Butternut Squash, Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole + Weekly Menu

My mother-in-law knows me. Of course she knows me…she has known me more than half my life (CRAZY). Last time she was in Michigan, she came with a butternut squash for me. Swoon. I love the produce of summer, but the food in the cooler months? It’s totally my vibe.

Truly, as summer was winding down, I was consulting every corner of the web, perusing recipes on my blog that we’ve enjoyed in the past, and I was coming up empty. Completely uninspired. That’s so unlike me as I most definitely think of myself as easily inspired with food.

My sister-in-law and her wife did a multi-course dinner experience in Chicago last night and whoa baby, it sounded amazing. I’ll most definitely be looking into tickets for Mark and I should the opportunity arise. We’d certainly enjoy it but it is most certainly not a place that we could take the girls…or that we would even consider taking the girls, let’s be honest.

My kids are definitely adding to my dinnertime woes. Mark and I would’ve existed on every which way to serve tomatoes for the past few months, but ahem, our children would never allow it. So, I slow roasted a ton of them and made a third batch of Homemade Roasted Marinara Sauce.

As the warmer weather moved out and the cooler temps slowly (albeit inconsistently) moved in, I was sad for the lack of sunshine but fully rejuvenated in the kitchen. My list of must-makes is LONG. I am inspired. I was in the kitchen whipping up several recipes this past weekend. AND…I prepped this recipe a few weekends ago to make for a super quick weeknight meal.

Sure, there’s prep. There’s most definitely prep. But wow-za, this one has all the Thanksgiving tastes, textures, and scents. That sweet-savory combo with the nutty rice, tender chicken, sweet cranberries, and savory thyme makes for one killer casserole. You can swap in celery, apple, and a variety of other thanksgiving flavors or even use leftovers from the big day to whip up a version of this recipe. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Yield: 7 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Thanksgiving flavors, textures, and smells all served up in a wild rice-based casserole. You won't be disappointed!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked wild and brown rice blend
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • ½ tsp salt, divided
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium butternut squash (~2 1/2 lbs), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (~6 cups cubed)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (2 oz) shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ½ cup roughly chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Note: this can be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Place chicken thighs in a baking dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes; remove to rest.
  4. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. In a large, deep skillet with a tight- fitting lid, heat oil over medium heat. Add the squash, onion, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Sauté covered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Dice chicken into 1-inch pieces and add to the skillet along with the thyme, cranberries, and all but 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese and pecans; mix well.
  7. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven and sprinkle with reserved cheese and pecans. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot.

Notes

Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 7 Serving Size: 1.7 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 462Total Fat: 16.6gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 54.9gFiber: 8.6gSugar: 18.0gProtein: 28.0g

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Looking for more Thanksgiving-inspired flavors and recipes?

Weekly Menu: November 6th – 10th

Be well,

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