Paleo Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Once upon a time, I tried some raw cashew butter on my sliced apples... and I hated it.  The end.  :)

Ha- seriously though, it just had an odd flavor to me in comparison to my beloved almond butter.  I felt like it had too much of a "cheesy" flavor which was not my favorite for a sweet snack.  But- ever since then, I have been wanting to play with cashew butter a bit more.  I figured that cheesy, creamy flavor could be put to good use in some type of sauce or dip.

My first cashew butter creation happened last weekend, and I could not be happier with it!  I made my own cashew butter by blending the nuts with coconut milk (for extra creaminess) and chicken bone broth (for a savory flavor & bonus nutrients).  The result was a thick, creamy sauce that I knew would be the perfect base for an Alfredo sauce.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as I do... It's truly worth the extra effort!



Side note:  I added broccoli to mine, since that's how we ate our Chicken Alfredo as kids.  You could leave it out, or try some fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, etc.  Get creative!  Also see my "quick tip" below if you're just interested in making the sauce alone!  :)




Ingredients:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned; I used "light")
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil or ghee
  • 4 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, broken into pieces
  • salt & pepper (I used about 1 tsp each)


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Place the open sides down on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until tender enough to scrape out with a fork.
  2. While the squash bakes, grill the chicken breast with a little salt & pepper to season.  You can use a skillet or grill pan; just make sure it is lightly browned & cooked through.  Allow it to rest, then slice into bite-sized pieces.  Now you can start your sauce....
  3. Blend the cashews, coconut milk, and broth in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Set aside or refrigerate if you make it ahead of time.
  4. Once the the squash is done baking, use a fork to scrape out your "pasta" and transfer it into a bowl.
  5. In a large skillet or pot over medium heat, sauté the broccoli, garlic, & onion in avocado oil or ghee until slightly softened (2-3 minutes).  Add the sauce, and stir to combine.
  6. Stir in the spaghetti squash, and season with salt & pepper.  Continue to cook until the sauce begins to thin (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add the chicken to dish and stir.  Continue to cook until the sauce simmers and the chicken is warmed.  Serve hot! 
*Serves 4 to 6, depending on how much you eat!  ;)

Quick Tip:  If you'd like to make the sauce alone, start at step 3 by blending your cashews with the broth & coconut milk.  Then sauté the minced garlic & onion in a saucepan until translucent, add the sauce base, and season with plenty of salt & pepper!  Pour it over chicken, shrimp, or whatever dish you like!



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30 comments:

Lianslo said...

Definitely gonna try this! I've noticed other recipes that use cashews tell you to soak them for at least 2 hours before blending them. (Which is often why I end up skipping the recipe bc I'm usually not prepared for such a situation!) But am I correct to assume that I can skip that step with your version?

Jessie B said...

Hi! Yup, I go ahead and skip it. I like to keep things simple, haha. So I know what you mean! No soaking required for this one :)

Lianslo said...

Awesome. Couldn't agree with you more. Thanks, girl! :)

Jenny said...

Looking forward to trying this!
I attempted to ask you a question a couple of weeks ago but I don't think I posted it correctly. If you answered, I apologize, I missed it somewhere! Just wondering what kind of almond flour you use? I've made your paleo biscuits several times because my family really likes them. They turn out super dense, though, almost like they're not quite baked in the middle. Just wondered if it is the type of flour I'm using. Thanks!

running too said...

I can't wait to try this but I have a few questions! Can I use chicken broth or does it have to be bone broth? Also, does grass fed butter or coconut oil work instead of avo oil or ghee?

Jessie B said...

Jenny~ I'm glad you asked me again! It must not have posted before. I use the Bob's Red Mill almond flour, and have never had a problem with it in my recipes. If that's what you use as well, but still have trouble, I would try adding a couple of minutes to your baking time. Everyone's oven is a bit different :)


Running too~ Standard chicken broth would be just fine! :) and pretty much any cooking fat will do. Grass fed butter would be great :)

Jenny said...

Okay, thank you. That's the kind of flour I use so I'm not sure why they look like they're almost not done in the middle. I have tried leaving them in the oven longer, to the point they are really brown but not burnt. It doesn't seem to help. I'll keep trying different things. It's not bothersome enough to stop making them--all of us love them! Thanks for a great recipe!

Joanna said...

have you made your own cashew butter?? it tastes so sweet to me!! i just love it. if you think you don't like it, try a spoonful on a dried apricot. you will be in heaven.

Rudi said...

This recipe is my new favorite! I can't believe how good it was!!!

hania hussein said...

love cashews and almond but just found out through a food sensitivity test that i don't tolerate them, so any suggestions as to what other nut i can use?

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Unknown said...

wonderful recipe. thanks for sharing.

JamesRed said...

Do you need a spaghetti squash maker? doesn't mention in the recipe, but the picture looks like fine spaghetti??

Jessie B said...

Hi James! The "spaghetti squash" is listed in the ingredients & is the first step in the recipe. It's a large squash that you buy and slice in half. Once baked, the insides come out just like a find spaghetti~ hence the name "spaghetti squash"! It's really simple & a great pasta alternative. You can find spaghetti squash in the produce section of most grocery stores!

Anonymous said...

The soaking (I do mine overnight, change the water, and then blend the cashews with new water later in the day) may help make cashews more tolerable for those who aren't allergic but find them bitter.

andrew + camille said...

Just wanted to tell you guys about a variation I made. I added about 3 tbsp to 2 tbsp of tapioca flour (just enough to make it watery) to the sauce and let it boil for a few minutes to get it thicker for those who like a thicker, creamier sauce. it definitely helped!

andrew + camille said...

Sorry - that was supposed to be added *water to the tapioca flour!

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Debbie said...

I am having trouble finding "raw" cashews. I bought unsalted but they have been roasted. What difference will this make?

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Anonymous said...

I have made this recipe several times and absolutely LOVE it! I like to add sautéed mushrooms and a little siracha or red pepper flakes to give it a little "kick"! 😉

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