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Creamy Chicken Acorn Squash Bowl {Paleo, Whole30, GF, DF}

Updated: Jun 17

Even my meat + potatoes husband loves this one! So easy + delicious! The creamy you’d-never-know-it-was-dairy-free garlic cream sauce coats roasted chicken + sauteed kale, then is all stuffed in roasted acorn squash! This Creamy Chicken Acorn Squash Bowl is perfect for fall and something everyone in the house will enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links and I receive small commissions for purchases made through them. However, the opinions here are all my own and I would never recommend a product to you that I didn’t believe in.

Ask and you shall receive! I recently sent out a survey to all my subscribers (thank you so much for those who participated and if you haven’t yet subscribed or completed the survey I would love you to shoot me an email and let me know any feedback you have on the blog so far:)). Your feedback is extremely appreciated + helpful!

One of the comments was to have more recipes that both he and his wife could enjoy. This stood out to me because it is something my husband is always saying. He’s good about trying new things but I know would prefer some cut of meat, potatoes and a vegetable most nights of this week. He’s always saying I need to find more recipes that aren’t so “girly” that can appeal to everyone!

We were able to enjoy this for lunch together and he called it a “treat”. He said the word, “delicious”! That always does my heart good;). This really is one of my favorite recipes so far. It’s so creamy from the soaked cashews, and there’s absolutely no dairy! When you are lactose-intolerant, like me, it really is a treat to enjoy something that feels like you are eating dairy with the ease of know there won’t be any “repercussions” for eating it. Even if you are blessed enough to be able to enjoy dairy this recipe is just as satisfying. My dairy-loving husband would agree!

Acorn squash is the vessel I chose to use as we were able to grow some for the first time in our garden this year. This would also be delicious in a Delicata or Spaghetti squash. Use what you have:). I could even eat it without the squash on some roasted veggies! It really was hard to stop myself from eating it out of the pan. I was already full when we sat down for lunch together:)!

This Creamy Chicken Acorn Squash Bowl was also really easy to whip up, especially if you use a rotisserie or chicken you already have roasted. However, I do have to say that it is best when you roast the chicken yourself and are able to use some of the pan juices + crispy bits in the bottom of the pan…those are the best! The sauce is only 4 ingredients + salt and pepper! You just whip in up in a minute in a high-speed blender!

Roast some squash + add in some kale (or spinach) to the sauce to make it a really healthy meal and voila…a easy delicious dinner!

Another reason I was excited about this for lunch is all the great health benefits. I’ve been feeling the start of a cold coming on and have been fighting it with full force (thank you to my lovely neighbor who helped pick elderberries with me and make a tonic! Check out my Honey-Sweetened Elderflower Mimosas for Elderflower benefits-you can purchase them dried here).

This Creamy Chicken Acorn Squash Bowl has cold-fighting super-powers, in fact, every ingredient has something to help fight the common cold!

Garlic

Garlic contains immune-fighting powers (allin that coverts to sulfur-containing allicin) and may help prevent colds + flu! It is best raw and even better when you let it sit for 10 minutes after crushing and before cooking it to help prevent the loss of its medicinal properties. Garlic may also possess several antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can be great in preventing and treating colds.

Cashews

Cashews are one of the 5 healthiest nuts you can eat! They contain Zinc! Zinc helps fight infections and wound healing and can shorten the duration of your cold! Plus contains other vitamins, minerals + antioxidants like Vitamin E which has been shown to enhance the immune system’s response and fight off infection.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is seriously rich in nutrients, especially those that our body thrives on and when we are sick, tired and stressed our body gets depleted of these minerals and amino acids. It can help replenish those minerals and amino acids necessary to speed up the healing process. Amino acids boost immunity and reduce inflammation. Plus the gelatin and collagen in bone broth help to heal and “seal” your gut! Researchers believe 70% of our immune system is in our gut! + contains electrolytes that help to hydrate you! Move over Gaterorade!

Sage

Sage is a classic herb for colds and sore throats. It contains antiviral + antimicrobial properties. It’s also good for treating drippy sinuses due to its astringent properties. It is loaded with nutrients including vitamin K + A (an immune enhancer for cold prevention-@dr.katherinewalker), iron, B6, calcium, + antioxidants. Sage also has anti-inflammatory properties, including Rosmarinic acid, that is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory agent for the stomach (see Bone Broth).

Chicken

Chicken also contains cold-fighting zinc + is packed with protein + vitamin B6 which helps support the immune system.

It also contains essential vitamins + minerals. Organic, free-range chicken is best to get the optimal nutrients.

Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, including vitamin C. A 1/2-cup serving of cooked, cubed acorn squash provide about 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for healthy adults following a 2,000-calorie diet. Vitamin C helps support that immune system of yours! Vitamin C may also help in slightly reducing your illness. Acorn squash also has a good amount of Vitamin A, contains immune-supporting B-6 and even some zinc (see Cashews).

