From Lauren: This recipe is a contribution from Michelle, who shares an autoimmune-friendly recipe each month.
I remember the first time I ever made spaghetti squash. I was in my teens, newly gluten free, and exploring new options. I was preparing my plate when my dad walked in the kitchen and ask, “How are you eating spaghetti?!”. When I told him it was actually a vegetable, he couldn’t believe it! This low carb, grain free, and nutrient dense pasta alternative is a staple in my autoimmune paleo diet, and this spaghetti squash chicken pesto is a delicious new spin on it!
What makes this dish even more unique, is that it’s actually nut free as well. Pesto is traditionally made with pine nuts, and living with a nut allergy, I’ve never tasted a pine nut in my life. Since nuts are eliminated on an autoimmune paleo diet as well, this pesto is perfect for anyone following the protocol.
About the Ingredients in AIP Pesto Chicken and Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is abundant during the winter, but you can also find it throughout the year in certain health food grocery stores. Follow Lauren’s spaghetti squash baking method to ensure perfect al-dente strands of squash.
Use either chicken thighs or chicken breasts for this recipe. Basil & arugula create the base for the rich pesto. Basil offers its sweet, floral tones and arugula adds more of bite. The flavor of your olive oil will shine through, and I recommend this brand of olive oil. Unlike many olive oils on supermarket shelves imported from Italy, it is not cut with vegetable oils.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (or other cooking fat)
- 1 cup basil
- 1 cup arugula
- ½ cup olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
- Sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
- Bake the spaghetti squash as instructed here
- While the spaghetti squash is baking, add the chicken breast to the other baking sheet. Add the coconut oil to the chicken and season with salt. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 F.
- Once the spaghetti squash and chicken are done, scoop the spaghetti squash into a bowl, top with sliced chicken and set aside.
- For the pesto, add the basil, arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Top the spaghetti squash and chicken with pesto, and enjoy! Store any leftover pesto in the fridge for 2-3 days.
About Michelle Hoover
Michelle Hoover is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Blogger, and Podcaster at Unbound Wellness. After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in her teens and living with gut issues and food intolerances her entire life, she started her blog to share her holistic lifestyle tips and paleo/AIP recipes that helped her heal and thrive. Michelle believes that real food doesn’t have to be boring and loves sharing recipes that are both nourishing and fun. You can follow along on her Instagram and Facebook.