To be honest, this Spaghetti Squash Chicken Chorizo Skillet is a riff on grain-free paella. But… I forgot the shrimp, so it has no rice, no seafood, and no right to be called any type of paella. But! It does have golden chunks of chicken and savory slices of chorizo on a bed of smoky paprika-spiked vegetables, so I think it still has a lot of tastiness to offer. I made it for a paleo potluck with a few CrossFit friends this past weekend and this recipe made enough for all of us to sample a bit, plus leftovers for breakfast the next day.
In addition to being massive, and an explosion of flavors and textures, I consider this a winner because its use of a single skillet means minimal cleanup, and the substitution of spaghetti squash for rice means it’s delightfully seasonal. I’m always excited to see the varieties of winter squash arrive in the markets, and spaghetti squash (with its quirky threads) is a particular favorite.
If you can’t find spaghetti squash, peel some sweet potatoes and shred them in a food processor before cooking them until soft in coconut oil… insert this step after cooking the chorizo but before softening the peppers. You should also play around with swapping different vegetables in according to your preference, or streamlining this Spaghetti Squash Chicken Chorizo Skillet with just chicken, or only chorizo, or maybe breakfast sausage or even quartered boiled eggs in a pinch. Whichever way you spin it, this big beautiful babe of a recipe makes enough to share and then some. 🙂
This one-pan skillet combines leafy spinach and sweet bell peppers with starchy squash and savory chicken and chorizo for a complete meal.
- 1 large (approximately 5 lb) spaghetti squash
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, if needed
- Cilantro leaves
- Chili flakes
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chicken thighs for approximately 10 minutes (flipping halfway through) or until cooked through and browned on both sides. Remove from the skillet, set aside to cool. Once cool, slice into bite-sized pieces.
- Cook the chorizo in the skillet over medium heat until firm and browned. Remove from the skillet, set aside to cool. Once cool, slice into bite-sized pieces.
- Core and thinly slice the bell peppers. Cook over medium heat in the skillet (adding a tablespoon of coconut oil if necessary) until very soft.
- While the peppers cook, pierce the spaghetti squash's rind, approximately an inch deep with the tip of a knife, in various places a total of 5-10 times. Cook in the microwave on high for 12-15 minutes (depending on size). The squash will dent very slightly when pressed with the back of a spoon when it's cooked. Remove from the microwave and slice open, being careful of escaping steam, to cool. Once cooled, scrape out the seeds and discard.
- Once the peppers have cooked, scrape the threads from the cooked squash into the skillet. Maintaining the skillet over medium heat, add the salt and paprika and mix thoroughly into the squash and peppers.
- Work the spinach gently into the skillet mixture, it will shrink as it cooks. Once the spinach is wilted and thoroughly mixed into the vegetables, add the sliced chicken and chorizo back into the skillet to warm, then top with cilantro, chili flakes, peas sun-dried tomatoes and serve.