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Plus browned butter bread crumbs… but that just seemed too crazy long to add into that title!

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash | halfbakedharvest.com

The site is back to normal. YES!

And Friday could not come fast enough!

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash | halfbakedharvest.com

To celebrate Thursday and the anticipation for Friday, I have stuffed squash for you! Oh yeah, it is delicious. All roasted up with some butter and brown sugar.

Oh man.

That right there? Yeah, I could call that dinner and be so happy.

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash | halfbakedharvest.com

Actually, all fall food is making me so happy.

Please tell me I am not the only one lighting the pumpkin spice candles every single night, eating at least two honeycrisp apples a day, roasting a butternut squash every other day, dunking apples in caramel, adding pumpkin and cinnamon sugar to everything, caramelizing onions left and right, browning butter at least once a day and roasting a chicken once a week?

It is so my happy place. So cozy and the smells? The smells are like no other. It’s just awesome. I am obsessed with fall and I did not even know that was possible. It’s so possible

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash | halfbakedharvest.com

But whatever, I am loving every single minute of it.

Well, at least I’m trying too. The last couple days have been pretty crazy and just miserable (except for my hikes  – so gorgeous here now), but things are looking up!

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash | halfbakedharvest.com

The idea for these came from these Healthy Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Skins that people kind of go crazy for. They’re so good, I think it is the combo of sweet and spicy.

As many of you know by now, this is kind of my favorite combo.

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash | halfbakedharvest.com

So they were a smash (sorry, I have smashed pumpkins on the brain)!

So good, the sweet brown sugar roasted squash mixed with the spicy chicken, the spinach and then couscous filling – so good! Then topped off with some sharp cheddar cheese and finished with browned butter bread crumbs!!

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash | halfbakedharvest.com

Yup, I am fully addicted to brown butter, but that’s been pretty obvious lately. I am also fairly sure that tomorrow’s post will most like include more. I seem to have fallen hard.

The squash take a little time since you have to roast them for close to an hour, but there is nothing hard about them and they can completely be made ahead of time and just thrown in the oven before dinner to re-warm and melt the cheese! Feel free to add any left over chicken you have on hand.

Roasted a chicken on Sunday and have the meat leftover? Use it! It would be perfect for this!

These cute little acorn squash halves are fall comfort food done just a little bit healthier. Which in my book still includes CHEESE… and of course browned butter.

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash | halfbakedharvest.com

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Rest 12 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 2 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 598 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squash halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened to room temp or melted
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders or breast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 3 in whole canned chipotle chilies adobo minced (use less for less heat)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked couscous may sub rice or quinoa
  • 1 cup fresh spinach chopped
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Browned Butter Bread Crumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Brush the insides of each acorn squash with 2 tablespoons melted butter and then sprinkle on the brown sugar, salt and pepper. Place in roasting pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and swirl the liquid around the flesh of the squash and coat it well, trying to use up all the sauce/butter that formed while baking, then discard any remaining liquid.
  • While the squash the squash is baking also bake the chicken. Place the chicken in a baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is no long pink in the middle. During the last 10 minutes of cooking add the chopped spinach to one side of the baking dish and toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Place back in the oven until the spinach is wilted, about 5 -10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes, then shred the chicken with two forks or your hands.
  • In a medium size bowl combine the remaining olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, fresh cilantro, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Mix the spinach, chicken, cooked couscous and chipotle sauce together. Now grab the acorn squash halves and stuff with the chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and acorn squash is crisp.
  • While the squash bakes make the brown butter bread crumbs. Heat a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter. Melt butter over medium heat until just browned. Butter will melt, foam, and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. Quickly remove from the stove and whisk about 30 seconds longer. Let sit 2 minutes and them stir in the Panko bread crumbs.
  • Remove the acorn squash from the oven and top with fresh cilantro and the browned butter bread crumbs. Devour!
  • The squash can be made ahead, stuffed and then refrigerated until ready to eat. Just bake as directed.
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Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash | halfbakedharvest.com

Ah, heck yes!

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Comments

  1. Hello,
    I’m cooking for a Vegan, Do you think I could substitute the chicken with white beans?
    Thank you. Love your recipes!

    1. Hey there,
      Sure, that will work for you! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  2. 5 stars
    Loved it. I chipotle tabasco on hand so I used that instead plus I could just sprinkle more on top at the end to get more spiciness than my family wanted. We found it easier to make all but the squash in it one pot by doing quinoa first, the marinade after that was cooked, and then the chicken with the greens. I happened to have kale on hand and that turned out great. We also found it was better to mash the squash after roasting to get the butter and brown sugar more even as well as appeal to our kids. The flavors were excellent! It’s an excellent combination of fall and Cinco de Mayo! I am gluten free and with more thought I would next time roast quinoa to add on top for some crunch. Yum!

    1. I forgot to mention that we put the squash inside the pot and used an electric beater to mash the squash as well as shred the chicken. Easier for the kids to consume and easier for freezing later. It was very filling!

    2. Hey Clara,
      Happy Wednesday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a go!! ☘️Tieghan

  3. I’m not usually a fan of acorn squash but we received them in our produce delivery and will definitely be making this again! Love the flavor and not too difficult to make. We had extra stuffing that we layered on top and used extra cheese. So yummy, even the baby loved it!

    1. Hey Kam,
      Happy Sunday!! Love to hear that you have enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for making it!! xx

  4. This was DELICIOUS! I had never had acorn squash before and I’m so glad I tried it with this recipe because it was SO good. I wasn’t expecting the spices and cheese to go well with brown sugar and butter but I was very pleasantly surprised! I will definitely make this again.

    1. Hi there,
      You are going to mix that in in step 5. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    great flavors and combo! love that the recipes bring new things to try in easy classic dishes. I am such a better cook since finding HBH!

  6. 5 stars
    We love this dish so much. Every fall for the last however many (5?) years. Make this once a week. Delish flavor combo.

    1. Hey Anjali,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am thrilled that it worked out for you. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  7. I love your recipes and I’m all about a good squash! I’m thinking about adding this to this year’s Christmas dinner menu. I’m a vegetarian… what do you suggest for a chicken substitute that fits in the flavor profile?

    1. Hey Tamarah,
      I think this would work well with cauliflower. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  8. Just got a couple of acorn squashes from a friend’s garden and can’t wait to try this recipe! What are your thoughts on using cauliflower rice for the “grain” component? If you think it would work, would you modify the recipe at all? My husband is grain sensitive so he prefers to sub cauliflower rice whenever possible. Thank you!! I’m a huge fan.

    1. Hey Carla,
      I think that could work, I would just follow the recipe as is. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    This is really outstanding and easy to make with items on hand. I had leftover rotisserie chicken so used that instead. Did not have cilantro on hand so used a little extra oregano. Did not have chipotle in adobo on hand so I used dried chipotle powder that I had. Used quinoa instead of couscous. The recipe can be varied but still with great success.

  10. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I omitted the cheese and the adobo (for the toddlers), but followed the recipe otherwise. The browned butter breadcrumbs absolutely make the dish…don’t skip those! Thanks for a great fall recipe, Tieghan!

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe was absolutely fantastic!! The meat mixture alone seems spicy but once it is with the acorn squash…..heaven on earth!! The cheese & brown butter breadcrumbs just add even more deliciousness. It should be more than 5 stars a must for anyone to try.