Cranberry Chicken Stuffed Squash

by Fresh Planet Flavor
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Cranberry Chicken Stuffed Squash: warmly savory shredded chicken, the subtle sweetness parsnips, and tart pop of cranberries makes this a great dish for the holiday season! Fresh Planet Flavor

I have been playing a LOT with cranberries this holiday season, in many different ways, and have completely fallen in love with them as an ingredient. Such little bursts of color and flavor! This Cranberry Chicken Stuffed Squash is my favorite cranberry creation to date: there are many layers to the flavor, such as the warmly savory shredded chicken, the subtle sweetness of onions and parsnips, richness of garlic, plenty of cranberries and parsley leaves.

Now, aside from all of those wonderfully delicious seasonal ingredients in the stuffing, the star of this recipe is the butternut squash. Cutting lengthwise and oven-roasting face-down in a bit of water is a cooking technique that locks in flavor and moisture… resulting in tender squash halves ready for stuffing. I made this dish for two of my lady friends last weekend for a girl’s night in, and I think it’s safe to say that it was a hit! The squash skin softens enough to eat along with the stuffing and the golden flesh of the squash itself. . . although as one of my taste-testers said, scooping the squash out of its skin is the fun part!

Cranberry Chicken Stuffed Squash: warmly savory shredded chicken, the subtle sweetness parsnips, and tart pop of cranberries makes this a great dish for the holiday season! GrokGrub.com

So, holiday season or not, this is a seriously tasty combo served with flair. Enjoy with friends and family (recipes makes more than enough to share).

Cranberry Chicken Stuffed Squash: warmly savory shredded chicken, the subtle sweetness parsnips, and tart pop of cranberries makes this a great dish for the holiday season! GrokGrub.com
Cranberry Chicken Stuffed Squash
 
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Fresh Planet Flavor
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Warmly savory shredded chicken, the subtle sweetness parsnips, and tart pop of cranberries makes this a delicious dish for the holiday season.
Ingredients
  • 2 small butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, plus more as needed
  • 4 (boneless, skinless) chicken thighs
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Fill a large baking dish with an inch of water and place the squash face down in the water. Cook in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until soft wen pricked with a fork.
  2. While the squash cooks, melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken thighs for 5-10 minutes on each side until browned and full-cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
  3. Finely chop the onion and parsnips, or alternatively shred in a food processor. Cook in the same skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning, for 10-15 minutes until soft. Dice the garlic and add to the onions and parsnips. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 22-3 minutes. Remove to a medium mixing bowl, and stir in the salt and pepper. Shred the cooked chicken into the parsnip mixture.
  4. Add more coconut oil to the skillet if necessary, then cook the cranberries until soft. Stir into the chicken stuffing.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven and carefully take them out of the water, taking care not to splash any of the boiling water. Turn the squash right side up and fill the center with a mound of the stuffing.
  6. Top with parsley leaves if desired and serve warm.
 

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14 comments

Marina December 17, 2015 - 3:27 am

I can’t wait to try this! At what point do you cook the garlic, with the chicken or with the onions and parsnips?

Reply
Fresh Planet Flavor December 17, 2015 - 5:42 am

Good catch, it has been corrected in the instructions now!

Reply
Leah December 18, 2015 - 9:03 pm

Oh, this sounds lovely! I love the combo of flavors!

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Allison - Celebrating Sweets December 18, 2015 - 9:17 pm

This sounds like a perfect (healthy) comfort food meal! I love cooking with boneless skinless chicken thighs…they always stay moist. Yum!

Reply
Fresh Planet Flavor December 19, 2015 - 12:34 am

Yep! I love to get my protein fix from chicken breast but thighs have so much fat and flavor…

Reply
michele December 18, 2015 - 10:31 pm

I love stuffing the squash with a protein! So often squash dishes are vegetarian which is great for me, but my husband doesnt think its a “real Meal” unless it has meat in it! This works for both of us!!

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Fresh Planet Flavor December 19, 2015 - 12:35 am

It’s funny: I adapted this from a vegetarian recipe that used quinoa!

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Marie December 19, 2015 - 3:28 pm

This looks so good! I’m loving the idea of using cranberries in a savory recipe. I’ve only used them in desserts so I will have to give this a try.

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Chelsea December 19, 2015 - 8:53 pm

This looks so hearty and scrumptious! So perfect for this time of year.

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Ashleigh December 19, 2015 - 9:50 pm

This is a fab recipe, thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to try it!!

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melody pittman December 20, 2015 - 1:35 am

Oh this is a keeper recipe for sure. I’ve made a few things stuffed in the squash but never anything with chicken. My husband will LOVE it!

Reply
Fresh Planet Flavor December 21, 2015 - 9:56 pm

I went with chicken because it’s tasty and easy. You can easily adapt with something else!

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