high fiber food, which means you will be full faster, and for longer.
  • This squash also is an immunity booster and is helpful when it comes to gut functionality. It boosts brain functionality, and overall body functions, too, since it is packed with Omega-6 fatty acids.

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Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Spinach

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (approximately 2 small lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (approximately 1 small lemon)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash*
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a cast iron pan, heat olive oil and garlic cloves over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the chicken is thoroughly cooked then remove it from the skillet onto a plate.
  2. In same pan, reduce heat to medium-low and add white wine, lemon juice, lemon zest and ricotta cheese. Stir sauce until it reaches a simmer.
  3. Add spinach and spaghetti squash to sauce. Toss evenly to coat and heat until spinach is wilted.
  4. Slice chicken and serve on top of squash mixture. Garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.

 

*To cook spaghetti squash, we recommend the following:

  1. With a knife, carefully make cuts all around the spaghetti squash. Place in microwave and microwave in 5 minute increments, rotating the squash every 5 minutes.
  2. Continue until soft (anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the size of the squash).
  3. Carefully remove from microwave and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Cut in half and scoop out seeds, and then separate the strands.

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Yield: 4 servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300, Total Fat: 11.3g, Saturated Fat: 4.1g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Sodium: 208mg, Total Carbohydrates: 12g, Dietary Fiber: 0.5g, Total Sugars: 0.7g, Protein: 35.7g

 

Who else is a spaghetti squash lover?! We would love to hear your comments and feedback, in the comment section below.

XO,

Amanda and Christina

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