Pesto Spaghetti Squash boat on a plate

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Chicken

This Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Chicken is an easy and delicious dinner recipe that is gluten free, low carb and can be made paleo. 

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Pesto Spaghetti Squash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Regina | Leelalicious


  • 2 small or 1 large spaghetti squash
  • olive oil
  • salt


  • 2 chicken breasts ~ 1-1.5 pounds/450g, sliced or diced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup broth or water
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup pesto homemade* or store-bought
  • For serving: chopped parsley, parmesan


Spaghetti Squash Oven Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Half the squash and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Drizzle inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.
  3. When spaghetti squash is done roasting, take it out from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, using a fork, scrape out the spaghetti squash strands. If your squash is very moist, you might have to place the strands in a colander and pat with paper towel.
  4. If using small squashes, where 1/2 serves about one you can also serve it as a spaghetti squash bowl. Just loosen up the strands with a fork and add the sauce straight into the spaghetti squash half.

Spaghetti Squash Instant Pot Method:

  1. With a small sharp knife cut the spaghetti squash in half widthwise. Use a spoon or small knife to remove the seeds.
  2. Pour 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot. Add a trivet and place the 2 spaghetti squash halves on the trivet. Orientation doesn't matter too much, but I always do cut side up.
  3. Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing. Select the 'Manual' setting and adjust to 8-10 minutes.

  4. Once the pressure cook cycle has finished, turn the valve to venting to quick release the pressure.
  5. Open the lid and pour out any liquid that may have collected inside the spaghetti squash halves. Test a few strands for doneness. You can always add a few more minutes for softer texture.
  6. Let the squash cool until comfortable to handle. Use a fork to loosen and scrape out the spaghetti squash noodles, or serve straight in spaghetti squash bowl.

Pesto Chicken Sauce:

  1. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat then add a tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot add the chicken pieces.
  2. Turn heat to medium. Cook the chicken until done, then season with salt & pepper.
  3. Deglaze the pan with broth/water and scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Add the pesto and stir to incorporate it into the sauce.
  4. Serve the chicken pesto sauce into over cooked spaghetti sauce either in a squash half boat or on a plate.

Recipe Notes