Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya

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Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya just may be one of my favorite low-carb recipes. Hot and spicy with a touch of sweetness from the squash, it’s the perfect healthy supper that feels like so much more.

bowl of spaghetti squash jambalaya

Craving something hot and spicy for supper tonight? Don’t want a lot of fuss to make it? Looking for something healthy and good for you? Look no further. This Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya is just the ticket!

Over the years, I’ve tested out converting some favorite flavors into low-carb recipes. Dishes like Cheesy Chicken and Peppers and Submarine Salad have graced our table quite a bit over the last few years.

One summer day, craving something spicy, Bryan asked me, “What if you made jambalaya with spaghetti squash?”

What if….

What if it turned out so yummy you couldn’t stop eating it and your pickiest eater went back for seconds?

True story, my friends. That’s how good this Jambalaya is.

You can serve this spicy chicken and sausage jambalaya mixture over rice, pasta, or cauliflower rice, but in our testing I preferred it over spaghetti squash. The spices and the sweet play super well together. (Full disclosure: the picky eater did have his on rice.)

Bonus: this dish is perfect for a Whole 30 and it is freezer-friendly!

What is usually in Jambalaya?

Jambalaya usually combines cooked rice with a mixture of cooked celery, peppers, and onions as well as chicken and sausage, tomatoes, and seasonings. 

This isn’t traditional jambalaya. It doesn’t have rice cooked in the liquid. I get that. Humor me. 😉

What foods go well with Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is great with seasoned green beans, sautéed greens like chard or collards, corn on the cob, and cornbread. If you’re going for the low carb angle, stick with vegetable side dishes.

Can you freeze Jambalaya?

This jambalaya mixture freezes well without the spaghetti squash. Once you’ve cooked the meat sauce, divide it into meal size portions, chill, wrap, label, and freeze.

To serve, simply reheat the meat sauce and serve it atop freshly cooked spaghetti squash.

How long is Jambalaya good for?

As with all prepared foods, this jambalaya is good for up to 4 days when properly refrigerated.

It’s great for a lunch meal prep for the week!

spaghetti squash jambalaya in meal prep boxes

How I make this good:

Whenever possible I like to cook with plain old ingredients. While the convenience of mixes and canned sauces is nice, I feel better about feeding my family just real food whenever possible. (Go here for some of my reasons on all that.)

Read labels, read labels, read labels. 

For this particular dish, the only “processed” items are the sausage and the tomato sauce. I like Aidells Chicken and Apple Sausage because there is no added sugar. They are really good in this recipe, despite their slightly sweet (from the apples) bent. The spice counteracts it in a beautiful way.

Tomato sauces often have sugar added to them. The only brand I’ve found that doesn’t is Trader Joe’s. That said, those cans are pretty pricey compared to other brands, so I go back and forth on whether that amount of sugar is a big deal to me or not.

If you’re doing a Whole 30, you’ll want to buy a tomato sauce without added sugar.

spaghetti squash topped with chicken and sausage jambalaya

How I make this cheap:

Here are some of the strategies I use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Meal plan around what’s on sale. Don’t decide to make this when chicken is $5/pound (when you have none in the freezer) or squash has a hefty price tag. But, next time you see spaghetti squash on sale, make this!
  • Do a price comparison. I know that Costco is the best place to buy ingredients like bell peppers when there isn’t a great sale elsewhere. I keep track of prices so that I know who has the best deal where.
  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on tomato sauce, I buy a lot. The same goes for red bell peppers. Sprouts has had them for 50 cents a piece at different times this summer. I’ve bought 10-12 at a time!
  • Boost the veg to stretch the protein. Protein is usually the most expensive ingredient. If I need to, I often add more veggies to stretch our protein purchase father.

Tools I use to make this recipe easy:

This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.

Want to see this recipe in action? 

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make this recipe!

jambalaya on rice

4.5 from 2 votes
Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya just may be one of my favorite low carb recipes. Hot and spicy with a touch of sweetness from the squash, it’s the perfect healthy supper.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cajun, chicken, chicken sausage, jambalaya, sausage, spaghetti squash, spaghetti squash jambalaya
Servings: 6
Calories: 356 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 5 smoked chicken sausages sliced
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For serving
  • 1 Spaghetti Squash cooked (You can also serve it on rice, pasta, or cauliflower)
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken tenders to taste with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken pieces and cook just until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a cutting board.
  2. Add the peppers, onion, celery, and garlic to the drippings in the pan and cook, stirring, for about five minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender and the sausages are browned.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, paprika, thyme, oregano, cayenne, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces. Add these back to the pan and warm in the sauce.
  5. Adjust seasonings and serve the sauce over hot cooked spaghetti squash or other favorite base.
Recipe Notes

To freeze, cool the prepared meat sauce completely before storing in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw and reheat to serve.

