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Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash + Quinoa

Apologies 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.