2 cupsshredded cooked chicken(about 2 chicken breasts; rotisserie chicken is great here)
1/2cup pesto(I love Trader Joe's dairy-free Vegan Kale Pesto– make sure yours is dairy-free if needed!)
1pintcherry tomatoes (see substitutions)
8oz.Baby Bella or white mushrooms
1 tsp. garlic powder
Optional topping (non-Paleo/Whole30): a sprinkle of goat cheese or Parmesan cheese
For the Spaghetti Squash
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Poke a few holes in your spaghetti squash and microwave it for 5 minutes, then use a large, sharp knife, to slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
Place on a baking sheet (use parchment paper for easier clean-up) and drizzle each half with 1/2 tsp. oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes for a small squash (up to 60 minutes for a large squash). The squash strands should be just barely crunchy still when the squash is ready.
When squash is done cooking, remove the baking sheet from oven and let the squash cool sit until it's cool enough to handle, at least 10-15 minutes. Scoop out the seeds and gooey innards, and drain any water that may have collected inside the squash during cooking. Fork through the squash to loosen the strands from the shell.
For the Veggies
Heat 2 tsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add the sliced mushrooms and sliced cherry tomatoes, cooking until softened.
Add the squash strands to the skillet of veggies and stir in the pesto and shredded chicken, heating through. Scoop the spaghetti squash mixture back into the two squash shells.
Optional: add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or goat cheese on top and return the baking sheet to the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is just melted.
If you prefer to not microwave the squash: poke holes in the squash and then bake it whole for 65-70 minutes for a small squash (up to 80 minutes for a large squash). Cut it in half to check doneness.Substitutions:use 2 regular tomatoes or 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes, skip the mushrooms, add broccoli, etc.To speed up the process: You can bake the spaghetti squash a day or two in advance because even though it's easy, it does take a while in the oven. Alternatively, when I've found myself short on time, I've cranked the oven up to 425 and baked the squash for a shorter amount of time, which works in a pinch.Easy skillet chicken: If you don't already have leftover grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, etc., here's an easy way to cook skillet chicken to slice or shred. In a skillet with a lid, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place chicken breasts in the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, flip the chicken, and add 1/2 cup water or chicken broth, and cover the skillet with the lid. Cook the chicken for 5-6 more minutes until the chicken is cooked through, adding an additional splash of water if it evaporates. The chicken should register 160 if you check it with a meat thermometer. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes (to retain its juices) before slicing or shredding.