Healthier Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash {With Cottage Cheese}

Chicken alfredo spaghetti squash in a white bowl with a wooden spoon in it on a countertop.

Enjoy a delicious twist on an Italian classic with this chicken alfredo spaghetti squash recipe. If there are two things I am obsessed with lately – it’s spaghetti squash and cottage cheese. These two healthy ingredients combined make this deliciously creamy and nutritious dish.

As an Italian, I absolutely love pasta. However, sometimes it is hard for me to control the portion size. Therefore, spaghetti squash is one of my favorites ingredients when I want a huge bowl of pasta but not all the calories or carbohydrates. I’m always coming up with new ways to make it! 

This dish offers all the comforting flavors of Alfredo pasta, with perfectly al dente spaghetti squash, while being lower in calories and packed with protein and calcium. {Gluten-Free}

Why You’ll Want to Make This Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash:

  • It’s creamy, decadent, and only 339 calories per serving.
  • This dish is healthier than your traditional chicken alfredo.
  • Low in carbs, and high in protein (40 grams per serving!). 
  • Easy to make – with no mushy strands of spaghetti squash.
  • A guilt-free alternate to pasta.
  • 7 simple ingredients.

Ingredients

Spaghetti Squash: The larger your spaghetti squash is, the more servings this recipe will make. A larger spaghetti squash could easily feed at least four people (with huge servings).

Cottage Cheese (one cup): I find that low-fat, small curd cottage cheese works just fine in this recipe while keeping it lower in calories. It is subtle in flavor and the perfect substitute for heavy cream. A higher fat cottage cheese would add even more creaminess and decadence. 

Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup): Adding parmesan to any dish just makes it better. 

Garlic Cloves (4-6): The garlic is roasted in the oven with the spaghetti squash which provides a deep, mellow flavor. Yum!

Peas (about 1 1/2 cups): I really love adding peas to this dish for some added texture and a burst of color. Frozen, canned or fresh!

Chicken Thighs (one pound): Chicken thighs add more tender, juicy meat but a lean chicken breast would be just as delicious (and would decrease the calorie content).

Chicken Broth (1/2 cup): Incorporating the broth helps make the sauce silky smooth when combined with the cottage cheese and roasted garlic.

chicken alfredo spaghetti squash ingredients

Tips for Success

Cooking spaghetti squash is a bit of an art. In order to get the perfect, al dente spaghetti strands I recommend cutting the squash crosswise, not lengthwise. By using this method, it yields longer noodles. When cutting lengthwise, I usually have to cook the squash in the microwave for a short period of time. This technique eliminates that step, and makes it much easier to cut. 

Cooking time can vary depending on the size of the squash. For a large spaghetti squash, I recommend cooking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. For a smaller squash, 30 minutes seems to be the perfect amount of time.

A blender is needed to whip the cottage cheese as well as the garlic. If you buy the cottage cheese already whipped, you could eliminate this step and just add it to a saucepan with the chicken broth. 

Add more chicken broth if the sauce seems too thick, to provide the consistency you prefer. 

For a faster cooking time, use an air-fryer to cook the chicken while the spaghetti squash is in the oven (if you don’t have a double oven). You could also cook on stove top. 

A close-up of a large white bowl of chicken alfredo spaghetti squash.

How to Make Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

1. Assemble all ingredients

Gather all ingredients – including a baking sheet, saucepan, and blender (or food processor or Nutri-bullet). Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Cut and season spaghetti squash

Cut the spaghetti squash crosswise. Remove the pulp and seeds with a spoon (or if you’re messy like me, your hands). Spray each half with avocado oil, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 

Put cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, with 2-4 garlic cloves under each half of the squash. 

Season chicken thighs with the same spices. 

A spaghetti squash cut crosswise on a white cutting board.

3. Cook the spaghetti squash and chicken thighs

Put the spaghetti squash in the oven and set a timer for 30-35 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.

Cook the chicken thighs or breasts with whatever method you prefer. I prefer to air fry the chicken while the squash is cooking. 

4. Let the spaghetti squash rest for 10-20 minutes

Take the spaghetti squash out of the oven and turn them on their sides so the steam can escape. Let rest for 10-20 minutes.

after the squash has roasted in the oven with garlic cloves

5. Blend cottage cheese, chicken broth, and garlic cloves

Combine the cottage cheese, chicken broth, and garlic cloves in a blender. Blend until smooth. 

