April 3, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Basil Avocado Sauce and Grilled Chicken

I actually made this recipe years ago...but with regular pasta (which you can do if you eat pasta). I was cooking up dinner for two and realized there wasn't much going on in the fridge. So, I smashed up an avocado and threw it on some penne pasta. I added sun-dried tomatoes and some grilled chicken breasts on top (at a time when the breast meat was all I ate) and dinner was served. At the time, I was certain I invented this creamy avocado sauce (you guys know how much I love using avocado to make things creamy like here and here). But now there are avocado cream pasta dishes all over the Internet. I knew I shouldn't have taken my leftovers to work...

Spaghetti Squash with Basil Avocado Sauce and Grilled Chicken (Paleo, AIP friendly)

Since I've discovered my intolerance to gluten, I'm exploring this whole new world of noodles made from vegetables. So today I'm making this with spaghetti squash (you can use pasta if you'd like). And I must say, it was delicious. I'd been waiting to be sold on this whole spaghetti squash actually tasting like pasta, but this is pretty close (not really, but it is still good).

Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Sauce and Basil (Gluten Free, Paleo, Autoimmune)

Now, this is meant to be a throw-together (leftovers) recipe and the measurements are easily adjustable to your own taste.

"Spaghetti" with Basil Avocado Sauce & Grilled Chicken
serves 3-4   printable recipe 

What you need: 

2-3 cups cooked spaghetti squash (zucchini noodles work as well)
1/2 - 1 cup chopped grilled chicken (other cooked and shredded or chopped chicken will work)
1 large avocado, pitted
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or coconut milk)
large handful fresh basil, 8-10 leaves (plus extra for garnish)
salt and pepper, to taste (omit pepper for AIP)

Optional: 1/4 cup or more oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (omit for AIP)

How to make:

Cook your squash and chicken first (or preferably make this when you have some leftover squash and chicken already cooked). For the spaghetti squash, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard (or save and roast them). Brush each half with a little olive oil (I just drizzle a small amount on and rub it in with my fingers) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut side down, in a baking dish. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from oven and scrap the flesh of the squash with a fork. You should end up with spaghetti-like strands.

To make the sauce: Pit the avocado and put avocado, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and basil in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste (I use 1/2 tsp salt and about 1/8 tsp pepper). Put spaghetti squash strands in a sauce pan over low heat (I used 2 cups for thick coated pasta, but you can stretch the sauce for 3 cups if desired). Pour avocado sauce over pasta and add water to thin out sauce if desired. Add cooked chicken (and tomatoes if using). Stir to combine and cook until heated to taste. Garnish with extra basil.

Optional: top with some Parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, or some crumbled cooked bacon.

Note: You can use zucchini noodles for this! Make zucchini noodles with this spiral vegetable slicer or this julienne peeler. Note: Zucchini noodles do not need to be cooked very long or they will become mushy.

Update: Here's a recipe using zucchini noodles: Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles and Spinach

  • This is best served right away. If you need to reheat: First, know that your pasta may be brown. But heat in a saucepan over low heat. Add a few tbsp of coconut milk (or other milk) until creamy. 
  • My lazy method (when I'm too lazy to wash my food processor): Add all ingredients to a skillet. Squash and chicken should already be cooked, and basil, garlic, and tomatoes will need to be chopped/minced. Smash the avocado as you stir and heat over low-med. If you want, first saute the garlic in a little olive oil before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Want more Avocado? Here ya go...
Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Sauce and Basil (Gluten Free, Paleo, Autoimmune)

This post was share at: Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Make Your Own Mondays and Fat Tuesday  

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  1. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)


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