This Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Squash incorporates the flavorful fusion of tender chicken, Italian seasonings, marinara sauce, melty cheese and roasted spaghetti squash for a wholesome twist on a classic favorite. This Italian-inspired classic is a low carb and satisfying dinner that’s both healthy and delicious.
Updated October 2023
Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Recipe: A Gluten-Free Twist on a Classic Favorite
If you’re in the mood for a wholesome, Italian-inspired dish with a twist, this Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Squash recipe is bound to be a hit. It’s a low-carb and gluten-free alternative to traditional pasta.
Not only is it delicious, but also a creative way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Parmesan Chicken Spaghetti Squash offers a healthy and satisfying solution that’s bursting with flavor. The best part is, indulging in this mouthwatering meal doesn’t have to come at the cost of your gluten-free or dairy-free lifestyle.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
These thoughtfully chosen ingredients work together to create a flavorful, satisfying, and gluten-free version of the classic Chicken Parmesan dish. Whether you’re adhering to a gluten-free lifestyle or simply seeking a healthier twist, these components come together harmoniously for a delicious meal.
For the Spaghetti Squash:
- Spaghetti Squash: The star of the dish, serving as a gluten-free and low-carb alternative to traditional pasta.
- Olive Oil: Used to season and roast the spaghetti squash, adding moisture and flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: Seasonings that enhance the natural taste of the squash.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: A lean protein source that pairs perfectly with the dish.
- Gluten-Free Panko Bread Crumbs: Provides a delightful crunch to the chicken. Optionally, you can use crushed grain-free crackers or crushed pork rinds for a lower-carb alternative.
- Garlic Powder: Adds a subtle, savory flavor to the chicken.
- Salt and Pepper: Seasonings that enhance the overall taste.
- Italian Seasoning: Infuses Italian flair into the dish.
- Egg (Beaten): Binds the breadcrumb mixture to the chicken. Feel free to sub with egg-substitute if needed.
- Marinara Sauce: The key component for that classic Chicken Parmesan flavor.
- Fresh Mozzarella: Melts beautifully over the chicken, whether you choose vegan or regular.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese: Offers the unmistakable Parmesan taste, available in dairy-free or regular options.
- Broccoli Florets: Adds a pop of green and a satisfying crunch to the dish.
- Zucchini: Enhances the depth of the meal.
- Shredded Carrots: Brings a hint of sweetness and color to the plate.
- Olive Oil: Used for seasoning and moisture.
- Salt and Pepper: Elevates the overall flavor of the vegetables.
Instructions: How to make Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Squash
Preheat the Oven:
- Set your oven to 375ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare the Spaghetti Squash:
- Cut the large spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place the squash halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up, and season them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Coat the Chicken:
- While the squash is roasting, combine the gluten-free panko bread crumbs (or alternatives), garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a medium shallow bowl. Dip each chicken breast in the beaten egg until well coated and then cover them evenly with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake the Chicken:
- After the initial 20 minutes of roasting the squash, push it to one side of the baking pan. Lay the breaded chicken on the remaining side and return the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side after this time.
Add the Vegetables:
- Place the veetables around the squash and chicken on the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Return the pan to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, ensuring the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and the squash is fork-tender.
Assemble and Serve:
- Remove pan from oven. Scoop out the seeds from the spaghetti squash. Shred the inside to loosen the spaghetti strands. Fill squash with sauce, top with chicken and veggies. Add another layer of marinara sauce, and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted. Serve the dish in the spaghetti squash or transfer it to bowls, garnishing with parsley if desired.
Tips for Success
- Chicken: Make sure to cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure it’s safe to eat.
- Marinara Sauce: Customize your marinara sauce by using your favorite store-bought brand or whipping up a homemade version for an extra special touch.
- Cheese: If you’re short on time, you can use pre-shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Enjoy your Parmesan Chicken Spaghetti Squash as a stand-alone meal or pair it with a side salad like this Halloumi Salad for a well-rounded dinner.
Variations and Substitutions
Feel free to experiment with the vegetables you include in the dish.
- Vegetables: Bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach can all make delightful additions.
- Protein: For a vegetarian version, you can skip the chicken or use a meatless substitute.
Storage and Freezer Instructions
Refrigeration: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer: To freeze, tightly wrap the dish in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and it will keep for up to 3 months.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
1. Can I use regular panko breadcrumbs instead of gluten-free ones?
- Yes, you can use regular panko breadcrumbs if you are not following a gluten-free diet.
2. How can I make this recipe lower in carbs?
- To make this dish lower in carbs, you can substitute the gluten-free panko breadcrumbs with crushed low carb crackers or crushed pork rinds as mentioned in the recipe. Additionally, you can use a sugar-free marinara sauce such as Rao’s.
3. Can I use different vegetables in this recipe?
- Absolutely! Feel free to customize the vegetable selection to your liking. Bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach are great alternatives.
4. Is there a vegetarian version of this recipe?
- Yes, you can create a vegetarian version by omitting the chicken like our Stuffed Spaghetti Squash or substituting it with a meatless alternative such as tofu or tempeh.
More spaghetti squash recipes you will love:
This Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Squash incorporates the flavorful fusion of tender chicken, Italian seasonings, marinara sauce, melty cheese and roasted spaghetti squash for a wholesome twist on a classic favorite. This Italian-classic is a low carb and satisfying, gluten-free dinner that's both healthy and delicious.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts , pounded thinly. If you're not a fan of chicken, you can sub with turkey, veal or protein of your choice. Omit for a vegan option or sub with tofu or tempeh.
- 1/4 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs , feel free to use crushed grain-free / low carb crackers or crushed pork rinds for a lower carb alternative (regular panko crumbs work too if you're not gluten-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 large egg , beaten. Feel free to sub with egg-substitute if needed.
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella , vegan or regular, we like Miyokos for dairy-free.
- grated parmesan cheese , dairy-free or regular, we like Violife.
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets
- 1 medium zucchini cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375º. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and place on prepared baking sheet, cut side up and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- While the squash is cooking, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a medium shallow bowl.
Dip each chicken breast in the beaten egg until well coated. Then cover evenly in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Remove squash from the oven after 20 minutes and push to one side of the baking pan. Lay the chicken on the remaining side and return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the pan again and flip the chicken to the other side. Place the broccoli, zucchini, and carrots around the squash and chicken on the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and return to bake in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165 degrees F and the squash is cooked until fork tender.
- Remove from oven, scoop out the seeds and shred the inside of each squash so that the spaghetti strands are loosened. Fill inside of each squash bowl with 1/3 cup marinara sauce, top with chicken and some vegetables and spread another layer of marinara sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Return to the pan to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Serve in spaghetti squash or transfer to two bowls and sprinkle with parsley, if desired.