This chicken stew recipe is packed with fantastic flavor and health benefits, thanks to the butternut squash and quinoa. Comfort in a bowl! 330 calories and 5 Weight Watchers Freestyle SP
I was patting myself on the back for this hearty chicken stew recipe all day long. Tasty? Oh my, yes. Healthy? You better believe it. Aroma? I'd say it gets a "15" on a scale of 1 to 10. This recipe formed in my head slowly, starting with some chicken thighs sitting in the fridge. Then I picked up a butternut squash at the grocery store, with the thought of making soup. Instead, I cubed and steamed the squash, mashing half of it to help thicken the stew. In went the quinoa, one of my favorite grains, for an extra punch of protein and fiber. The topper was a kick of briny flavor from some kalamata olives and a burst of freshness from a handful of chopped parsley.
While low in calories and fat, a bowlful of this chicken stew recipe easily satisfied my craving for comfort food. Also, butternut squash is high in Vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, so I knew I was getting a well-rounded meal to keep my body healthy for my daily workouts. One can not keep up with a high-energy "power pump" instructor without some decent fuel from which to draw. Seriously, this woman makes the Energizer bunny look like a total slacker. And she has about a dozen grandkids! Inspirational? Yeah, I'd say so.
This stew can be made in advance, but you may need to add a little more chicken broth before serving because the quinoa will expand as it sits. Either way, the flavors and textures are fantastic and it is sure to become a cold-weather favorite.
Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa Recipe
- 1 ½ pounds butternut squash peeled, seeded & chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 3 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- ⅔ cup uncooked quinoa
- ¾ cup pitted & quartered kalamata olives
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
- Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
- Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
- Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
- Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the salt, minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
- To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
- Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
- Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
- Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in parsley and serve.
Other healthy stew recipes:
Left to right: Italian Split Pea Stew with Cauliflower, Spiced Mushroom, Chickpea & Tomato Stew, and Curry Red Lentil Stew with Tomatoes
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I’ve been making this stew every so often for almost 10 years! Even my extremely picky husband, who doesn’t like quinoa, butternut squash, or olives (lol), eats second helpings without complaint. I usually add a spoonful of diced chipotle peppers for a little smoke and spice.
We had this for dinner last evening...so delicious and satisfying!!
Thankful for your recipes!!!
Thank you for your note, Cheryl. I'm so glad you enjoyed the stew!
This recipe has been a staple at our house for years! Thank you for the unique and delicious flavors. It never gets old. I prefer roasting the squash, but it’s one of the few recipes that I don’t mind it if I simply steam it instead. It works in the crockpot if you add the quinoa in at least 30 min-1 hour before serving. My next goal is to try it in the instant pot!
Woo, This is SO delicious! I flexed some of the ingredients to use what I had, but the flavors are just wonderful I tried putting some yogurt on top, but it really doesn’t need it, it’s so rich from the mashed squash. The olives are a wonderful addition. Love this.
Love this recipe… I’ve made it so many times. Usually I’m tight for time so I simmer the chicken in the chicken broth in the bottom of a double boiler while the squash steaks on top.
I've been making this recipe for years, and it's always a bit hit. My daughter now lives away from home and often requests me to make a batch! I usually make a big batch and freeze some as it defrosts well and is great for a quick lunch.
This is one of my favorite stews. The combination of ingredients is fabulous! Has anyone tried making this recipe in an instant pot?
I have the same question! Going to try it now and hope it works!
I haven't tried it in the Instant Pot, but don't see why it wouldn't work? Let us know if it works out for you!
Can I substitute black olives for kalamata?
They don't have the same briny taste that makes the Kalamata olives complement the sweetness of the butternut squash, but they would still work. Alternatively, you can leave the olives out altogether.
I’ve been making this soup for a few years now and I can’t believe I haven’t left a review yet. It has become a household staple, the flavors are so delicious and it’s so filling and hearty. Over the years I’ve adapted it to our family preferences but haven’t strayed far from the recipe. I like to add carrots and celery with the onion and I prefer to use capers (with a little of the brine) instead of olives. I often blend the butternut squash, carrots, onions, celery, tomatoes with the chicken broth to make the soup smoother for my kids who prefer it without the whole tomatoes and chunks. Thank you for an absolutely delicious recipe!
I just made this for the second time. It is really good. I didn’t have thighs, so used breasts, and I roasted the squash instead of steaming it. I also added a smidge of Herbs de Provence. I love the flavor that adds to fall-inspired foods. Great soup!
How did you even come up with this? Butternut, quinoa, and kalamata?
Wife and I made this one of the first years we were married. Nearly a decade later, still gotta look it up to cook it every few years. I never remember the website or the recipe title, but searching for "Canadian olive soup" always gets me back here.
Canadian Olive Soup.
Please change your recipe title to reflect this.
Thanks for giving me a good laugh today. 🙂 Canadian Olive Soup is how I will think of this recipe forever more.
I make this several times a year - it is beautiful, delicious and healthy! I usually just boil up a whole chicken and then I have chicken broth too! I use lots kale instead of parsley - I must have used kale in it so many times that I didn't realize it was in the original recipe. Thanks!
Absolutely stunning! Thank you on a detailed recipe!
Absolute favorite from a few years ago. My mom LOVES it.
I've been making this recipe every fall for the last 8 years. An absolute favorite.
jenn in ga
This is such a fantastic recipe! The flavors are unique in combination, and it represents comfort food in the fall.
Great to hear you enjoyed it!
I need to comment. I have made this recipe MANY times and it is one of my favorites! Especially for the Fall. Canned Pumpkin can also be used in a pinch. And the Kalamata olives stay just a little more fresh if added last. DELICIOUS recipe.
I love making this stew--it is delicious and so very good for you. For those of you who think you won't like the olives in this stew---I'm telling you, you WILL! I wasn't a fan of olives but I love them in this stew. They add a saltiness and brininess that takes the stew to a whole other level. Be brave. Add the olives. (make sure they are the Kalamata olives, pitted)
Yes to the olives!
Ooh… this is good! Finally made it and it didn’t disappoint. The flavours are amazing and I love how the quinoa enhances the texture, making it so hearty! Olives are key, even if you’re not usually a fan! Thanks D ♥️
I just made this and it’s absolutely delicious!