Shrimp & Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

A Delicious and Healthier Way to get your Spinach Artichoke "Dip" Fix

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Ahh...Spinach Artichoke Dip.  We all love it, but no so much the calories that go with it. And even if you do make a healthier version, its not exactly a well balanced meal that you can serve on your dinner table.  

Not to worry, this recipe solves ALL of those problems and is absolutely DELICIOUS! Keep scrolling for all of the details and step-by-step directions (with pictures)!


INGREDIENTS

Estimated Time: 1 hour

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (cut in half, seeds removed) 
  • 14-16 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt (I use 0% fat)
  • 2-3 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese (1/3 fat tastes just as good as full fat)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (15 oz), quartered, drained, and unmarinated 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (can sub. vegetable broth too)
  • 2 large handfuls organic baby spinach 
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch (or flour if you don't have)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (can sub EVOO)
  • EVOO
  • Salt
  • Pepper 

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash the squash and cut it in half horizontally so you have two "boats", then, remove all of the seeds.  I like to use a spoon to do this and scrape along the edges, just like you would if you were carving out a pumpkin.  Once all seeds are removed, lightly drizzle EVOO over the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Place squash halves face down on a non-stick baking pan or one lined with foil. My favorite baking pans of ALL TIME are these Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Bakeware.  They don't stain, nothing sticks, and they are just all around amazing. 

Step 2:

Once the oven is heated, place your squash (face down) in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.  This will depend on how big your squash is.  I usually start checking it around the 30 minute mark to see if it will easily "spaghetti" with a fork.  If it does, feel free to turn the oven off and let those babies sit in there until you're ready to fill them.  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can prep your other ingredients while the squash bakes.

This is how the squash should look once you "spaghetti" it with a fork and it should be fairly easy to do.  If it seems too tough, stick it back in for another 10 minutes.

This is how the squash should look once you "spaghetti" it with a fork and it should be fairly easy to do.  If it seems too tough, stick it back in for another 10 minutes.

Step 3: Prep Your Ingredients 

Start out by getting all of your ingredients ready to go...I find that recipes always go much more smoothly when you are prepped ahead of time! It reduces the risk of things burning or you missing an ingredient which can totally ruin a great meal.  

Begin by mincing the garlic cloves and chopping the artichoke hearts into quarters (make sure you've drained the artichokes).  You can usually find artichoke hearts already quartered to save some time, but if whole artichokes are all you've got, you'll just need to do a little extra labor.  Also, be careful that you aren't buying marinated artichoke hearts.  Many varieties come marinated in spices and vinegar...not saying it would ruin your recipe, but it definitely risks compromising the delicious flavors!

Just noticed Baby R making an appearance in the background! 

Just noticed Baby R making an appearance in the background! 

Step 4: Prepare the Filling 

Okay now comes the fun part...bringing everything together for that delicious, creamy spinach artichoke flavor. 

Begin by drizzling a large skillet with EVOO and heating over medium heat.  Add shrimp and dust with salt and pepper (and garlic powder) if desired.  Cook shrimp thoroughly until pink.  Set aside on plate.  (Note: I tried to use a smaller skillet and it was a PAIN later on in the process, so definitely go with a larger option).

Next, use the same skillet you cooked the shrimp in and place the 2 tablespoons of butter (or EVOO) in the skillet and add the minced garlic.  Saute over medium heat until garlic begins to brown...you'll need to watch it, it can go from not cooked to too cooked pretty quickly and burnt garlic can overwhelm your dish.

Once the garlic is sautéed, add corn starch to the pan and turn heat down to low, whisk/stir until you get a thick paste-like substance.  If you don't have corn starch, flour is always a good alternative but you may need a little extra!

Begin adding your milk and chicken broth to the pan.  Add each gradually over a five minute period, alternating back and forth between the two and stirring after each addition.  The idea is that as you continue to add the liquid, the mixture will continue to thicken and you should have a creamy sauce by the end. 

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Next, add the cream cheese and Greek yogurt to the mixture.  Stir to allow the cream cheese to melt into the mixture.  If you have a few lumps still it is fine, just try to smooth it out as much as possible over about 3-5 minutes. 

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After your creamy sauce is made, add in the chopped artichoke hearts and the spinach.  I like to add the spinach in gradually as it will cook down a bit as it heats and your pan will have more room.  That way you can prevent an unwanted spill-over onto your stove (speaking from experience here...)

