If you're in the mood for chicken and seasonal veggies, our Baked Chicken and Squash recipe won't disappoint! This ONE PAN dish is simple, quick and full of our favorite fall veggies and flavors.
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A SIMPLE ONE PAN MEAL
Let's face it, one pan meals are amazing. For this dish, the majority of the work will be preparing the veggies. Thankfully, delicata squash is one of the easier squashes to cut…and it's on the smaller side. To make this dish you simply need to season and prep your chicken and chopped veggies and then toss them together in a sheet pan and bake. A delicious, healthy dinner in UNDER 30 minutes!
Both Healthy and Delicious
Our Baked Chicken and Squash dish is definitely on the healthier side! Often in the late Fall/Winter, we get excited about comfort foods involving heavier fats, sauces, creamy things, etc. I'm talking chicken & mash with gravy, ya know. But here we have something equally hearty and belly-warming, but much cleaner. The ingredients are simple, there are no gravies or heavy sauces, and the chicken is baked. When roasted, the squash imparts so much flavor, as well. And the Brussels sprouts are best roasted (I think)!
I think sometimes we forget how the simple trio of salt-pepper-oil is all you need for flavor. FYI, we are big fans of Carapelli Olive Oil.
Time Saving Tips & Tricks
- Choose chicken thighs. Because we were tailoring our baked chicken and squash recipe to a 28 minute timeline, we selected a cut that cooks fast. Note that if you are working with a bone-in cut or something thicker than thighs, like a chicken breast, you'll need a longer cook-time.
- Heat oven right away. It's really important to heat your oven right away because we allot only 8 mins for prep and 20 mins for baking.
- Enlist little helpers. Also, because of the short time allotted, it's important to cut the veggies quickly. I got my daughter to rinse and pat dry the veggies. Then she cut the Brussels sprouts while I cut the squash and onion. This task allocation did save a little time, although the Brussels sprouts ended up very interestingly shaped. Lol!
- Use jarred garlic instead of fresh and refrigerated lemon juice instead of juicing a lemon. Buy a bag of pre-rinsed Brussels sprouts.
How to Make this Dish
Notes on ingredients:
- Chicken thighs- use kitchen shears to clip off the excess fat
- Delicata squash- on the smaller size
- Brussel Sprouts- halved or quartered depending on size
- Herbs-Rosemary OR Thyme sprigs add a wonderful flavor
STEP 1: HEAT OVEN & SEASON CHICKEN
🥄 Kids Step: Measure salt and sugar! Cooking is a great chance to teach kids about measurements.
STEP 2: PREP VEGGIES
🥄 Kids Step: Your kids can rinse and dry the veggies while you prep the chicken. All they need is a colander (like the one in this Joseph Joseph Nesting Set), stool and towel. Then, your kids can help cut veggies. These are great knives for the task: Curious Chef Kids Knife and Opinel Le Petite Chef Knife (my kids' fave!). Note: We recommend that an adult cuts the squash. But your little can definitely get nice and messy scooping out the seeds!
STEP 3: COMBINE ALL, TOP WITH LEMON JUICE & HERBS, AND BAKE
🥄 Kids Step: Add rosemary. If you have a garden with rosemary, have your child snip some rosemary. We love these Kuhn Rikon Kids Snippers.
Yes, delicata squash contains important vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A and C, and its known for being rich in antioxidants.
Yes, you an eat the skin of a delicata squash so there is no need to peel it off before chopping.
To prep the squash we (1) cut the squash length-wise, (2) ran a spoon along the middle of each section to scoop out all the seeds and gunk, and (3) sliced squash (skin facing up) into 1/4" cuts.
Four boneless chicken thighs can be fully baked at 450 degrees in 20 minutes. All chicken is fully cooked at 165 degrees [check with this great ThermoPro Waterproof Meat Thermometer].
A little tip: If your meat is anywhere between 155 and 165 degrees, you can take it out of the oven. The chicken will continue to cook a bit once out of the oven, and this will help to prevent your chicken from ending up too dry. Just make sure to do a final temp check with a meat thermometer, and it must read at least 165 degrees.
Customize Baked Chicken & Squash
Here are some simple ways to change the vibe of our Best Baked Chicken and Squash Recipe:
🍅 Use different veggies. While we loved the flavor and texture of delicata squash, feel free to roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower or broccoli instead. Just try not to double up on flavor, i.e. potatoes + squash would be too starchy. Or try not to double up on the same nutrients. For instance, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are both cruciferous veggies, high in vitamin C and fiber. So, maybe just roast one of those. Just try to mix it up.
🍅 Decrease the salt. I think this baked chicken and squash recipe is great as is, but if you're looking to minimize your salt intake, cut a teaspoon out of the veggie prep and add in another seasoning, if you like.
🍅Add a side, like rice. I don't know why chicken and rice is such a surefire combo for kids. If you're not sure how the kids will take to squash and Brussels sprouts, maybe make some quick rice and frozen peas as a back up.
Other One Pan Meals
CRAFT FOR THIS RECIPE:
The Most Adorable DIY Napkin Rings! Jazz up your table with these adorable DIY napkin rings! Easy to make, using your old toilet paper rolls. Let kids decorate the holiday table with this festive and sweet craft!
Best Baked Chicken and Squash
- meat thermometer
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 4 t salt (divided)
- 1 t sugar
- 1 small delicata squash, seeded & cut into 1/4" slices (or ~11 oz)
- 8 oz brussels sprouts, halved or quartered
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 2 T olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1 T lemon juice
- 2-3 rosemary or thyme sprigs
- Heat oven to 450. Meanwhile, toss chicken with 2 t salt and 1 t sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss veggies (squash, brussels sprouts & onion) with olive oil, garlic, 2 t of the salt, and pepper. Then toss the chicken in with everything.
- Transfer everything to a lipped baking sheet or shallow pan. Position chicken in the middle with the veggies scattered around. Sprinkle the lemon juice and the leaves from the rosemary sprigs atop everything. Cook for 20 minutes. [Chicken is considered fully cooked at 165 degrees].
- Heat oven as first step to stay on track with time.
- Buy a small squash. You won't want to cut a big ol' squash.
- To prep the squash, cut the squash length-wise, run a spoon along the middle of each section to scoop out all the seeds and gunk, and slice squash (skin facing up) into 1/4" cuts.
- If the chicken is a little fatty, use kitchen shears to clip off the excess fat.
- Chicken is done when its temperature is at least 165 degrees F.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. While we are not certified nutritionists, we work with a Wordpress-integrated nutrition API to calculate our recipes' ingredient values.