Sheet Pan Chicken with Butternut Squash and Kale

By November 11, 2020 November 14th, 2020 Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Whole30

This one pan chicken dinner is the perfect no-fuss, healthy, fall meal.  Crispy, juicy chicken thighs are roasted with sweet butternut squash, scallions, tender kale and flavored with fresh herbs and olives.  So hearty, so good, so easy!

Sheet Pan Chicken with Butternut Squash and Kale 2 plates

This one-pan chicken dinner requires only seven ingredients making it perfect for busy weeknights. I love it because there’s very little chopping to do.

Meaty chicken thighs roast on top of scallions until the chicken is golden and juicy and the scallions are tender and sweet. The butternut squash cooks next to the chicken in the same pan soaking up the tasty pan juices. Kale is tossed with the vegetables at the end absorbing the flavors of the herbs and scallions. 

Despite the short ingredient list, this dish delivers deep flavor and various textures. The soft, sweet butternut squash provides a nice balance to the crunchy, bitter kale.  Even people who don’t normally like kale will enjoy this dish. 

Sheet Pan Chicken with Butternut Squash and Kale close up

Tips to Make One Pan Chicken with Butternut Squash and Kale

Preparing the Butternut Squash

Choose a butternut squash with a large round end.  Use a sharp peeler to remove the skin. Cut off the top and bottom. Stand it up and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut off the round part and scoop out the seeds. Lay it cut side down and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Repeat with the other half.  Line up the slices and cut them in half again.  Measure 4 cups. 

If you don’t have 4 cups cut a few more 1/2 inch slices and cut each slice in half again to get triangles. Save the rest of the butternut squash for another use.

Place the scallions on one side of the pan.  Put the seasoned chicken on top of the scallions.  Spread the seasoned butternut squash on the other side of the pan.

Turn the butternut squash after 15 minutes.  Check your scallions, if any of them are getting brown, tuck them under the chicken so they don’t burn.

Preparing the Kale

I like tender baby kale in this dish.  It’s pre-washed and goes from the container right into the pan.  But sometimes it’s hard to find.  My supermarket and health food store just started carrying it regularly.  

Curly kale can also be used.  Cut off the stems and chop it into bite size pieces. While the chicken is cooking massage the kale with a tablespoon of oil to soften it.

The kale is added at the end. Once the chicken is cooked remove it from the pan onto a plate.  Add kale to the baking sheet and mix with the scallions and butternut squash to evenly coat with the pan juices. Place chicken back onto the pan arranging it around the kale.

When you add the kale to the pan it’s going to look like a lot.  But don’t worry it cooks down.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Butternut Squash and Kale raw kale

Baby kale only needs 3 minutes to get tender, curly kale takes 5-8 minutes.  

Once it’s done, remove from the oven and top with chopped olives.  I like the rich salty taste of oil cured olives but any olives you enjoy are fine. 

Cooking the Chicken 

If  4 chicken thighs weigh more than 1 1/2 pounds or if 1 1/2 pounds is only 3 thighs, they will need to cook longer than 35 minutes. Start by  seasoning the chicken, put it onto the parchment line roasting pan alone.  Roast 10-15 minutes alone to give it extra time.  Then remove chicken from the pan, add scallions put chicken on top and proceed with the recipe.  

Sheet Pan Chicken with Butternut Squash and Kale cooked tray

I hope you love this one-pan dinner  – hearty chicken thighs, sweet butternut squash and tender kale all tossed with olive oil, thyme and sage.  

ALL THE GOOD STUFF you need for an easy satisfying dinner.  It’s tender, flavorful, nutrient dense, incredibly easy to make and a great way to get more vegetables onto your plate. 

Sheet Pan Chicken with Butternut Squash and Kale one plate

If you like this dish you may also like these other sheet pan recipes:

One Pan Roasted Chicken with Broccoli Rabe and Sweet Potatoes

One Pan Herb Lemon Cod with Spring Vegetables

Sheet Pan Miso Maple Salmon with String Beans

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Sheet Pan Chicken with Butternut Squash and Kale


  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This one pan chicken dinner is the perfect no-fuss, healthy meal.  Crispy, juicy chicken thighs are roasted with sweet butternut squash, scallions & kale.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 scallions, cut into 2” pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Celtic sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 cups butternut squash sliced 1/2-inch-thick, from the bulb end if possible*
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on, humanely raised chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)**
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 5 ounces baby kale coarsely chopped or 6 cups curly kale (see note below)**
  • 2 tablespoons oil cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet, with parchment for easy cleanup. Place scallions on one side of a the sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, season with salt and pepper and toss.
  2. In a medium bowl, season butternut squash with salt, pepper, half the thyme and sage and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.
  3. Spread the squash in a single layer on the other side of the pan.
  4. Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder and the rest of the thyme and sage and place on top of the scallions. Drizzle the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Place into the oven on the top shelf.
  5. Roast 15 minutes, then turn the squash so it browns evenly. If any scallions are browning tuck them under the chicken so they don’t burn.
  6. Roast another 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and squash is tender and lightly brown.
  7. Remove sheet pan from the oven and put chicken onto a plate.
  8. Add kale to the baking sheet and mix with the scallions and butternut squash to evenly coat with the pan juices.
  9. Place chicken back onto the pan arranging it around the kale. Put back into the oven and roast 3-5 minutes until kale is wilted and tender.
  10. Remove from the oven, top with olives and serve with lemon wedges. I serve this dish right out of the pan.

Notes

If using curly kale:
Remove stems and chop into bite size pieces, measure 6 cups.
Put into a large bowl. Massage kale with 1 tablespoon olive oil before adding to the sheet pan.  Follow the recipe, cook for 5-8 minutes.

If  4 chicken thighs weigh more than 1 1/2 pounds or if 1 1/2 pounds is only 3 thighs, they will need to cook longer than 35 minutes. Start by  seasoning the chicken, put it onto the parchment line roasting pan alone.  Roast 10-15 minutes alone to give it extra time.  Then remove chicken from the pan, add scallions put chicken on top and proceed with the recipe.

Nutrition information is for 4 servings.  We usually eat all the vegetables and save 2 chicken thighs for lunch the next day.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Gluten-Free, Whole30

Keywords: chicken and butternut squash recipe, chicken and kale, sheet pan chicken butternut squash

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