Where are all my New Year’s Resolution people at? Are you someone who resolved to lose weight in 2022 or to start eating healthier? How about someone who resolved to cook one or two fresh meals a week? If this, is you, then I have the perfect recipe for you that packs a ton of flavor in every bite, while leaving out those unnecessary carbs.
Chicken spaghetti is a well know southern dish that easily falls under that “comfort food” category, and how could it not with its delicious creamy cheese sauce and piles of delicious pasta? My rendition of this classic meal strips out the carb-saturated pasta and substitutes it with zucchini noodles, but I promise it doesn’t strip out the flavor.
Begin by cutting 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs into medium-sized chunks and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Drain a 10 ounce can of Ro-Tel in a sieve, making sure to remove as much liquid as possible, set aside. Spiralize 1 large (8 inch) zucchini to produce approximately 4 cups of “zoodles”. Cut the zoodles into smaller, more manageable segments. Microwave the “zoodles” in 30 minutes segments for 2 minutes, stirring in between. You want them to be al dente, not soggy. Transfer the “zoodles” onto a paper towel to remove as much liquid from them as possible. You don’t want any excess water diluting your sauce.
Next, add 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oils are shimmering in the pan, add in ½ cup of finely chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the skillet. Add the chicken thigh chunks to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove from the skillet.
Then you’ll want to make the cream sauce. Add 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese to the skillet you cooked the chicken in, bring to a boil and scrape up the cooked chicken bits from the bottom. Simmer the sauce for about 5-8 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Add the onions and chicken back in and simmer for 1 more minute.
Finally, in a 7 x 9 casserole dish, mix the drained Ro-Tel, zucchini noodles, chicken mixture, and ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese. Sprinkle another ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese across the top of the casserole. Broil for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese and brown the top. Serve immediately and enjoy guilt-free!
Sarah K. Young