Chicken/ Salads

Southwestern Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Salad

Do you have a stomach ache from junk food overload this past week?

I guess it doesn’t help that the two recipes I posted are full of the good stuff. And by good stuff, I clearly mean sugar! Perhaps it’s time we eat a vegetable or something. Just for the day….then tomorrow we can go back to cake and pie! Does that sound like a plan?

Good, because today I have a salad recipe for you. No sugar involved. It’s so addicting that I ate it for both lunch and dinner yesterday. We are going camping this weekend and I am packing up the leftovers to take with us, along with frozen chili, cornbread, beef stew and hot dogs. I may not be a pro camper quite yet, but I do have one thing going for me and that’s my ability to bring the food. I mean…a girls just gotta be prepared. I take no chances with hunger. Or thirst, for that matter. I think two bottles of wine should suffice.

But back to this salad for a minute. Picture layers of grilled chicken, black beans, cabbage, spaghetti squash, bell peppers and cilantro all tossed in a zesty buttermilk dressing. I can’t get enough.

Like any good salad, this one is all about the dressing. This is so good you’ll want to eat it with a spoon! I may or may not have done that last night. It’s also great as a party dip for carrots, snap peas and cherry tomatoes. Pick your poison.

I hope y’all love this salad as much I do!! As much as I enjoy stirring big pots of stews and chilies in the fall, sometimes a hearty salad is a nice break from the heaviness. Plus, it leaves more room for dessert.

I’ll admit, last night when I ate this for dinner by myself, I ate it with a side of gingerbread. Who does that? And because I actually ate the gingerbread with my dinner, I didn’t count is as dessert. Dessert came later….and was more gingerbread. I’m on a roll and cannot be stopped.

Southwestern Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Salad

serves 4

Print this Recipe!


for salad —

1 small spaghetti squash

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 orange or red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 bunch cilantro, minced

2 cups shredded green cabbage

2 cups thinly sliced cooked chicken breast

1 cup chopped jicama {optional}

avocado for serving

for zesty buttermilk dressing—

1/2 cup well shaken buttermilk

1/4 cup mayonnaise

juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cumin

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice your spaghetti squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side down on a greased sheet pan and bake for 40 minutes, until very tender. Let squash cool before using a fork to scoop out “spaghetti” and place in a bowl. You can do this step up to three days before you prepare the salad.

Next, make the dressing. Whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

To prepare the salad, place the cooled spaghetti squash in a large serving bowl. Top with black beans, chicken, bell pepper, shredded green cabbage, cilantro and jicama, if using. Toss all ingredients together well. Drizzle dressing over salad {you may not want/need to use all the dressing}.

Serve salad on plates topped with sliced avocado.

**Assembled salad will stay fresh, without dressing and avocado, for up to four days covered in the fridge. Dressing will stay fresh for up to a week and is also great served as a dip with raw veggies


active time — 20 minutes

total time — 1.5 hours



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  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    November 2, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Perfect looking fall-winter comfort food (and easy one that makes planned leftovers – love those!)

    I really want the zesty buttermilk dressing most of all though!

    • mary @ what's cookin with mary
      November 2, 2012 at 7:14 am

      I can’t help but notice the time on this comment Averie! ;P SO EARLY !!

      • Amanda
        November 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm

        After work!

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance
    November 2, 2012 at 4:41 am

    I love all the ingredients in the salad! Especially jicama. So crunchy good. 🙂

  • Anne
    November 2, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for posting this recipe, it looks fabulous!
    Spaghetti Squash is one of my favorite foods but I have a hard timecsoming up with recipes with substance for it and always revert to the same ole same ole two or three.

  • Jen
    November 2, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Recipe for the gingerbread?

  • Blog is the New Black
    November 2, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Loving this combo here!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    November 2, 2012 at 5:05 am

    Soutweast salads are so good! The addition of jicama is smart!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    November 2, 2012 at 5:52 am

    This salad looks pretty incredible. The colours are so lovely this time of year. Happy Friday Jenna…have a wonderful weekend camping. Brrrr….

