Squash Chicken




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•2 small delicata squash

•1 large yellow onion

•3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

•3 tablespoons maple syrup

•1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

•1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

•1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala

•1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

•2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (look inside the package — you want at least 1 1/2 thighs per person, so you might need more than 2 pounds!)

•1 large Honeycrisp apple, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

•1/2 cup halved and pitted dates (preferably Medjools but any kind works)

•1/2 cup walnut or pecan halves

•4 to 8 ounces goat cheese

•1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or any soft green herb, or arugula)

•1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, AKA arils (optional — if you can’t find pomegranate seeds at your store, don’t worry about buying one and taking the seeds out, that’s too much work for a sheet-pan meal!)


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Trim the ends off of 2 small delicata squash and cut them in half vertically (AKA cut them from end to end). Use a large spoon to scrape the seeds out and discard them. Cut the squash into 1/2 inch-thick half moons.

Trim the ends off 1 large yellow onion and cut it in half, end to end. Peel the skins off, then cut the onion into 1 inch-thick wedges. The layers will fall apart — that’s OK, but, where possible, keep them together.

Go ahead and grab your 1 full or 2 half sheet pans, placing them on the counter beside a large bowl so that you don’t have to wash your hands between steps to go hunting for them in a second…

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala, and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger. Add the cut squash and onions and use clean hands to toss to combine.

Use your hands (don’t dump the bowl) to transfer the squash and onions to a full sheet pan (or 2 half sheet pans). Spread it out into an even layer so nothing is overlapping (do your best — a bit of overlapping won’t kill anyone). Don’t wash the bowl yet!

Place the sheet pan(s) on the center rung of your oven. Roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs and 1 sliced Honeycrisp apple to the bowl and toss to coat all in the marinade that’s left at the bottom of the bowl. If not much is left, drizzle a bit of oil, maple syrup, garam masala, and salt in there. Exact measurements are not even remotely important here — just a nice light coating.

After the squash and onions have roasted for 15 minutes, pull the sheet-pan out and dump the chicken and apples, 1/2 cup halved and pitted dates, and 1/2 cup walnut or pecan halves right on top. Use tongs to toss everything around with the squash, and then spread it back out into an even layer.

Roast for an additional 20 minutes.

Scatter your desired amount of goat cheese (I say go for the full 8 ounces, but you do you!) over top and return the sheet pan to the oven for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the goat cheese gets very soft and warm, but not totally melted.

Scatter 1/4 cup chopped parsley and 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds over top and serve immediately, straight off the sheet pan!




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