Hungry Girl: My Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Is Healthy Comfort Food
Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of ten books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.
It’s the eternal struggle — we know we should be eating more vegetables, but we want to eat more comfort food! Good news: You really can have it all. Spaghetti squash is a total superstar. It mimics pasta for a fraction of the calories. This enchilada-inspired bake is crazy delicious and completely healthy… It’s a must-make!
‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!
Hungry Girl’s Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash (about 4 lbs.)
2 5-oz. boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
⅓ cup chopped onion
⅓ cup chopped bell pepper
¼ cup black beans
½ cup red enchilada sauce
½ cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave squash for 6 minutes, until soft enough to cut. Halve lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds.
2. Fill a large baking pan with 1/2 inch water. Add squash halves, cut sides down. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Season chicken with 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. chili powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook chicken for about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
4. Transfer chicken to a large bowl. Shred with two forks — one to hold the chicken in place and the other to scrape across and shred it. (Or just finely chop before transferring to the bowl.)
5. Remove skillet from heat; clean, if needed. Re-spray, and bring to medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, remaining 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. chili powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Add 3 tbsp. water. Cook and stir until veggies have mostly softened and browned and water has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
6. Transfer veggies to the large bowl. Add black beans, 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, and 1/4 cup cheese. Mix until uniform.Remove baking pan from the oven, but leave oven on. Remove squash halves, thoroughly blot dry.
7. Empty water from baking pan. Return squash halves, cut side up. Use a fork to scrape out squash strands. Transfer 3 cups of squash strands to the large bowl, and mix thoroughly. (Save the rest for another time.)
8. Divide squash mixture between the hollow squash halves. Evenly top with remaining 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until filling is hot and cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Nutritional Information: ¼th of recipe: 190 calories, 5.5g total fat (2g sat fat), 646mg sodium, 14.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 21.5g protein