Monday, November 25, 2013

Creamy jalapeno spaghetti squash and chicken bake


Welcome to Week 4 of 12 Weeks of Winter Squash! If you have a winter squash recipe on your blog this week, feel free to post it using the linky below. I love to see all the new and creative winter squash recipes each week.

This week I created a recipe that combines spaghetti squash and chicken with a creamy and spicy jalapeno sauce. Now that the snow has arrived, I've been craving casseroles, soups, stews, and all those stick-to-your-ribs type of meals. Plus, I have been looking for ways to make more frugal dishes, and that includes finding ways to stretch meat in our meals. It also helps that the spaghetti squash and peppers I used in this recipe were from my father-in-law's garden. I have been making a big effort lately to create meals around what we have at home. While there are still some things that I want to make that involve a big shopping trip, I'm trying to limit those and be creative with what we have on hand. This dish allowed me to stretch one large organic free-range chicken breast into four servings. We ate this along with a green salad tossed with oil and vinegar for a full meal. Don't be afraid of using the jalapenos (even some seeds), pepper jack, and potentially some cayenne - the spaghetti squash, chicken, and milk are bland on their own and need these bold flavors!


Creamy jalapeno spaghetti squash and chicken bake
1 medium spaghetti squash
olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced, greens and whites separated
2 jalapenos, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cooked chicken breast cubed (about 1 cup total)
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet cut side down. Bake until you can pierce the skin with a fork, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the sauce.

In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the scallion whites, jalapeno, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add another drizzle of olive oil and then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring often, for about one minute and then whisk in the milk. Continue to whisk and cook until the milk begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Then stir in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. At this time, you may add the cayenne pepper, if using (to your taste).

Scrape the spaghetti squash out of the skin using a fork and pulling it into strands. Stir into the sauce along with the chopped cilantro and half of the scallion greens.

Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking dish. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly. Top with the pepper jack cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Top with remaining scallion greens and serve hot.


What was I cooking one year ago?: shredded brussel sprouts with chestnuts and pomegranate
Two years ago?: cranberry sauce quickbread
Three?: chocolate chip pumpkin bread

18 comments:

  1. What an awesome idea - I love these flavors with spaghetti squash...so different than the ones I normally turn to. Making this soon!

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  2. Hi Amy, wow.. this is really awesome. Looking at the ingredients, I 'm sure it taste really good. Love the cheesy part.

    Have a nice day.

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  3. This bake couldn't lok any more comforting! It's making my mouth water, I tell you :D

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  4. Oh wow! This looks incredible! I have been loving anything with jalapenos lately!

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  5. Yum! This looks like great comfort food.

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  6. This dish looks fabulous Amy...spaghetti squash and chicken...all together in a creamy sauce...yum!
    Have a great week :D

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  7. This looks like the perfect comfort food casserole for the cold weather we've been having here in NY. Yum!

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  8. What a great way to use spaghetti squash. Jalapeno cheese is a wonderful and tasty addition to this dish.

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  9. This sounds so yummy! We love jalapenos, maybe a way to get my hubby to like spaghetti squash?

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  10. You hit on two of my loves here by using spaghetti squash in a casserole! It looks and sounds out of this world delicious! Super comforting.

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  11. Lovely food. Looks so much like a delicious lasagna!

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  12. What a delicious, hearty, and unique meal! Sounds like the perfect way to warm up after a long winter day.

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  13. i like your glass dish, but i love what it contains even more! what a great use for spaghetti squash. :)

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  14. This casserole looks delicious and oh-so-comforting!!

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  15. I've never had much luck with spaghetti squash, but after see this, I might just have to try again. This looks delicious!

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  16. Your husband is so damn lucky. I want to be fed like this!

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    1. Haha - thanks! I'll be sure to remind him of this ;-)

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