If your sauce seems really runny, feel free to add a little more corn starch and stir vigorously for a few minutes to help thicken it back up.  Sometimes if your spinach has a lot of water or your artichokes weren't well drained, it can cause for a runnier sauce than you'd like. 

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Finally, remember those shrimp sitting to the side?  It's time to add those back into the pan and stir into the spinach artichoke mixture.  Heat for about 3-5 more minutes on medium heat stirring constantly.....you don't want your shrimp to get too tough from overcooking. This is also a good time to give your sauce a taste to see if it needs any salt/pepper and add those accordingly. 

OMG....this looks SO GOOD I want to make it again just writing this.

OMG....this looks SO GOOD I want to make it again just writing this.

Step 5: Assemble the Squash 

Now comes the time to assemble everything!  Your squash should be done so take that out of the oven and "spaghetti" it with a fork.  If its not done, see the directions at the beginning of this post and just pop a lid on your sauce mixture to keep it hot.

Next, gradually spoon in the mixture to the squash stirring after each addition so you incorporate the "spaghetti" with the spinach artichoke mixture.  Make sure you divvy up your shrimp evenly here so nobody gets a squash just full of the spinach/artichoke mixture or vice versa.

 

Step 6: Top it Off!

Set your oven to broil.  Then, take that mozzarella we set aside in the beginning and sprinkle it on the top of the filled spaghetti squash boats.  You can use as much or as little cheese as you want here...obviously, I opted for a lot because I love cheese.  

Stick your cheese topped squash back into the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese begins to bubble.  Depending on your oven, it will likely be less than 5 minutes.  Watch that it doesn't burn...broilers can make something go from good to bad pretty quickly.

When you remove the squash from the oven, top it with fresh parsley and grated parmesan if you want (I skipped this step because I was out of it...a sin, I know).

FINAL STEP: Plate it!

Okay now all that is left to do is plate this deliciousness and serve it to someone you love! If you used a pretty big squash, don't be surprised if you can't finish the entire thing in one sitting, but that is totally fine because this dish is SO good as a leftover! 

Also, this can totally be adapted to meet any dietary restrictions.  If you are dairy free, skip the butter and milk and opt for almond milk and a dairy free cream cheese and shredded mozzarella substitute.  Also, if you don't like shrimp, chicken always works too! 

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Once you've filled yourself up....there is always room for dessert right?!

We headed to our favorite Italian bakery/cafe in Westchester, Boiano Bakery for some after dinner treats.  If you're in the area, you MUST check it out!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoy this recipe from my kitchen to yours.  If you have any questions leave them in the comments below! 

XoXo - Jamie 

Shorts, Sofrito, and Virgin Mojitos!

Anyone else love ethnic food spots?? I'm always on the hunt for a good place that doesn't require me traveling to a tropical island (although I'd much prefer that).  Unfortunately at 30 weeks pregnant you can't do much of anything anymore, including flying, so we took to our neighborhoods to find some great eats and we weren't left disappointed!

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**Post contains affiliate links for products which I personally recommend.  By clicking the links and purchasing the products, I may earn a commission. I do not include affiliate links for the purpose of solely earning product commission, I do so in order to share products I love with you! Purchases are made as-is as the consumers discretion** 

Not going to lie, I'm finding it hard to fit into most of my clothes lately and will probably be resorting exclusively to dresses in the next few weeks, but this entire outfit is non-maternity and was still so comfortable! Which means it's also the perfect go-to when you want to binge eat and drink...and not need to unbutton your jeans! I've linked the look below!

BGBGeneration Black/White Utility Shorts - These might be the world's most versatile shorts! I'm wearing a size XS and was easily able to fold them down for comfort, but you can also wear them as a hi-waisted option and they are so cute.  They are sold out virtually EVERYWHERE (that's saying something) but I finally found them HERE and for half off! 

Forever 21 Knit Off the Shoulder Top - Unfortunately this one is sold out...I'll keep trying to find it because its so lightweight and comfortable (also has a really cute open back).  But I'm linking a few other similar styles.  Here is one style I LOVE and under $20! And another....this one is so Boho Chic and only $15.99!

Shoes - Obviously my Sole Society GO-TO heels for the summer...being comfortable is such a struggle and I'm always linking these because my feet never hurt and I also don't feel like I'm going to lose my balance carrying around this basketball!

