Dive into a fusion of spaghetti squash, shredded chicken, zesty green enchilada sauce, and cheddar, garnished with green onion and green chiles. A gluten-free twist on your enchilada cravings!
Back in 2017, on a breezy September evening, my family and I found ourselves at a quaint little food festival in New Mexico. With every stall showcasing some variant of green chiles (trust New Mexico to show off its green chile charm), we were spoilt for choice. But the standout? A stall with a twist on the traditional enchilada using – wait for it – spaghetti squash! It was love at first bite. Combining my new-found love with my trusty old enchilada recipe, the Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash was born in my kitchen. And boy, did it bring back the festival memories with every bite!
Why You’ll Love Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash:
First, let’s talk health. Swapping tortillas for spaghetti squash instantly amps up the nutritional value, making it low-carb and gluten-free.
Then there’s the fusion of textures – the soft strands of squash juxtaposed against the succulent chicken bits.
Plus, the convenience! Forget the messy rolling of traditional enchiladas. Here, the squash is your vessel.
And the flavours? A harmonious blend of the fiery kick of green chiles, creamy Greek yogurt, and the warmth of melted cheese.
Ingredients Notes For Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash:
When selecting your spaghetti squash, look for a firm, yellow one without any soft spots.
For the green enchilada sauce, opt for a gluten-free version if you’re catering to dietary needs.
The shredded chicken can be from any part, though I recommend breasts for a leaner option.
If you’re not into Greek yogurt, sour cream can be a delightful substitute.
And as for the cheese? While cheddar or Monterey Jack is preferred, feel free to mix and match based on your cheesy desires.
How To Make Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash:
Preheat that oven to a toasty 400 degrees.
Cut your squash in half, long-ways, making sure to watch your fingers! Give the insides a little spray with cooking spray, and a pinch of salt and pepper for good measure. Lay them down, cut side on the baking sheet (foil makes for an easy clean-up) and let them roast to perfection, about 30-40 minutes.
Once cooled down, shred those spaghetti strands and put them in a bowl. But don’t toss the skins; we’ll be needing them later. And here’s a pro tip: give the strands a good squeeze to remove any excess liquid.
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Filling Magic: Change the oven setting to broil. Now, take a saucepan and over medium heat, mix in the enchilada sauce, green onion, green chiles, corn, cilantro, and that delicious chicken.
Once it’s all warm and aromatic, remove from heat and blend in the Greek yogurt. Mix this saucy concoction with the spaghetti squash strands and stuff it all back into the squash skins. Generously sprinkle cheese on top. Broil these beauties until the cheese is gloriously melted and bubbly.
This dish, although best enjoyed fresh, can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container. If you’re thinking of freezing, do it before the broiling step. When you’re ready to serve, thaw, and then broil until the cheese is perfectly melted.
Variations and Substitutions:
Looking for a vegetarian twist? Replace chicken with black beans or sautéed mushrooms. If green enchilada sauce isn’t your thing, red enchilada sauce works wonders too. For dairy-free folks, swap out the Greek yogurt for a dairy-free yogurt, and use vegan cheese. And if spaghetti squash isn’t in season, zucchini boats make a fabulous substitute. Get creative and make it your own!
Remember, folks, cooking is an art. And with this dish, you’re basically Picasso with a spatula!
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- 1 whole spaghetti squash
- 1 1/2 cups of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and finely shredded
- 1/2 cup of green enchilada sauce opt for a gluten-free version for a gluten-free preparation
- 1 green onion finely sliced
- 4 ounces of canned diced green chiles
- 1/2 cup of defrosted frozen corn
- 1 tablespoon of cilantro finely chopped (optional inclusion)
- 1/4 cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup of cheese either cheddar or Monterey Jack, or a blend of both, shredded
Preparation of Spaghetti Squash:
- Set the oven to a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit and align a baking sheet with aluminum foil for ease of cleaning post-cooking.
- Carefully bisect the spaghetti squash longitudinally. Lightly spray the inner surface with cooking spray and season with refined salt and ground pepper.
- Arrange the squash with the cut side facing downwards on the previously prepared baking sheet. Allow it to roast until it achieves a tender consistency, a process that should take approximately 30-40 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove the squash from the oven and let it rest for a short duration of roughly 10 minutes. Subsequently, use a fork to extract the fibrous strands and transfer them to a bowl, ensuring that the squash’s outer skin is retained for later use.
- To ensure optimal consistency, manually compress the spaghetti squash strands to expel any superfluous liquid.
Preparation of Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Filling:
- Adjust the oven settings to initiate the broil function.
- Utilize a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Into this, amalgamate the green enchilada sauce, green onion, green chiles, defrosted corn, cilantro, and the previously shredded chicken.
- Upon the mixture achieving a uniform warmth, remove the saucepan from the heat source. Subsequently, integrate the Greek yogurt.
- Thoroughly combine the enchilada filling with the spaghetti squash strands. Once uniformly mixed, transfer this combination back into the retained squash skins.
- Evenly distribute the shredded cheese atop the mixture.
- Position the filled squash skins back onto the baking sheet and place them under the broil setting in the oven. Monitor closely and remove once the cheese has melted to satisfaction. Serve upon achieving the desired consistency.