Nutrition Facts
Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya
Amount Per Serving
Calories 356 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 1221mg 51%
Potassium 799mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 10g
Protein 29g 58%
Vitamin A 22.5%
Vitamin C 39.5%
Calcium 7%
Iron 14.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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Comments

  1. Penny says

    That looks delicious. I’m not sure when spaghetti squash is in season in the UK but I’ll have a look tomorrow.

  2. Pamela Schramek says

    OMG I made this and it was delicious. I had never cooked or eaten spaghetti squash. I cook spiralized zucchini squash often. I love spaghetti squash now. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Chelsy says

    How did you cook the spaghetti squash?

      • Brenda Brinkman-Smith says

        I just got an insta pot and I love that you can just poke holes in the whole thing and put in the IP for 15 min on high pressure and cut in half the short way and you get longer noodles. So easy!

        • Good to know!

        • Lisa S says

          Thank you so much for this tip! I have one on my counter right now needing to be cooked. With the nice weather we are having this week, I wasn’t wanting to have my oven on for an hour to roast it, so this is a life changer. You da best!

  4. Chelsy says

    Thank you so much! I’m so excited to make this for dinner tonight.

  5. Erin says

    Made this a couple of days ago. Oh. My. Gosh. I typically don’t rant and rave about Paleo recipes, but this was amazing. And I’m from Louisiana – I’m particular about my jambalaya.

    I used rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and the frozen seasoning blend instead of fresh celery and bell peppers. And deer sausage.

    Thank you so so much for this – I will be making this AT LEAST every other week!

    • Yay! I’m sooooo glad. I consider that high praise since you know your jambalaya. It is good, isn’t it? It’s one of my favorite paleo dishes. 🙂

  6. PJ says

    I made this for dinner tonight with spaghetti squash. I left out the chicken, used Polska Keilbasa sausage and added a diced jalapeno. We both had seconds. Delicious!!! I will definitely be making the again. Thank you for the recipe!

  7. This was fabulous! We left out the chicken tenders and just used a small pack of Al Fresco chicken sausage. Flavorful and filling. Thanks for a great recipe.

  8. Sara B says

    I made this tonight and it was Great! It’s nice to have something flavorful and hearty over spaghetti squash which can be bland to my husband. The seasonings were right on! Thanks for another keeper 🙂

  9. Sheri says

    Did you post calories, sodium and contents somewhere?
    I am needing nutrition information for a freezer exchange group I am in and I can’t seem to find it here.

  10. Holly says

    I am from Louisiana and jambalaya is one of my FAVORITE dishes (as well as a main staple down here). I am trying to clean up my diet, so I cannot WAIT to try this!!!

    Also, I just found this website – can’t wait to poke around some more!

  11. Amina says

    how much is a serving? one cup?

    • Based on the amount of protein in the recipe (at least 2 pounds), this should prove to be adequate to serve 6 to 8, depending on how hearty they want their servings.

  12. Nicole Lesko says

    I made this for one of my meal preps this week.. and WOW!! so delicious! I love the apple flavored sausage to give a sweetness to the spiciness. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  13. Evelyn says

    I made this last night for dinner. I had spaghetti squash that i prepared yesterday morning and was looking for a recipe when I happened upon yours. The only changes I made was I didn’t use the chicken and I left out the hot pepper flakes because I used Andouille sausage which is already spicy. What a delicious surprise. My husband loved it. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Next time I will be sure to have chicken and regular sausage on hand and try the recipe as written.

  14. Jdar says

    Turned out really good, a nice bit of heat from the cayenne, will make again!

  15. Melody says

    This was really great and husband approved. That’s not always easy eating low carb. This will be a part of our meal rotation for sure. This recipe actually prompted me to write a review and I never write reviews.

  16. Brenda says

    This has great flavour. Was easy to make and came together quickly. Looking forward to trying more recipes from you.

  17. Ronin says

    Where can I find the nutritional values for this recipe?
    I loved it!

  18. Jennifer says


    Loved this exactly as written, but the beauty is it’s super flexible. I had some shredded pork to use up and it worked in place of chicken. Easy to scale up for a crowd too.

  19. Janet says


    Made this for lunch today. Everyone enjoyed it. My oldest daughter and I had it over spaghetti squash. My veggie avoiding husband and youngest daughter had it over rice. I thought the spice level was spot on. My husband wanted a bit more heat. The quality of the sausage you use is going to make or break this recipe. I think it would be excellent with beef or pork sausage as well, especially a good Andouille.

    • So glad you enjoyed it, and yes, the sausage could be a deterrent depending on what you use. Good point!

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