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Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash (Paleo, Keto, Whole30)

Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash features delicious homemade pesto sauce and tender chicken for an easy, satisfying, nourishing dinner recipe that happens to be paleo, whole30, and! Make it for the whole family or as a meal prep recipe.

Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Squash is an easy healthy dinner recipe - low-carb, keto, paleo, whole30, delicious

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve made this chicken pesto spaghetti squash…

…I’d be cashing in early retirement in the Maldives.

It’s one of those meals that covers all the bases and is just so nice to cozy up to on a chilly evening.

The best part about this recipe is you can either prepare it in parts – roast the spaghetti squash and/or make the pesto sauce up to 5 days in advance, or make everything as the squash is roasting. 

Bonus: you can customize the recipe to your heart’s delight by changing up the pesto recipe or using different animal protein.

Craving additional veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, or carrot? Toss them in!

Let’s whip it out!

How to Make Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash:

Begin by roasting a medium to large-sized spaghetti squash. If you’ve never roasted a spaghetti squash, no sweat! I made a nifty little tutorial on How to Roast Spaghetti Squash, which you can follow!

Once the squash has finished roasting, allow it to cool.

Roasted spaghetti squash for pesto spaghetti squash

While the squash is roasting, prepare the homemade pesto sauce.

To do so, add all ingredients except the oil to a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the ingredients. Leave the food processor on and stream oil through the top. Continue processing until desired texture is reached.

Pesto sauce for chicken pesto spaghetti squash recipe using basil

Heat a skillet to medium-high and add 1 to 2 tablespoons avocado oil or coconut oil. Add the chopped chicken, sea salt, paprika, and garlic powder.

Brown the chicken without stirring for 3 minutes. Stir and continue browning without touching another 3 minutes.

Cover the skillet with a lid, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 to 5 minutes more.

Once the squash is cool enough to handle, transfer the “spaghetti” strands to a large mixing bowl.

Add in the pesto sauce and toss well. Stir in the chicken, including all of the liquid, and toss until everything is combined.

Taste for flavor, and add sea salt to taste.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Turn this into a casserole by following all the steps outlined in the recipe, then transfer everything to a casserole dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 375. If you aren’t dairy-free, be sure to give it a hefty shower of grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • Use any type of homemade or store-bought pesto sauce. Just be sure you’re using 1 to 1.5 cups.
  • Replace the chicken with shrimp or ground turkey.
  • If you don’t follow a strict paleo or whole30 diet, add 1 cup grated parmesan cheese to the pesto sauce.
Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Chicken - easy, few ingredients, paleo, low-carb, keto, healthy

More Healthy Spaghetti Squash Recipes:

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag me at @The.Roasted.Root on Instagram!

Close up top down image of two bowls of chicken pesto spaghetti squash with basil leaves and red pepper flakes for garnish.
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4.55 from 61 votes

Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Pesto spaghetti squash with chicken – an easy paleo, keto, whole30 dinner recipe
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

For the Spaghetti Squash:

For the Chicken:

Pesto:

  • 2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds see note
  • 2/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 cup parmesan optional, omit for whole30

Instructions

  • Roast the spaghetti squash according to these instructions.
  • While the squash is roasting, prepare the homemade pesto sauce. To do so, add all ingredients except the oil to a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the ingredients. Leave the food processor on and stream oil through the top. Continue processing until desired texture is reached.
  • Heat a skillet to medium-high and add 1 to 2 tablespoons avocado oil or coconut oil. Add the chopped chicken, sea salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Brown the chicken without stirring for 3 minutes. Stir, then continue browning without touching another 3 minutes. Stir chicken well, cover, and cook until cooked through, about 2 to 5 minutes more.
  • Once the squash is cool enough to handle, transfer the “spaghetti” strands to a large mixing bowl. Add in the pesto sauce and toss well. Add in the chicken, including all of the liquid, and toss until everything is combined. Taste for flavor, and add sea salt to taste.

Video

Notes

Replace the pumpkin seeds with pine nuts, almond, walnuts, or pecans

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 34g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g
Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash made with whole food ingredients - paleo, keto, low-carb, whole30 dinner recipe

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Recipe Rating




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Terry

Saturday 24th of February 2024

Can’t wait to try this! Cooking for my 88 year old mom, and was wondering if this could be frozen for individual portions

Julia

Saturday 24th of February 2024

Hi Terry! That's so sweet of you to make the recipe for your mom! I haven't tried freezing it myself but I think it would work. Because there's a decent amount of sauce (and fat), it should thaw just fine. I hope she enjoys the recipe!

Kaylee

Saturday 27th of January 2024

This was fantastic! Made this for dinner and it was superb. I used almonds in the pesto (previously I’ve only used pine nuts in pesto but didn’t have any on hand), and no cheese. It was a big hit for my mom and I! I love pesto and she has many allergies including dairy, added sugars, barley, etc. so not only was this exciting to find something delicious, but something so delicious that she could enjoy too! 10/10, will make again!

Julia

Tuesday 30th of January 2024

Aww I'm so happy to hear all of that, Kaylee! Thank you for sharing! xoxo

Sara

Saturday 2nd of December 2023

How much pesto is needed in this recipe if using storebought or preprepared? And, is spaghetti squash peel edible? I never peel my butternut squash as it's thin, gets very soft while cooking and is delicious. Just wondering about spaghetti squash as this is my first time to cook with it.

Sara

Tuesday 5th of December 2023

@Julia, The recipe card has the ingredients for making the pesto but not for buying it already prepared. If one makes up the recipe as specified, how much does it make, i.e, 1/2 cup, etc??

Julia

Monday 4th of December 2023

Hi Sara! There is a recipe card at the end of the post that has the breakdown of all of the ingredients with their measurements. You can either scroll down or slick the 'Jump to Recipe' link at the top of the page, which will take you right there :) Spaghetti squash peel is edible. To be honest, I personally wouldn't eat it because the texture is a little rough. Hope you enjoy the recipe! xo

Val

Thursday 19th of October 2023

This was delicious. I made as is except I had some leftover rotisserie chicken & already had some homemade pesto so that shortened the prep/cooking time. Thanks for a great recipe!

Julia

Saturday 21st of October 2023

Love the idea of using rotisserie chicken! I'm happy you enjoyed it! xo

Danelle

Sunday 8th of January 2023

This is AMAZING! Just cooked it to meal prep lunches for the week and of course had to taste it. I could have eaten the whole bowl! Yum yum yum! I used pine nuts in the pesto and no cheese. So good!

Julia

Monday 9th of January 2023

Yaaay for meal prep! I'm so happy you enjoy it, Danelle! xo

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