Having turned my back on pasta likely forever, there are a few dishes I miss with fervor. Fresh, homemade basil pesto tossed into thin, delicate angel hair pasta is one, and rich fettucine Alfredo is another. Tossed with shrimp, chicken or what-have-you, the creamy, enveloping sauce is an opportunity to enjoy a decadent moment. But I don’t have to want anymore — this paleo chicken Alfredo recipe completely satisfies that craving.
In fact, I can wallow in it since it’s loaded with veggies. This recipe for paleo chicken alfredo is even AIP friendly, mastered over the past year or so during my fix-my-gut journey. Protein? check. Creamy sauce? check. Let the decadence begin anew.
A delicious wine pairing is any lighthearted Pinot Noir.
Paleo Chicken Alfredo with Bacon and Spinach
Cooking time: Hands on, 20 minutes | 45 minutes total
1 medium spaghetti squash
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
3 slices bacon
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 of 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (do NOT use the boxed refrigerated stuff. I recommend Chaokoh Coconut Milk which has no guar gum in it)
1 cup cooked chicken, like leftover rotisserie, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Using a large, 8-inch chef’s knife, cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. If it’s too tough (or too scary) to cut, put it in the microwave for 1 minute or two to soften it up. Remove seeds using a heavy spoon. You can either roast the seeds for a snack later, compost, or discard them. Drizzle olive oil over both halves and generously salt and pepper them. Place squash, cut side down, in an oven-proof pan big enough to hold them side-by-side. Roast 35-45 minutes or until a knife pierces the skin easily (time varies on the squash size). Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the paleo chicken Alfredo sauce.
3. In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and crumble on a plate or napkin.
4. In that same pan, add garlic and onion and cook 3 minutes in the bacon fat or until onions look translucent.
5. Add mushrooms, basil, oregano, thyme, paprika, coconut milk and cooked chicken. Stir it all together. Cook 5 minutes or until well combined.
6. Add spinach, mix in, and cook 5 more minutes or until spinach is wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too thick for your taste, add more coconut milk.
7. Once the squash has cooled a but, use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash fresh from its shell walls, creating “noodles”.
8. Serve the Alfredo sauce over the spaghetti squash noodles and top with bacon crumbles. You can also add hot peppers (like I did) or chopped parsley but it’s not necessary.
9. Enjoy the hell out of it.