Parsley

Parsley also contains vitamin C! Vitamin C is an important water-soluble vitamin + antioxidant helping to support your immune system. Parsley is also an antimicrobial! Parsley contains Zinc, Vitamins E (see cashews) + Vitamin A (see Acorn Squash).

Celtic Sea Salt

Celtic sea salt contains iodine. Iodine supports your immune system with its antibacterial, anti-parasitic, + antiviral benefits.

A study showed that performing nasal cleansing and gargling a salt solution had a shorter cold, were less likely to pass the cold on to their family, had faster viral clearance and recovery time, and were less likely to use over the counter medication.

Black Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

100% certified cold-pressed pure organic extra virgin olive oil is full of nutrients…including, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, vitamins E + K, + Omega 3’s, which also enhance immune response! It even has anti-bacterial properties!

I can’t believe I almost forgot about the super-food kale!! (update 10/26)

Kale

Kale contains 200% of your daily value of vitamin A, 134% of your daily value for vitamin C, and almost 700% of your daily value for vitamin K! Vitamin K in kale helps to reduce the dark circles under your eyes…which is always a good thing when you don’t feel well. Kale also has omega-3’s! No wonder it is a super-food!

I hope this recipe finds you in top shape and you can load up on all the goodness in this recipe to prevent the little bugs that come with the season, but if you need a little immune-boost this is the perfect dish! Here’s to great health this season!

Much Love, Alicia

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. -3 John 1:2


Creamy Chicken Acorn Squash Bowl {Paleo, Whole30, GF, DF}

Even my meat + potatoes husband loves this one! So easy, delicious + nutritious! The creamy you'd-never-know-it-was-dairy-free garlic cream sauce coats roasted chicken + sauteed kale, then all stuffed in roasted acorn squash. Perfect for fall and something everyone in the house will enjoy! This would also be delicious in a Delicata or Spaghetti squash. Use what you have:). Or even on some roasted veggies!Recipe fills four smaller Acorn halves or 3 heaping halves.

Course: Dinner, Entree, Lunch

Cuisine: dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, whole30

Keyword: acorn squash, chicken, roasted garlic cashew cream

Servings: 4 servings

Author: Alicia Raymond

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup raw cashews

  2. 2 whole acorn squash, halved lengthwise + seeds removed

  3. Celtic sea salt + black pepper

  4. extra virgin olive oil

  5. 3 cups shredded roasted chicken (or 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs)*

  6. 2 sage leaves

  7. 1/2 cup chicken broth (preferably bone broth) + more for thinning out sauce

  8. 2 large cloves garlic peeled and smashed

  9. 2 cups packed chopped kale

  10. chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions


Soak cashews in water 6 hrs to overnight or in warm if short on time (for as long as you have time).


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place squash halves cut-side up on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper/foil. Rub the cut-side with evoo + salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes** until very fork-tender (this will also depend on how large your squash are). Remove from oven when done.


About 10 minutes before squash are ready to come out of the oven heat a medium skillet (I like cast-iron) with 1 tbsp evoo over medium-high heat. Place two sage leaves in pan and fry in oil until browning on edges, then flip and fry the other side until sage is crisper-er and edges are light brown. Place on a paper towel. In the same oil toss in garlic cloves and sear, flipping frequently, until light brown-being careful not to burn garlic (may need to turn down heat on the stove).


Next, throw in the chopped kale to the same pan and sear, stirring frequently until just wilted. Turn off heat.


Drain cashews and rinse with cold water. Place them in a Nutri-Bullet or other high-speed blender with 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, fried sage, garlic + some salt + pepper (remember you can always add more later). Blend for about 1 minutes until really creamy + smooth.


Place shredded chicken over kale in pan and pour on the sauce. Turn the heat on to low, add more chicken broth to thin out sauce and heat just until heated through. Add more salt + pepper to taste. If you roasted your chicken at home on a sheet pan, for added flavor add some of the crispy bits from the pan, along with some of the chicken juices and oil from roasting. Being careful, as the "crispy bits" are usually pretty salty.


Scoop creamy chicken mixture into acorn squash and top with chopped parsley, + more salt and freshly cracked pepper, if desired or even more "crispy bits" + chicken oil. Enjoy!

Notes

*I like chicken thighs for added flavor. To roast at home rub boneless-skinless chicken thighs with evoo, salt + pepper, and place in oven at 425 for about 45 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through. See below as well. **I have to admit I lost track of time when cooking the squash + chicken so please check earlier than the recommended 45 minutes to make sure they are not over-cooking + my chicken was still a bit frozen and I had both squash and chicken in the oven at the same time. Where to purchase ingredients (affliliate links)-

  1. Celtic Sea Salt

  2. Raw Cashews

  3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I don’t use this brand currently-I use Costco Organic EVOO, but have used this in the past and really liked it). 

  4. Bone Broth (I have never used this one, I like to make my own, but it has really good reviews!)Get an extra 25% OFF your first order + a 30 day free trial membership when you sign up at Thrive Market! (Valid on orders $49+, max $20 discount)

References:

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