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A Healthy Recipe To Warm The Body & Spirit

Some of you already know we’re based in Michigan but for those of you who don’t, the weather can be pretty crazy here this time of year. Some Octobers we get snow, other years we’ll have an Indian summer with unusually warm temperatures. After our recent warm streak, it looks like our luck has finally run out on summer temperatures and reality is about to set in.

With the colder weather, there’s nothing better than wholesome meals that warm the body and spirit and today I’m going to share one such recipe with you.

𝗦𝗣𝗔𝗚𝗛𝗘𝗧𝗧𝗜 𝗦𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗦𝗛 𝗕𝗢𝗔𝗧𝗦 𝗪𝗜𝗧𝗛 𝗖𝗛𝗜𝗖𝗞𝗘𝗡

No matter the temperature and region, we can all unite around simple, delicious weeknight dinners such as these Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken and Bacon. They’re comforting enough for a cold Michigan night while being healthy enough to be appropriate for a lighter evening meal.

These Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken and Bacon remind me of chicken alfredo, without the heaviness and excess. Like chicken alfredo, they are creamy, cheesy, and satisfying, but (unlike chicken alfredo) they are well-balanced and won’t send you into a total food coma afterwards.

Instead of pasta, these spaghetti squash boats rely on the roasted spaghetti squash itself, which shreds into thin, noodle-like strands. Alfredo’s signature heavy cream is replaced by protein-packed Greek yogurt. The chicken is juicy and garlicky, and a handful of sautéed spinach gives the dish beautiful color and an extra serving of veg.

To keep things from becoming *too* virtuous (we are still going for comfort food, after all), the spaghetti squash boats are topped with a shower of extra-crispy bacon. I love the way the crunchy pieces contrast with the melty cheese and creamy chicken, and the bacon’s smoky flavor makes these boats a little more special too.

𝟰 𝗦𝗘𝗥𝗩𝗜𝗡𝗚𝗦

𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗽 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲:𝟭𝟬 𝗠𝗜𝗡𝗦
𝗖𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲:𝟭 𝗛𝗥 𝟱 𝗠𝗜𝗡𝗦
𝗧𝗼𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲:𝟭 𝗛𝗥 𝟭𝟱 𝗠𝗜𝗡𝗦

Simple and healthy Spaghetti Squash Boats stuffed with creamy chicken, bacon, spinach, and cheese. A healthy, comforting meal!

𝗜𝗡𝗚𝗥𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗦

𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗦𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗦𝗛:

2 medium spaghetti squash — about 2 pounds each
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗖𝗛𝗜𝗖𝗞𝗘𝗡 𝗕𝗔𝗖𝗢𝗡 𝗦𝗣𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗖𝗛 𝗙𝗜𝗟𝗟𝗜𝗡𝗚:

4 strips thick-sliced center-cut bacon — roughly chopped
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts — cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups baby spinach — torn into pieces
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese — divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil — plus additional for serving

𝗜𝗡𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗨𝗖𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦

1) Bake the squash: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 2 tablespoons water into the baking sheet (this prevents sticking). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the squash flesh is fork-tender and the skin gives a little when pressed. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

2) Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate and pat dry. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then add the spinach. Stir the chicken and spinach together until the spinach wilts, then stir in the Greek yogurt, half of the mozzarella cheese, and basil.

3) Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to shred and fluff the inside flesh so it’s no longer attached to the walls and makes a “nest.” Divide the chicken filling evenly among the boats, using a fork to lightly mix it with the spaghetti squash. Arrange the stuffed squash on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the reserved bacon and remaining mozzarella cheese.

4) Bake until the cheesy is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve hot, sprinkled with additional fresh basil.

𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗜𝗣𝗘 𝗡𝗢𝗧𝗘𝗦

The squash can be roasted and “shredded” up to 1 day in advance. The entire dish can be assembled up to 1 day in advance as well. Bake as directed just before serving.

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or gently in the microwave. I do not recommend freezing, as the spaghetti squash will become mushy.

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