  • jenna k
    November 2, 2012 at 5:55 am

    this sounds great! i’m totally craving ranch now…

  • Renee' @ Sassy Wife, Classy Life
    November 2, 2012 at 5:56 am

    I love Southwest salads and have just started trying out some fresh dressings as well! This zesty buttermilk dressing is going on my list. 🙂

  • Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    November 2, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I’ve never thought to add spaghetti squash to a salad!

  • Kitchen Mommy
    November 2, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Love this recipe – what a fresh way to use spaghetti squash. I like that it’s just one component of the salad. Week after Thanksgiving? Yes!

  • mary @ what's cookin with mary
    November 2, 2012 at 7:13 am

    A couple weeks ago I was googling away looking for ways to use spag squash w.o it being baked into a casserole with some type of Italian style sauce. No such luck. I ended up adding a bunch to my “Mom’s Spinach Casserole”… it was just ok. I love the idea of making spag squash into a salad! Very clever!!

  • deva at deva by definition
    November 2, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I just bought spaghetti squash for the first time ever. I think I’m going to have to try this.

  • allie@sweetpotatobites
    November 2, 2012 at 8:16 am

    this looks great! i’m always looking for new ways to use spaghetti squash.

  • Erica @ Coffee & Quinoa
    November 2, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Yum! I will get up the courage to tackle a spaghetti squash any day now 🙂

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    November 2, 2012 at 9:01 am

    This is a great creative way to eat spaghetti squash – love eating it cold for a change!

  • Jenna
    November 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Yum what a fun idea!

  • Rachel Cooks
    November 2, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Looks fantastic! Love the jicama in there!

  • Allison @ Gold Stars Double Rainbows
    November 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Oh that looks absolutely tasty! Now if only I can get my hands on some spaghetti squash here in Paraguay…wish me luck! My body needs more veggies!

  • Caroline L.
    November 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    mmm this looks and sounds delightful! spaghetti squash has always intrigued me, would love to try this out 🙂

  • kim@hungryhealthygirl
    November 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    That salad looks fabulous and I’ve been on a majoy spaghetti squash kick lately!

  • Moni Meals
    November 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    YUM! Jicama- love it!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    November 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Minus the cilantro this looks great!

  • luv what you do
    November 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I have some leftover squash and was just thinking that I need something different to do with it. Salad is a GREAT idea. This looks wodnerful!

  • Carrie @ The Cook's Palette
    November 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Looks fabulous! Love the idea of spaghetti squash in a salad. Genius, girl.

  • Tami@nutmegnotebook
    November 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    What a refreshing salad idea. Have to try that dressing for sure!

  • Tony Hamilton
    November 3, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Bolo Farm – Coffee Laos

  • Megan O
    November 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

    would it be good with butternut squash instead? I already have one!

  • Randi
    November 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Jenna! I love your blog. I am making this salad for dinner. What type of bread do you think would go best with this salad? A baguette? Homemade white rolls? Or what sides do you think would do good with this salad?

    • Randi
      November 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      For use of better words, what sides do you think would compliment this salad?

    • jenna
      November 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      I think a baguette with goat cheese or a cup of soup!

      • Randi
        November 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

        Thanks Jenna!

  • Ashley
    November 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    This was delicious!!! And my first experience with spaghetti squash. I will definitely be making it again. So quick and love how you can make the squash ahead of time!!!

  • J
    November 12, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    What other than chicken can I use as a protein, I am not a vegetarian, just can’t have chicken…?


  • Katie
    November 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I made this salad, but the spaghetti squash makes it taste watery. I’m kind of upset because I wasted so many yummy veggies on making this. Should I have patted the spaghetti squash dry before mixing into the salad? I also resulted with more than 4 servings of salad.

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  • April Knight
    December 17, 2019 at 5:37 am

    Looks tasty!! Thanks for recipe !
    Try this one –