Creamy, full of flavor and made with only real food ingredients, this Dairy-Free Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo is calling your name.
Dairy-free and you’ll never know.
For real. This dairy-free creamy Alfredo sauce tastes just like the traditional, real deal, Alfredo sauce that we’re all familiar with. And while one would think this dairy-free version would be complicated to make, it’s actually quite easy. You’ll see. All you need is a high-powered blender and a few ingredients including cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, unsweetened almond milk and lemon juice. Whip it up until it’s creamy and smooth, and you have yourself an Alfredo sauce with endless possibilities.
Healthy comfort food lovers unite!
Comfort foods turned healthier are hands down our most popular recipes on the blog. I mean, who doesn’t love comfort food?! I know you’ll love this Dairy-Free Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo. Not only will you get a big dose of healthy veggies thanks to the spaghetti squash standing in for pasta, but you’ll also get the most luxuriously creamy Alfredo sauce that’s 100% dairy-free with far less fuss than making a traditional cream sauce.
In addition, this Dairy-Free Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo recipe is Whole30-friendly, grain-free and perfect for meal prep! It reheats beautifully and makes enough for a meal plus leftovers.
A high-powered blender works best.
If you’ve ever tried to use a lower power or budget-priced blender to make a smoothie or a smooth and creamy sauce or soup only to find chunks remaining, then you can probably guess why I’m a big fan of Vitamix. It took several years to add a Vitamix to my kitchen. In fact, Jess had to give me a little nudge to do so. Now every time I use the powerful machine of mine I’m reminded of how amazing it is. I’ve heard they last FOREVER, too so it’s worth the $$ spent in my humble opinion. Here is the one I own.
Now let’s talk about this delicious dairy-free Alfredo sauce and how it’s made.
You start by giving the raw cashews (must be raw) a 30-minute soak in hot, hot water to get them nice and soft. The cashews are the secret to the creaminess! While the cashews are soaking you can prepare the spaghetti squash, the chicken and whatever veggies you choose to add to the meal. To make the sauce, add the drained cashews, peeled but still whole garlic clove, salt, nutritional yeast and almond milk to the blender canister. Secure the lid and blend everything on high for 1 minute, then taste the sauce and decide if you want a little more garlic or salt. If so, add another clove and another pinch or two of salt and blend some more. And that’s it, you just made THE most dreamy, creamy dairy-free Alfredo sauce. The best of the internet 🙂
Toss the sauce with the squash.
To make the perfectly roasted spaghetti squash, take a 2½ – 3 lb. spaghetti squash and place it cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in an oven set at 400℉ for about 55 minutes or until it was soft to the touch and the flesh was tender (but not mushy). For a step-by-step tutorial on how to cut, clean and roast the perfect spaghetti squash, click here.
Using a fork, gently scrape the flesh into a large skillet (see pictures above). See how pasta-like those stands of squash are? Just like angel hair pasta!
OK, it’s time for the star of the show – the dairy-free Alfredo sauce. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti squash and add the perfectly cooked and sliced chicken. Place over medium heat until heated through. Now it’s time to add the fresh basil and gently toss it all together adjusting salt and pepper to taste. Is your mouth watering yet?
More veg for the win.
I like to keep things traditional and serve Dairy-Free Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo with steamed or roasted broccoli. However, the options are truly endless. You could serve it with tender cooked green beans, asparagus, add some spinach right to the skillet when the basil is added or serve it with a side salad. And if you love bacon, you’ll surely want to try our Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Squash with Bacon and Asparagus – a recipe the features this scrumptious sauce.
Now it’s your turn to reunite with an old comfort food love in this Dairy-Free Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo.
Pro Tip: The sauce can be prepped up to three days in advance and reheated when ready to use.
- 1 large spaghetti squash (about 2½ – 3 lbs.), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- 1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3 cups boiling water
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1–2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ tsp. salt + more to taste
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
- ½ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced; plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400℉ (see Notes below for Instant Pot directions for cooking the squash)
- Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Place a plate over the bowl to cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes while you prepare the squash and chicken.
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. On one sheet, place halved squash cut side down. Place chicken thighs (or breast) on the other sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place baking sheets in preheated oven. Remove chicken after 25-30 minutes or when cooked through and no longer pink inside. Remove chicken and cover with foil or a plate.
- Allow squash to bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until tender. While the squash bakes, it’s time to prepare the Alfredo sauce.
To prepare the Alfredo sauce:
- Drain cashews and place in the blender.
- Add nutritional yeast, 1 garlic clove, lemon juice, ½ tsp. salt and almond milk.
- Blend on high for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust salt as needed, adding the additional clove of garlic and blending again if you’d like a more garlicky sauce.
- When squash is ready, carefully scrape flesh into a large bowl (or cast-iron skillet) using a fork to create strands of “pasta.”
- Add diced or sliced chicken and toss with Alfredo sauce. Place the skillet on the stove top over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until heated through or pop the entire skillet back into the still-warm oven for a few minutes to warm while you prepare a vegetable or salad side dish.
- Stir chopped basil into spaghetti squash mixture just before serving. Top with additional basil, as desired.
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To cook spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot:
- Wash and pat the spaghetti squash dry. Lay the squash on its side and using a sharp knife, insert the tip of the knife into the center of the squash then cut the squash in half cross-wise (not lengthwise or end-to-end). Slicing it this way produces longer, more spaghetti-like strands and reduces the chances of cutting yourself.
- Scrape seeds from squash using a spoon.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add the trivet/rack and place both halves of the squash into the Instant Pot and secure the lid.
- Flip vent valve to ‘sealing’ position and cook for 8 minutes at high-pressure for a large squash (6-7 minutes for a smaller one). Allow for 5 minutes of natural pressure release before manually releasing any residual pressure.
- Remove squash to a cutting board or baking dish and allow it to cool for a few minutes before using a fork to pull the strands from the skin.
- Serving Size: 1/6th recipe (about 1 ½ cups)
- Calories: 319
- Fat: 14g
- Sodium: 306mg
- Carbohydrate: 22g
- (Fiber: 5g
- Sugar: 8g)
- Protein: 28g
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter.
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