Cheesy-Spaghetti-Squash

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash, Broccoli and Rotisserie Chicken

Quick and easy dinner for busy nights!

#FoodieFriday: Run by your favorite grocery store to pick up a rotisserie chicken or two on the night you want to serve it.  Any flavor(s) you like will do!

If you are like me and try to keep weekday prep time to a minimum, you could cut up a couple heads of broccoli on the weekend to then cook the night you’ll eat it.  Store in an airtight container.

To further cut down weekday prep time, make the cheesy spaghetti squash on the weekend or on a night you have a little more time.  Mix up the whole recipe and store for quick reheats during the week.  Scoop out 1-1/2 cups per serving, reheat and enjoy!

Servings: 2 per rotisserie chicken = 1 chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli, 1-1/2 cup spaghetti squash, you can adjust the amount of broccoli and spaghetti squash to the number of chicken breasts you “prepare”. 

Here’s what you need:

for the squash:

  • Spaghetti squash, 4 – 5 pounds, this will provide 6 cups for serving
  • Unsalted butter, total of 4 tbsp.
  • Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp.
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

for the broccoli:

  • Broccoli, one med-large head, cut into florets with trimmed stalks (you can grab a pkg of pre-cut florets for expediency), this will provide 4-6 cups of florets
  • Bacon grease, 2 tbsp.
  • Garlic, 2 cloves
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

for the chicken:

  • 1 or 2 Rotisserie chickens from your favorite grocer…or you can make them yourself.  In the interest of time, I usually pick one or two up the night I want to serve this go-to meal in our house.

Instructions:

First things first, clean/cut the squash and get it in the oven.

Then cut the broccoli to take advantage of Mother Nature’s wisdom.

Keep your rotisserie chicken warm (remember to hide the packaging if you’re pulling a switcheroo…I won’t tell!)

Spaghetti Squash prep:

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Slice the squash in half widthwise.
  3. Remove any stickers from the skin.
  4. With an ice cream scoop, remove the seeds and the inner fibers.
  5. Place cut side down in a glass baking dish just big enough to fit both halves snugly without much extra room.
  6. Add 1/2-1 cup of water to the dish. There should be about 1/4 inch of water in the dish.
  7. Cover the dish with foil to create a steam environment.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes undisturbed. *** while the squash is baking, start broccoli prep.
  9. Poke the outer skin with a fork. The skin should pierce with a mild amount of effort.
  10. If it is still pretty tough, cover again and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  11. Remove the dish from the oven, keeping the foil intact.
  12. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  13. Remove the foil.
  14. With a towel, cover one of the halves at the end and give it a light squeeze. The squash should be a little soft, with a mild amount of give.
  15. Hold the squash with a towel and turn up to see the cut side.
  16. With a fork, gently separate the spaghetti squash so it looks like, well…spaghetti!
  17. Continue to tease the flesh until you’ve got it pretty well peeled back to the inner part of the skin.
  18. Scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl.
  19. Add 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp parmesan cheese. Salt & pepper to taste.

Prep time: 15 min. total
Cook time: 50 min

***Broccoli prep:

  1. If working with a whole head of broccoli/cauliflower, cut the base of the stalk about 1/4 inch. Then section the broccoli/cauliflower into florets cutting down the length of the stems.  If using precut florets, trim the ends and cut into uniform-sized pieces.  Use 2 cups of florets (fresh cut or pre-cut) for this meal.
  2. Allow the fresh cut cruciferous veggies to sit for approximately 40 minutes to maximize enzymatic activity per Dr. Michael Greger in “How Not to Die”. The anti-carcinogenic properties are maximized within this time permitting retention of the nutrients while cooking.  Pretty cool of Momma Nature to do this, eh?
  3. In a non-stick pan, saute the garlic in the bacon grease on medium heat until the garlic just turns golden.
  4. Add the broccoli, stir to coat the broccoli with the bacon grease/garlic mixture.
  5. Then reduce heat to medium-low.
  6. Cover and simmer/saute until broccoli is bright green and slightly tender, stirring occasionally. Prep time: 45 min. (5 mins prep / 40 mins wait)
    Cook time: 10 min

Rotisserie Chicken Breast prep:  (when you’re ready to serve your meal)

  1. Melt the butter and season to taste.
  2. Open up the rotisserie chicken package.
  3. Carve out the breast meat.
  4. Place skin-side up on your plate.  One breast per plate.
  5. Drizzle with the seasoned butter.
  6. After dinner the rest of the chicken should be cool, lending itself to the meat being picked off the bone to use in other meals this week.  Our go-to leftover chicken meals are chicken salad, chicken enchiladas, chicken tacos.  I just season it to the desired flavor and voila, another meal!  I love two-fer ingredients!!

C/F/C/P breakdown*:

Servings: 2 = 1 chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli, 1-1/2 cup spaghetti squash

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