Your summertime sustenance consists of low-maintenance meals that ideally can be carried out to your rooftop/porch/fire escape for some al fresco action. But with all the salads and fruit smoothies, you might be missing the oomph of something more substantial (AKA dishes that feel like a hug).
If you’ve got comfort food on the brain, tap this hot-weather-appropriate take on the ultimate soul-warming duo: spaghetti and meatballs. These quick-and-easy squash bowls pair plenty of bright-green pesto and tender pieces of PERDUE® FRESH CUTS™ Diced Chicken Breast for a fresh take on the weeknight standby. Bonus: Since the chicken’s pre-cut, you also cut down on your prep time.
And it’s the perfect showpiece for inviting over friends to share in the omg-deliciousness. After tossing the squash into the oven to roast, you’ve got free time to tidy your pad or just kick back with a glass of wine, TBH. With 10 minutes remaining, season and sauté the boneless, skinless chicken (raised with an all-vegetarian diet and no antibiotics ever).
Then comes the fun part of using a fork to make spaghetti-squash noodles (do it in front of guests for extra bonus points). Load up your veggie bowls with flavorful pesto, juicy chicken chunks, and slow-roasted tomatoes, and you’ve got the fool-proof recipe for impromptu girls night at your place.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a large knife, split the two squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and pulp. Place cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet and add 1 cup of water. Brush the outside of the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the point of a small knife can easily pierce the skin.
Season the PERDUE® FRESH CUTS™ Diced Chicken Breast with Italian seasonings, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken chunks until golden and cooked through, about 7 to 8 minutes. The chicken is done when it feels firm to the touch and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reaches 170°F.
When the squash is done, use two forks to rake the flesh of each to create “spaghetti.” Transfer into a large bowl and reserve the emptied skins. Toss the spaghetti squash with the pesto, mixing to coat the strands well. Add the cooked chicken and cherry tomatoes, and toss to combine.
Portion the Chicken Pesto Squash back into the squash skin “bowls.” Sprinkle the top of each bowl with toasted pine nuts and serve.
Tip: The best way to split open a squash is by inserting the tip of a chef’s knife into one end. Apply strong and even pressure on the knife, using it more like a splitter rather than slicing or carving.
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