A hearty keto pesto chicken casserole to satisfy the whole family! Loaded with basil, bacon, and crispy chicken thighs, this low carb dinner is full of flavor!
A flavor packed meal made with spaghetti squash, bacon, pesto, and chicken! Because honestly…who can get enough casseroles? Especially low carb ones?!
A few years ago, I made a fabulous recipe. It was a family keeper!!
And then one sad day, I went to open my old pin to make it again….and the website was no longer there, and neither was the recipe. The blog AND the beloved recipe disappeared!
Not one to give up so easily…I started using the main ingredients I remembered to come up with my own version to be forever memorialized here on my blog.
After all, why should I get ALL the yummy food just to myself?!
Beautiful, flavorful food was meant to be shared!
I use my faithful 12″ cast iron skillet for this (and just about everything I cook!). The browning that you get from cast iron pan cannot be beat…and this one comes pre-seasoned so I have never had an issue with sticking food!
How do you cook a spaghetti squash for keto chicken pesto casserole??
When I started using spaghetti squash as a noodle replacement…I had a wee bit of learning curve. The trick I learned, was to NOT overcook the noodles. Overcooked noodles = mush in your mouth…not a pleasing texture! There are many ways people tackle this task:
- I prefer my oven method as it is the one performs the most consistently for me.
- My friend Cassidy has her own strategy that involves no cutting if that intrigues you!
- This method uses the Instant Pot…but be extra careful NOT to over cook!
Dairy free low carb pesto?
Dairy is easily omitted in this recipe. We like to use my recipe for dairy free kale pesto.
Any store bough pesto will do, but read labels, many include dairy..and honestly…pick a brand you know you like! Some are kind of yucky according my pesto obsessed kiddos!
If dairy works for you, we love to add some sheep’s milk Pecorino Romano cheese in!
Here are some additional keto dinners to enjoy!
- Keto Instant Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
- Instant Pot turkey meatballs
- Low carb fried cabbage w/ keilbasa
Keto Pesto Chicken Casserole Recipe:
If you try this low carb casserole, be sure to come back and leave a comment!
Keto Pesto Chicken Casserole
- 6 cups spaghetti squash cooked, see how to here (or any noodles if you prefer)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces.
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces bacon diced or thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 6-8 tablespoons pesto we make this dairy free version, to taste
Optional add in's:
- sliced red bell pepper, grated pecorino romano or parmesan (not Whole30), sliced sauteed mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, or halved cherry tomatoes
Prepare your spaghetti squash, cool, shred, set aside.
In a large 12" skilletover medium low heat, gently cook the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside.
Bump the heat up to medium-high. Add the chicken, garlic granules, and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, in a single layer (otherwise it will steam, not brown). THEN LEAVE IT ALONE< DON:'T MOVE IT! Let it get crispy---about 5 minutes.
When chicken is browned, flip to the other side and continue.
When crispy and cooked through, remove to the same plate as the bacon.
Bump the heat down to medium low again, and saute the onion until very soft, 5-7 minutes (This is where you add any other additional veggies too if you choose).
To the cooked veggies, add in the reserved spaghetti squash, bacon, chicken, and pesto. Turn the heat up to medium and saute until all the pesto is evenly distributed and the dish is hot throughout.