6. Make the Cream Sauce

Add the cottage cheese, broth and garlic mixture to a saucepan on medium heat. Stir in the peas. 

After about 3-4 minutes, incorporate most of the parmesan cheese – leaving a little bit to garnish when the dish is complete. Turn to low heat, and let is simmer for about 5 minutes. Make sure to turn to low heat within 5 minutes of cooking to prevent the cottage cheese mixture from curdling.

Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. 

adding the spaghetti squash to the pan for chicken alfredo spaghetti squash

7. Add spaghetti squash and chicken

Once the squash has rested, use a fork to pull away the strands – starting from the sides and scraping towards the middle. Add the squash to the saucepan. 

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and incorporate into the sauce as well (or add sliced chicken on top of each bowl).

8. Season with spices and serve!

Combine the squash with the sauce. Sprinkle a little more parmesan cheese on top. Ready to serve!


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Cut the Squash Lengthwise?

Of course! You could even pour the sauce and chicken into each halve of the squash, and top with mozzarella cheese and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes for a delicious Alfredo bowl.

Can I Cook the Squash in the Air Fryer?

If you have a smaller squash, both halves might fit in the air fryer at the same time – and it cooks much faster! I recommend 375-400 degrees F for about 20 minutes. This works best if you cut the squash lengthwise. You could also cook each halve separately in the air fryer, and it might work out to be the same time as in the oven.

Is This Recipe Allergy Friendly? Gluten-Free?

This recipe is naturally gluten-free, but not dairy-free. To make it dairy-free, use a dairy-free cottage cheese or Greek yogurt as well as parmesan. 

How Long Can I Store in the Fridge?

This recipe makes for great leftovers for up to 4 days in the fridge! I don’t recommend freezing, though, as the creamy sauce might break.


Chicken alfredo spaghetti squash in a white bowl with a wooden spoon in it on a countertop.

Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash: Lighter Version (Made with Cottage Cheese)

Alex Evink, MS, RD
A lighter take on a traditional chicken alfredo spaghetti squash recipe. Using cottage cheese instead of heavy cream, and roasted garlic to elevate this dish to the next level. It's creamy, tasty and super healthy!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 339 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 blender or food processor
  • 2 baking sheets
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Cutting Board

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp. Avocado oil or spray
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Assemble all ingredients and equipment. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the spaghetti squash crosswise. Scoop out the pulp and seeds. Spray with avocado oil. Season the inner squash with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Season the chicken thighs with the same spices.
  • Place squash cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, with two cloves of garlic underneath each half. Place in oven for 30-35 minutes.
    Cook chicken thighs per your preference. I prefer to use an air-fryer while the squash is cooking.
  • Once squash is done cooking, let is rest on its side for 10-20 minutes.
  • Combine chicken broth, roasted garlic, and cottage cheese in a blender. Blend until smooth.
    Add cottage cheese mixture to a pan on medium heat. Stir in the peas. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn the heat down to low, add most of the parmesan cheese- leaving some to garnish. Season with salt, prepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to taste.
    Add more chicken broth if the sauce seems too thick.
  • Using a fork, pull the spaghetti squash strands away from the outside of the squash and towards the middle.
  • Combine the sauce with the squash. Slice chicken and add to pan, or serve on top of each bowl. Garnish with parmesan on top! Enjoy!

Notes

339 calories, 43 grams of protein per serving. 
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving  
Calories 339
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.8g 16%
Saturated Fat 4.9g 24%
Cholesterol 115mg 38%
Sodium 468mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 12.7g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g 4%
Total Sugars 2.3g  
Protein 43.1g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 197mg 15%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 444mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Keyword chicken alfredo, chicken alfredo spaghetti squash, creamy spaghetti squash, high protein recipe, how to cut a spaghetti squash, spaghetti squash recipe

Hope You Enjoy!

I love using cottage cheese in replace of heavy cream to increase the protein and calcium content of dishes. This recipe is one of my favorites when I am craving a huge bowl of pasta, and I find I like it just as much as traditional Alfredo.

Feel free to customize this dish however you want to. Greek yogurt would be a great substitute for cottage cheese.

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