Spaghetti squash alone can be a bit dull, but it’s amazing what butter seared chicken, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and plenty of lemon can do. What used to be boring turns into to something that’s almost impossible to stop eating.
We use chicken thighs, but there’s no reason you couldn’t swap them for chicken breast.
1 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for baking the squash
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 lemon, halved
2 ounces grated parmesan, pecorino or a mixture (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, chopped
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet (or large baking dish) with parchment paper.
Using a heavy chef’s knife cut squash in half lengthwise — see the notes section for how to do this safely. Remove the seeds and discard. Lightly drizzle the cut side of each squash half with olive oil, and then season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side-down onto the baking sheet and bake 40 to 50 minutes until it is soft and easily pierced with a knife.
About 20 minutes before the squash has finished baking, cook the chicken. Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks, season with salt then let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and the butter in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter sizzles, add the chicken thighs and cook until nicely browned on one side, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Add the juice of one lemon half and cook for about 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
When the squash is done, flip them so that the cut-side is facing up and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Run a fork through the flesh to separate the “spaghettilike” strands, and place in the skillet with chicken. Stir in most of the cheese, parsley, and some fresh ground pepper. Serve with more cheese and an extra squeeze of lemon juice on top.