September 4, 2016

Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale

Easy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon


I’m working with Target and few of their partner brands: Barilla®, NatureRaised Farms, and Select by Calphalon™, to bring you this recipe today. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Fork Knife Swoon!


While it may not officially be Autumn for a few more weeks, there’s been a definite nip in the air these last few mornings, our Summer garden is winding down, and the maples are becoming noticeably more colorful, painted with pretty shades of ochre and vermilion.

It’s certainly feeling autumnal around here, and I’ve got a big bowl of cozy Fall flavors for you, to welcome in the season.

Maple-kissed, caramelized butternut squash, and succulent chicken combine with baby kale and fresh, aromatic sage, atop perfectly al dente angel hair pasta, for a healthy and satisfying weeknight dinner that’s an easy, family favorite. Sweater weather can’t come soon enough!

Easy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon

The hubby and I looove pasta – and while the sauces and ingredients change regularly, we make some sort of pasta dish at least once a week.

As the weather cools, sweet butternut squash and dark, leafy kale become easy choices, and chicken breasts make for an easy source of lean protein, no matter the season.

This maple butternut squash and chicken pasta starts with Barilla® pasta – in that classic blue box – that cooks to al dente perfection in only a few minutes. I opted for skinny angel hair (also known as ‘capellini’ in Italian), which is wonderfully delicate, and ideal for light, structured sauces like this one.

Easy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon

Next, all-natural, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which I chop into bite-sized pieces so they brown quickly, because on busy weeknights, I’m not usually interested in spending much more than thirty minutes cooking dinner.

While we do enjoy many plant-based meals, when I do eat meat, I’m discerning about where that meat comes from. So it’s important to me that all products from NatureRaised Farms meet strict standards, including a commitment to 100% all-natural ingredients, no antibiotics ever, a 100% vegetarian diet, no added hormones, and third-party animal welfare certification.

And, their products prove that eating healthy and sustainably can still be convenient. NatureRaised Farm’s chicken breasts come pre-portioned and fully-trimmed, which makes them super handy to keep in the freezer for easy weeknight, or last-minute dinners.

Easy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon

Easy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoonEasy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon

Once the chicken begins to brown, we add sweet butternut squash (fresh, precut, or frozen), a good drizzle of maple syrup, and herby, fresh sage. Already getting all those Fall feels…

All of this pasta magic is created in two Select by Calphalon™ pans (currently 20% off!), which are great for everyday cooking. They’ve got the same quality and construction Calphalon is known for, at a Target price point. I used two sturdy, anodized nonstick pans for this recipe: one pot for cooking the pasta, and a big skillet for cooking the chicken and butternut squash, before tossing everything together with the steamy pasta and baby kale leaves.

The result: healthy and delicious butternut squash and chicken pasta, a family-friendly dinner that I’m sure you’re going to love as much as we do!

Easy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoonEasy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon

A Few Pasta Tips

Always salt your pasta water, to impart flavor while the pasta cooks.

To prevent cooked and drained pasta from sticking while you prepare the other ingredients, toss the pasta with just enough olive oil to coat.

Add delicate ingredients – like baby kale or other greens – at the last minute. The heat from the pasta will gently wilt the kale, without overcooking.

Kitchen tongs work great to toss hot pasta together with the other ingredients.
Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper along the way.

Enjoy!


This post is sponsored by Target and a few of their partner brands: Barilla®, NatureRaised Farms, and Select by Calphalon™. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Fork Knife Swoon!


Print

Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 lb) package Barilla® angel hair pasta
  • 2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 4 (4 oz) NatureRaised Farms® Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Portions, thawed and large-diced
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, minced
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 12oz), large-diced
  • 3 cups (packed) baby kale
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large Select by Calphalon™ pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well. Toss the pasta with just enough olive oil to coat. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a large Select by Calphalon™ skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet, and turn as needed to brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash to the skillet, drizzle with the maple syrup and sage, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the squash is tender and caramelized, and the chicken is golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Add the cooked pasta and kale to the skillet, and toss with the chicken and squash until combined. Continue heating until the kale is just wilted, and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees F. Divide between bowls and serve warm!

Notes

For more delicious, family-friendly recipes, check out Target’s new recipes here!

Easy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon
Easy Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale | via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Making a purchase through one of these links pays me a small referral fee at no added cost to you. These tiny fees add up, and help keep the blog running. Thank you for supporting Fork Knife Swoon!

Make this recipe? Let us know what you think!

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth
    November 27, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I’m a little late in the game but I found this recipe on pinterest today, just made it, and it is SO FANTASTIC. easy and delicious. I used honey goat cheese on top at the end and I am so, so pleased. THanks for sharing with us!

  • Reply
    Meg
    October 30, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I tried this recipe with honey instead of maple syrup and it was great! I also didn’t have sage so I used a bit of rosemary and olive oil. It was great, I will definitely make it again!

  • Reply
    31 Butternut Squash Recipes That Will Make You Wonder Why Pumpkin Gets All the Attention | Curious
    October 27, 2016 at 8:30 am

    […] 14. Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta With Kale […]

  • Reply
    31 Butternut Squash Recipes That Will Make You Wonder Why Pumpkin Gets All the Attention | google healths
    October 26, 2016 at 11:24 am

    […] 14. Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta With Kale […]

  • Reply
    31 Butternut Squash Recipes That Will Make You Wonder Why Pumpkin Gets All the Attention | Yummy Everyday
    October 26, 2016 at 3:22 am

    […] 14. Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta With Kale […]

  • Reply
    Kristen
    October 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

    This sounds awesome and I plan on trying it out but butternut squash takes forever to get soft, especially large cut and just in a skillet. This seems to me like it would actually take over an hour. How long does it really take?

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 11, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Hi, Kristen! If you chop the butternut into a large-dice (about 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes), it really does only take about ten minutes to soften to fork-tender in the skillet. I stir/turn the squash often to caramelize all the sides, which also helps. If you’d like much larger pieces of the butternut, I would recommend starting them before the chicken (so the chicken doesn’t overcook), or even better, roasting them with a drizzle of olive oil in the oven. Hope that helps! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Paige
    October 10, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Made this last night and loved it!
    I added minced garlic, used only a little syrup and instead of sage (didn’t have any) I used Italian seasoning.
    Great easy recipe:)

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks, Paige! So glad to hear you loved the pasta!

  • Reply
    My Fall Favorites | Friday Faves - Happily the Hicks
    September 23, 2016 at 3:56 am

    […] Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta with Kale from Forkknifeswoon.com […]

  • Reply
    Natasha
    September 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    I made this recipe tonight and my husband loved it. However, I did drizzle a little bit of balsamic and olive oil onto it with Himalayan pink salt,and fresh Ground pepper and also fresh shaved parmigiano . I think next time I’ll try adding mushrooms and sautéed onions. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 27, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Thanks, Natasha! So glad you enjoyed the pasta!

  • Reply
    Lola
    September 18, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    This recipe was absolutely awful. It tasted like I was eating sage, there was no maple flavor at all. It was completely dry as well. Would not recommend it.

  • Reply
    Helen
    September 8, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I’d never thought of using coconut oil (instead of vegetable or olive oil) to saute chicken. Does coconut oil have a different heating/smoking temperature? Or is it just that it enhances the overall flavors in this particular dish?

  • Reply
    Ellie | Hungry by Nature
    September 6, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I am so ready for fall and all of the fall flavors! This looks delicious and a perfect weeknight dinner!

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 6, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      I am so ready too 🙂 Thanks, Ellie!!