Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash + Quinoa

by Amy on 14 February 2013

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash + QuinoaApologies for the lack of posts recently! I take 99% of my food photographs outside on my deck, where the lighting is wonderful. Lately, however, it’s been gray + drizzly in Nashville, which is making it mighty hard to take pictures outside. The good news is that sunny weather is in the forecast for the next few days, so I’m making it a priority to get cookin’, get outdoors + get some good photos to share!

In the meantime, here’s an absolutely fantastic recipe that I first made/photographed last year, but somehow forgot to share with y’all. This time of year, when the weather is cool + rainy, I love filling yet healthy soups + stews. This one incorporates all the things i love: tender chicken, sweet butternut squash, healthy quinoa, + a wonderful combination of savory spices. While it’s low in fat + calories, it’s amazingly filling + hearty. As an extra bonus, it’s full of vitamin A, vitamin C, + fiber – things that my body is always happy to have. So, if you’re looking for a delicious, stick-to-your-bones stew (that won’t stick to your hips + waistline!), give this a try!

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash + Quinoa

serves 6, adapted from Cookin’ Canuck


1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded + chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups chicken broth
the meat of 1 rotisserie chicken (about 3-4 cups), shredded (i used both white + dark meat)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup pitted + quartered kalamata olives (i omitted these because of an olive-hatin’ husband, but i’d recommend adding them in for additional flavor + color!)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces + set aside.

Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash coarsely with the back of a fork. Set aside.

In a large saucepan set over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion + cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic + oregano – cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.

Add the diced tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash, chicken broth, + quinoa. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover + cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken, kalamata olives, + salt + pepper to taste. Simmer, uncovered, until chicken is heated through + sauce has thickened to your liking. For me, this took about 10-15 more minutes. Add more salt/pepper if needed, to taste.

Garnish with the fresh parsley + serve.

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

51 marla February 22, 2013 at 10:00 am

Love this! Linking back to this post in an upcoming FFC post :)

52 CC February 24, 2013 at 6:54 pm

mmm I just used this recipe as inspiration and threw in some spinach for color (I only like olives by themselves) – it was delicious!

53 amy February 25, 2013 at 9:46 am

ooh, I love that you added in spinach for color (+ added healthiness). i’ll definitely do that next time!

54 Cookin Canuck March 31, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I’m glad you enjoyed my recipe. It is definitely one of our favorites and I can never resist making a double batch so that we can freeze the extras for future meals.

55 Danielle August 16, 2013 at 12:04 am

I made this and it was seriously delicious. Thanks so much for sharing.

56 amy August 16, 2013 at 8:27 am

That’s awesome, Danielle – so glad you liked it! I can’t wait to make it again in the fall once I can get my hands on some butternut squash!

57 jess January 17, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Just made this for my family and we all loved it, even my 2 yr old. I changed out the chicken broth for several cups of the water I boiled my chicken in with maybe a tsp of salt and used sweet potato instead of squash because it’s what I had in the house. Thanks for posting such a creative and healthy recipe!

58 amy January 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Great job on the changes/adaptations, Jess! So glad that you and your family loved it! =)

59 sharon February 19, 2014 at 9:47 pm

This is one of my favorites. It’s equally delicious after freezing as it is fresh. My boyfriend doesn’t like butternut squash so I’m going to try making it this weekend with sweet potato instead.

60 amy February 19, 2014 at 9:50 pm

I need to make it again soon myself! It’s been too long. =) And I love your idea of using sweet potato instead of butternut squash- that’s a great substitute.

61 Elizabeth March 24, 2014 at 11:06 am

I’m a vegetarian… any idea for something I can substitute for the chicken but that would still taste delicious and be filling? Thanks!

62 amy March 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Hi Elizabeth, I asked my friend Lesley from the vegetarian blog Lesleyeats.com for her suggestion – she says, “shredded chicken is a tough one for home cooks to replicate. Oyster mushrooms maybe, and some white beans for oomph.” I hope that helps! =)

63 Ann Marion October 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm

I made this for lunch today with some local squash (butternut and red kuri) and left out the olives. It was delicious and will definitely be a recurring favourite in the coming cooler months!

64 amy October 16, 2014 at 8:09 pm

I’m so thrilled to hear that, Ann! It’s one of our favorites, too, and I love how you used local squash. Yum!

65 Anna December 1, 2014 at 10:27 pm

O. M. G. This is so unbelievably delicious. I threw in some frozen spinach at the end for some color. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I thought I would omit the olives, I am SOO happy I did not, they add the perfect earthy flavor. Thank you for sharing!!

66 amy December 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Woohoo, I am SO thrilled you loved it, Anna! =) It’s one of my favorites, too.

67 Sue January 13, 2015 at 3:31 pm

I’m so glad you posted a pic of this again last week! I made it & it turned out fantastic. I made it as posted though I did put in the olives & I added a few handfuls of baby spinach & a dash of red pepper flakes! I got a little worried that it was going to be too soupy, but the quinoa really soaked up the liquid about 15 minutes after it came off the stove. I’ll be making it again very soon!

68 amy January 13, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Woohoo, I’m so thrilled you liked it! A lot of readers have told me they’ve added spinach so I think I’ll try that myself next time, since I love greens. =)

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