Handbag - Ah I just LOVE this bag and totally forgot I had it...its amazing what cleaning out your closet can do.  I got this gem in Athens, Greece on our honeymoon so unfortunately I cannot link it, but I totally love it.  In honor of the beloved Kate Spade - here is a great similar option.


Now let's talk about the FOOD!

We found a really great Puerto Rican spot - Sofrito!

What we ordered:

Empanadas - We chose one chicken and one beef..both were DELICIOUS and the dough was so flaky and good.  You can tell it is made from scratch and it reminded me of the ones we got on the street in Puerto Rico last time we visited!

Paella - I am a sucker for a good Paella and the Sofrito Paella didn't disappoint.  It had LOBSTER, CHICKEN, CHORIZO, CLAMS, MUSSELS, CALAMARI, SHRIMPS AND SAFFRON RICE and we split it because it was huge!

Tres Leches - Oh. My. God. This was SOOOO SOOOO good. It was a perfect balance of the light cake and whipped topping paired with that creamy, delicious cinnamon infused milk.  You just need to go try it. Period. 

 

And to top it all off, they have some amazing cocktails....at least from what I could see!  They were sweet enough to play along and make me a Virgin Strawberry Mojito but it was actually really delicious and I would totally order again.  Mojitos are my favorite drink of the summer! 

Thanks Sofrito for another great night out in Westchester!

And thank YOU for stopping by!

XoXo - Jamie

Weekday Date Nights

Anyone else get stuck in the rut of becoming a recluse during the week?  Guilty as charged.  

After we moved from NYC to the “burbs” my hubby and I found ourselves staying home a lot more. 

And as easy as it is for us all to fall into the same weekly routine, it’s also important for overall mental and physical health to get out once in a while! 

The perfect way to do so is by planning an impromptu date night.  I’m talking T-minus one hour notice that we will be going on a date, type of night.  

It doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy, I think keeping it casual during the week is best.  It’s also a great excuse to explore a place in your neighborhood! 

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When we decided on a date night at the last minute, I knew I’d have to throw together an outfit in five minutes.  Sometimes, not overthinking your outfit is best.   

My Outfit

Peplum Style Top - It's not available online but HERE is a really cute, similar option. 

H&M 'MAMA' Maternity Jeans - I've already raved about these jeans..they are my go-to!

Shopper Tote - This Sole Society 'Dawson' oversize tote in dusty rose ON SALE NOW!

Sunglasses - My favorite Celine sunnies in the style HAVANA (obviously this makes me love them that much more)!

    Shoes - That gorgeous bag is hiding them, but you've all seen them before, the most comfortable  Vince Camuto shoes for spring and summer!


    The Date Spot 

    So as I was saying earlier, date nights are the perfect opportunity to try something new in your neighborhood.  Living in the city, I was completely spoiled with the amazing restaurants everywhere.  Unfortunately, in the suburbs, there just aren't as many really amazing spots.

    But...last night BURRATA Wood Fired Pizza in Eastchester completely changed my mind.  

    Every single thing we ate was absolutely delicious and my husband and I both cannot wait to come back.  They have a variety of traditional Italian dishes with modern twists as well as really amazing wood fired pizza.  They also have some really unique and delicious looking cocktails that I cannot wait to try after the baby is here! 

    If you are in the Westchester area, or even if you are in NYC, it's totally worth the 30 minute train ride from Grand Central to come and check out Burrata.  There was also live music to make the experience that much better! 

    Arancini Alla Piemontese   - arancini with white truffle and mushroom - SOOOOO GOOOD

    Arancini Alla Piemontese  - arancini with white truffle and mushroom - SOOOOO GOOOD

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    Costolette - pork ribs with a balsamic glaze and porcini 

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    J. Sexton No. 2* - one of many amazing wood fired pizza choice (all with organic flour BTW!)

    tomatoes, garlic,  burrata, basil, EVOO, black pepper, parmigiana - simple and delicious 

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    And for dessert....ZEPPOLES 

    I literally ate all but one..and that was only because my husband ate that one.  These were paired with a perfect custard vanilla sauce and were oh so delicious! 


    So there you have it, a weekday date night can help you find your new favorite restaurant and it doesn't have to be over-the-top or planned for that matter.  

    Sometimes changing up your weekly routine can give you a whole new outlook on the rest of your week! 

    xoxo

    Jamie