Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole

My children have all gone through picky eater stages. Some lasted longer than others, but inevitably, I’ve pretty much forced them out of the pickiness. I decided a long, LONG time ago I would not be a tall-order chef (unless I had a child who had food intolerances or some sort of chronic illness that required a special diet).

Believe me, my twins were SO terrible with trying new foods they would throw up just looking at a new food they thought they wouldn’t like. I KNOW the picky factor. In fact my twins ended up going through occupational therapy to help them overcome their food aversion. Keegs gag reflex became so sensitive we couldn’t even brush his teeth without him throwing up. Their food aversion was so severe that their food selection had dwindled down to 5 different meals which I rotated for them. After they began OT, I no longer offered different options with meals.

I grew up with parents who wouldn’t allow us kids to skip dinner because we didn’t like it, only to eat something later. I knew I wouldn’t differ from the way I was raised. While I did cater to my twins when they were toddlers because let’s face it, I was tired of cleaning up puke every meal that I served. The rule in our family is they must try the food they think they don’t like. It cannot be a tiny mouse-sized bite, it has to be a dinosaur-sized bite. They are allowed to follow it up with a large gulp of liquid to help them swallow it down. If the food offender does try the food (swallows) and still doesn’t like it, I will allow them to have a slice of bread and a glass of water. But that is it, no other food until morning.

While the boys have complained and whined in the past, they have learned my stubbornness will not be deterred. So they will eat what is placed in front of them, even if it means they need to douse it in ketchup or shredded cheese.

That being said, I still grow tired of the whining, so I have always tried to hide various vegetables in foods. Most often I can completely fool the boys. The first time I made chicken fried rice with cauliflower rice, they had NO IDEA.

So I decided I would see if I could fool them again with some spaghetti squash. This recipe has six different vegetables in it. It is also whole 30 compliant, keto, heart healthy, paleo, gluten-free, and can easily be made for individuals who are vegan and dairy-intolerant.

Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 307 kcal


  • pressure cooker


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 10.5 oz black beans rinsed and drained
  • 4 oz diced green chilis
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • pico de gallo
  • sour cream
  • avocados or guacamole


  • In an electric pressure cooker, add in the chicken breasts with ½ cup of tap water. Set to cook on high for 8 minutes (15 minutes if frozen chicken breasts).
  • Set the oven to 400°F. Slice the spaghetti squash in half, length-wise, scoop out the seeds and stringy middle. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, turn upside down with the inside down and place in oven to roast for 35-40 minutes.
  • Chop the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno and begin sauting on the stove. Drizzle the pan with olive oil then add in the chopped vegetables. Cook on medium to medium-high stirring frequently so the peppers and onion don't burn.
  • After the onion begins to lightly brown, add in the frozen corn, black beans, and diced green chilis. Stir to combine and saute to warm the corn, beans, and green chilis through. Add in the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • When the chicken is finished in the pressure cooker, shred the chicken, then add into the vegetable mixture on the stove.
  • Once the spaghetti squash is finished roasting, take out of oven and let stand of 10 minutes. Flip over and begin using a fork to shred the meat of the squash. It should be very easy to do.
  • In a large baking dish, add in the spaghetti squash on the bottom, then layer with ¾ cup of the shredded cheese. Pour the chicken vegetable mixture on top. Stir to combine. Top with the rest of the cheese and if desired some tortilla chips. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until the cheese on top begins to bubble.
  • Remove and sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve immediately with toppings such as toritlla chips, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocados.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 28gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 362mgPotassium: 877mgFiber: 9gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1962IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 290mgIron: 3mg
Keyword casserole, gluten–free, keto, paleo, spaghetti squash, vegan, whole 30
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Have you tried spaghetti squash yet? I know I was super apprehensive the first time I decided to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised with I discovered that it really doesn’t have any flavor and easily takes on the flavors of whatever it is you are creating. If you’ve been wary of trying spaghetti squash, this is the recipe to try it with.

Between the shredded chicken and the melted cheese, you can’t even tell there is squash in the mix when looking at it. It totally will fool any kiddo, or picky husband. Added bonus, this recipe is heart healthy, diabetic friendly, keto, paleo, whole 30, gluten-free, and can easily be made without the chicken and/or cheese to make it dairy-free or vegan.

This recipe does take a while, but most of it is waiting around for the oven and pressure cooker to do its job. The prep time isn’t long at all. In fact, you could make this recipe ahead of time and then warm it back up in the oven. Don’t forget to broil the top to add crispy texture to the mix. Hope y’all are having an amazing week. Stay safe and hug your loved ones!

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