This Low Carb Pesto Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Casserole is topped with mozzarella and tomatoes and SO unbelievably delicious! A one-dish Gluten Free, Keto Friend, and Kid-Friendly easy weeknight dinner!
Before we get too far, let me tell you why this Low Carb Pesto Chicken recipe is the kind of dinner I love to make for my family.
- First, it’s made in ONE dish, holla!
- It can be prepped ahead of time, another score.
- And you know what else? It’s sooooo unbelievably simple (It was on the table in under 20 minutes using prepped ingredients I already had).
Oh, and one other things: When I find a recipe my kids absolutely LOVE, I stick with it.
Because this recipe is made with 100% whole, clean ingredients (like my dairy-free pesto recipe), so it’s gluten free and low carb/keto friendly, but you’d never know it.
I’m convinced — This Low Carb Pesto Chicken & Spaghetti Squash is the casserole to beat all casseroles!
I call this recipe a Pesto Chicken UN-Casserole
When I think of casseroles, I think of canned creamy soup. Maybe with some kind of pasta? Definitely light on the veggies, too heavy on the cheese, and a generally delicious albeit not super healthy family-friendly dinner.
But this? This is the opposite of that. So this is a pesto chicken casserole… except it’s not.
Because it’s got a TON of veggies, lean protein, good fats, and just enough cheese to make it feel like a special dinner. So it’s an un-casserole.
Spaghetti Squash, a Magical Vegetable
You just need to awaken the magic of spaghetti squash with this pesto chicken, because it’s bursting with flavor! That kind of sounds like it should be the title of an old timey musical, no?
My favorite ways to cook spaghetti squash
- Baked in the oven. Wash and cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Rub the flesh of each squash half with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set face down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
- Cooked in the Instant Pot! I poke a few 1/2 inch holes with a paring knife in the whole squash, then set it on the rack inside the IP. Add a cup of water to the bottom, set it to High Pressure for 15 minutes, with a natural release. Allow it to cool, then scrape the seeds out quickly with a grapefruit spoon. Easy peasy!
I’m not saying spaghetti squash it’s exactly the same as real spaghetti, but it’s a pretty fantastic way to get your fix for something spaghetti-like while not actually eating pasta.
Whether you’re living a low carb, gluten free, or Whole30 lifestyle, spaghetti squash is an awesome addition to your weekly lineup. It’s almost like a blank canvas that nature made to look like spaghetti and trick our brains a little.
Now it definitely doesn’t taste like spaghetti. The flavor is super mild on its own. But I actually think that’s a big part of what makes it so awesome! Spaghetti squash totally holds up and works as the perfect vessel for hearty or meaty sauces.
- Oh, and if you want to find great pesto, I recommend using my Dairy Free Pesto Recipe or getting Giovanni Rana brand in the refrigerated aisle. It’s delicious! You can read more about why I love Giovanni Rana in my Sausage and Tortellini Soup post or learn about my trip to their HQ in Verona, Italy!
Coming Soon: MORE Low Carb Recipes!
Do you eat Low Carb or Keto? Lately, I’ve had a lot of requests for Keto and Low Carb recipes on my site, and I had that in mind when I was making this pesto chicken casserole recipe. I’ve been excited to start experimenting with it more (I even put together a list of my favorite Keto and Low Carb Meatballs recipes!)
Keto recipes are absolutely #trending these days, but I’m mostly excited because I’ve heard from just as many people out there who’ve seen positive, healthy results by following a low carb meal plan, as from people who enjoy the recipes as part of their post-Whole30 Food Freedom.
Here’s what I’m going to do: Keep focusing on creating recipes that are made with whole, nutrient dense foods, because that’s just my style.
Looking for more? Just check out some of these delicious recipes:
- Kielbasa & Butternut Squash Skillet (Whole30)
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Sausage and Kale (Whole30, Lower Carb)
- Classic Instant Pot Pot Roast (Whole30)
- Prosciutto Egg Cups (Whole30, Keto)
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I hope you love this Low Carb Pesto Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Casserole recipe, topped with mozzarella and tomatoes. It’s one of my favorite family-friendly meals of all time!
Will you make this recipe? I’d LOVE to see it! Please tag me on Instagram @cookathomemom!
Pesto Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Bake (Low Carb, Gluten Free)
- 5 cups cooked spaghetti squash about 1 small-medium squash
- 2 1/2 cups chicken breasts about 1 lb, cooked
- 1 cup pesto
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 8 oz grated mozzarella cheese about 1 1/2 cups
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 2-3 medium tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic blanched
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup parmesan reggiano cheese grated
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Prepare the Spaghetti Squash
- Instant Pot Instructions: Poke a few small holes in the flesh of the squash. Add 1 cup of water to your Instant Pot. Set the squash on the trivet inside the pot. Cover and set to High pressure for 15 minutes, then allow for a NPR (Natural Pressure Release). Remove the squash, allow it to cool, then cut the squash in half. Scoop the seeds out and scrape the flesh of the squash out with forks, breaking it up a bit and fluffing it up as you remove it. Oven Instructions: Wash and cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Rub the flesh of each squash half with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set face down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
Make the Pesto
- Add all the ingredients except the oil to your high speed blender or food processor. Pulse a few times until combined.
- Add the oil and blend together on low until fully combined. Add additional oil if necessary until it reaches your desired consistency, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Prepare the Dish
- Preheat your oven to 400° F. Chop or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices and set them aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the chicken, spaghetti squash, pesto and seasonings together.
- Pour the mixture into to a 10-inch casserole dish and gently press the mixture down.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella and parmesan cheese over the spaghetti squash mixture, then lay the tomato slices on top.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and it's heated through. You can finish it under the broiler for a minute or two to brown the cheese a bit, if you'd like!
Looking for more Spaghetti Squash awesomeness? Check out my recipe for Whole30 Spaghetti Squash & Meatball Marinara.