Roasted Chicken Thighs With Acorn Squash

Roasted Chicken Thighs With Acorn Squash

Looking for the prefect one pan chicken dish? Roasted Chicken Thighs With Acorn Squash are a perfect weeknight autimn dinner.

Why Did Adele Cross The Road?

To say “Hello” from the other side!


Hello, friends! Today’s recipe is a stunner! We are going to make Roasted Chicken Thighs with Acorn Squash. It’s a super simple recipe that I adapted from my personal cooking hero New York Times food writer Melissa Clark. There was nothing wrong with the original, I just wanted to give it a little bit more of a kick. It’s also an easy weeknight recipe that actually tastes delicious! There’s not much to say other than let’s get to it.

Does This Recipe Have Bacon In It? I’m Not Eating It If There’s No Bacon In It!

Alas, no, but it’s damn tasty anyway! Besides, we can’t eat bacon all the time. Sadly. So, first thing’s first, we need to cut up an acorn squash. Acorn squashes are a winter squash that you can find in the produce section during the fall months. They have a sweet orange flesh but a super thick green skin and cutting them can be a challenge. So my trick; a freaking saw! No joke! A handsaw has weight, size, and most importantly serrated teeth. A very sharp serrated knife could work, but honestly a saw is the best tool for the job.

Cut your acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with an ice cream scooper. Warning, do not throw them in the garbage disposal as it will jam it up. Well, I suppose you could if you really missed the Roto Rooter guy. Maybe you’re buddies. Maybe you really want see some plumber’s wedge. Whatever, I don’t judge.

Next, cut squash into 1/4 – 1/2-inch thick rings and set aside. Next cut a lemon in half lengthwise and then into thin slices. Heat a medium heavy bottomed skillet over medium-heat and add some olive oil. Toss the lemons in and sauté on each side until the sugars begin to brown (about 1-2 minutes on each side). Set aside and let cool.

In a large glass bowl, toss the chicken with lemon slices, olive oil, coriander seeds, black mustard seeds, salt, and pepper. This recipe uses black mustard seeds because they are spicier than the yellow ones. Let that sit covered for 30 minutes.

OK It’s 30 Minutes Later, Now What?

Now we’re ready to cook! Preheat your oven to 425ºF. While the oven is preheating, combine brown butter, syrup, chili powder and half a teaspoon of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

Now one thing before we keep going. this recipe uses brown butter. Brown butter is simply butter that has been cooked long enough that the milk proteins brown giving it a rich nutty flavor. Here is an article on how to make it. You can make it by the stick and then refrigerate it for a future use.

Toss the liquid in the pot with the squash to coat evenly. Lay each squash ring out in a 9”x13” roasting pan in a single layer. If there is more just add it in another layer in the center. Place the chicken on top, skin side up and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, toss the sliced scallions and a teaspoon of olive oil. Scatter the scallions atop the contents of the pan. Put it back in the oven and roast for an additional 20 minutes or until no longer pink.

That’s it, kids. You’re done. You can go fancy and serve the each individual chicken thigh on a ring of squash, or you can just put the pan on the table and have your family feed themselves. The latter option is much easier.

Currently Jamming To

This has been stuck in my head all week.

This recipe requires a little something special. Here’s a list of what you will need:

Roasted Chicken Thighs With Winter Squash

It's so easy to make this delicious recipe for roasted chicken thighs that you'll want to make it every week.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Matthew Cetta


  • 1/2 a Lemon Halved Lengthwise And Thinly Sliced
  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon Plus 1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Sage Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Whole Coriander Seed
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Whole Black Mustard Seed
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Butter
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chile Powder
  • 1 Acorn Squash Seeded and Cut Into 1/4 Inch - 1/2 Inch Slices
  • 1/4 Cup Scallions Thinly Sliced


  1. Heat a medium cast iron (or other heavy bottomed) skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat for a minute. Add the lemons and sauté until browned on each side (about 1-2 minutes per). Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large glass bowl, toss the chicken with cooked lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sage, coriander, 1 mustard seeds, salt, and pepper. Let stand covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat an oven to 425ºF
  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine brown butter, maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and chile powder. Simmer for 3 minutes. Toss the liquid with the acorn squash.
  5. In a 9" x 13" roasting pan, make a bed of squash rings in a single layer. If you have more squash layer it in the center. Place the chicken thighs on the squash skin side up and roast for 20 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, toss the scallions with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Scatter the scallions atop the contents of the pan. Put it back in the oven and roast for an additional 20 minutes or until no longer pink.

Recipe Notes

Serve with each individual thigh on a ring of squash

Adapted from Melissa Clark of the New York Times

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15 comments on “Roasted Chicken Thighs With Acorn Squash

  1. This looks yummy. I’ve been collecting chicken thigh recipes lately as I’ve just discovered their deliciousness. I also am a big fan of brown butter. Can wait to try this! (PS I liked your Adele joke!)

  2. Gorgeous meal! I love the creative use of acorn squash. Definitely adding this one to our menu.

  3. Okay, I have seriously been wondering how people got those perfect little rings of squash, because those guys are TOUGH. I’m breaking out my saw next time and hopefully not losing a finger in the process. 🙂 Also, I didn’t know about the black mustard seeds — I’ll have to search those out and give them a try. Thanks!

  4. Brilliant, Beautiful and now on my To Make for Hubby List ! Your photos are gorgeous !

  5. Ha ha it looks delicious even if there is no bacon in it! I don’t think I’ve seen acorn squash so the closest I could easily get would be butternut, but I think that would be pretty good too.

  6. Perfect fall recipe. Love the acorn squash garnish countered with the roasted lemons. Gorgeous!

  7. Great combo of savory fall flavors here; I love the extra kick as well! Thanks for sharing this one with us!!

  8. Looks absolutely delicious. This would make a wonderful evening meal — light and tasty with or without bacon 🙂

  9. This sounds absolutely delicious, and I love that you are using an actual saw for the squash – very rustic 🙂

  10. Now I have that Adele song in my head! Hello…LOL This looks amazing and I’ll be putting it on my plan ahead weekly menu to give it a try!

  11. what a beautiful elegant plate!

  12. I have never had acorn squash before, but my daughter loved it. I need to give it a try!

  13. I’m pretty sure it is possible to eat bacon with everything 😉 Nevertheless a great sounding dish, love the flavour profiles you have going on with the coriander, mustard seeds and chili!

  14. This sounds like a delicious combination and what a lovely presentation!

  15. I’ve had Acorn squash once so far and had a good experience. I won’t mind trying this, it looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing!

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