buffalo chicken spaghetti squash casserole

Spaghetti squash is a personal favorite ingredient of mine, as it is so versatile and can be a lighter substitute for pasta or mixed into a casserole. It retains its texture after baking and absorbs all the flavors of whatever sauce you add. This unique dish combines the flavors of buffalo chicken without the heaviness or fat. It was the perfect crowd-pleaser for a Sunday night football get-together with friends. I would recommend serving it with a bold beer and a side green salad. Note that this recipe requires a couple hours to assemble.

  • Spaghetti squash (two medium-sized squash, whole)

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 breasts total)

  • Green onions, or scallions (1 cup, thinly sliced; reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)

  • Poblano peppers (2 large, chopped)

  • Plain Greek yogurt (1 cup)

  • Frank's Red Hot Sauce, or your other favorite buffalo sauce (1/2 cup)

  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)

  • Cheddar cheese (1 cup, shredded)

  • Sea salt (2 teaspoons)

  • Ground black pepper (1 and 1/2 teaspoons)

  • Blue cheese (1/2 cup, crumbled)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. With a large chef's knife, slice each spaghetti squash in half length-wise. Scoop out the stringy insides and seeds with a spoon and discard.

  3. Place the halves of squash flesh-down in large baking dishes; you may need two separate dishes to bake the four halves. Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of each dish. Cover each dish tightly with aluminum foil.

  4. Bake the squash for 25-30 minutes. At this point, check the squash to see if the inside flesh is easy to pull out with a fork. It should be tender but not mushy. Remove squash from oven when done cooking and set aside to cool.

  5. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Season the four chicken breasts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper on each side.

  6. Bake the chicken breasts on a foil-lined baking dish for about 20 minutes, or until cooked all the way through but not dry. You can check at 20 minutes by cutting into one breast in the center with a paring knife; if still raw and pink, bake for 3-5 more minutes.

  7. Remove the chicken breasts from the oven and transfer to a cutting board to cool.

  8. While the squash and chicken are cooling, prepare the wet ingredients of the filling. In a large mixing bowl, add the sliced green onions, chopped poblano peppers, yogurt, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Mix with a spatula until evenly combined.

  9. When cool, shred the chicken breasts with a fork or roughly chop into bite-sized pieces. Add to the mixing bowl with wet ingredients.

  10. Using a fork, pull out all the squash flesh from the four halves of squash and add to the wet ingredients. Combine all the ingredients with the spatula until evenly mixed; if the mixture seems too dry, add additional yogurt or some olive oil to moisten.

  11. Transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish and spread out evenly in the dish. Top with the blue cheese and an additional drizzle of the hot sauce. Cover with aluminum foil. At this point, the casserole could be kept in the refrigerator for several hours until ready to bake.

  12. When ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through. Uncover the dish and bake for another 5 minutes to melt the blue cheese on top.

  13. Remove from oven and garnish with additional green onions.