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Apr 21, 2018

Easy Taco Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bowl (dairy-free, gluten-free, Whole30, Paleo)

I'm fairly certain I make some form of tacos on at least a weekly basis. Shredded pork, beef, chicken, ground beef, ground turkey...you name it, I'll make it into a taco salad, soft taco.... you get the idea. While I could probably eat tacos for every meal and be perfectly happy, I'm not sure my family feels the same way. Because of this, I've been trying to mix things up a bit and add some new options to our weekly meal plan. 

I've also been loving my Instant Pot (along with everyone else on the planet). It has honestly made the execution of said weekly meal plan so much easier. Gone are the days of forgetting to take food from the freezer to thaw in time for dinner...at least for now!

I also stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried spaghetti squash, which is pretty good if you cook it right! These last four months of Whole30s and paleo-ish eating have definitely helped me to get a bit more creative and try new things. While I typically make myself spaghetti squash when the rest of the family is eating pasta, this was a fun and delicious way to step outside the box a bit. 

While you could also use the Instant Pot (if you have one) to cook the chicken ahead of time, I find it super easy to buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the deli, allow it to cool, and shred the meat to use in later recipes. Also, if you don't have an Instant Pot, I've included an oven method for cooking the squash which turns out great as well. This is another one of my favorite kind of meals: versatile, flavorful, and super quick and simple to throw together. Enjoy! 

Easy Taco Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bowl

  • 2 whole spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup water (if using the Instant Pot method)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups pre-cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • dash of cayenne (optional)

Optional toppings:

  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • guacamole or avocado slices
  • sliced radishes
  • sliced black olives
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • salsa


Carefully cut the two spaghetti squash in half, widthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds from the center of the squash halves. Rub olive oil on all sides of the squash and sprinkle each with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Instant Pot method:
The spaghetti squash will need to be cooked in two batches, two halves at a time. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the cooking pot and place a cooking rack inside. Place two halves of the squash in the pot and cook on high pressure for 6-7 minutes. Quick release the steam at the end of the cooking time and carefully remove the squash. Repeat with the other two halves.

Oven method:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the four spaghetti squash halves in a glass baking dish or on a sheet pan, insides down. Bake for about 30 minutes. If the squash is still fairly hard on the inside, it may need to bake another 10-15 minutes longer.


While the squash is cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the shredded chicken to the pan. Pour in the chicken broth and bring it to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the spices. Add the spice mixture to the pan and combine well. Continue to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Set the chicken aside to assemble when the squash is fully cooked.

To assemble:
Place each squash half in a bowl. Shred the strands of the squash a bit with a fork. Scoop the cooked, seasoned chicken into the center. Add desired toppings and enjoy!

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