Roasted Chicken Thighs With Winter Squash Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Roasted Chicken Thighs With Winter Squash Recipe (1)

Total Time
45 minutes, plus 30 minutes’ marinating
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Roasted chicken thighs can be the juicy, meaty center of many weeknight meals. Add delicata squash, quickly tossed in a maple syrup-butter glaze, along with slices of lemon and sage, and you have a something more unusual, an interplay of flavors that don’t generally meet on the same sheet pan. This recipe is a little too fussy to count as a fast weeknight dish, but there is nothing difficult about any of the steps. And it’s a fine introduction to delicata squash, if you haven’t cooked with them yet. Unlike many other winter squash varieties, they have a thin skin and don’t need to be peeled (just cut them in half and remove the seeds), making them as easy to prepare as they are sweet.

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Yield:4 servings

  • ½lemon, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and thinly sliced crosswise into wedges
  • 4bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 and ½ pounds)
  • 1tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1and ½ teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1and ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼cup maple syrup
  • 3tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Large pinch chile powder
  • 1delicata or acorn squash (1 and ¼ pounds), seeded and sliced into ¼-inch-thick rings
  • ¼cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light-green parts

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

489 calories; 33 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 14 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 28 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 12 grams sugars; 21 grams protein; 813 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Roasted Chicken Thighs With Winter Squash Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil; drop in lemon slices and cook for two minutes. Drain well.

  2. In a large bowl, toss chicken with lemon slices, 1 tablespoon oil, sage, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Let stand 30 minutes.

  3. Step


    Heat oven to 425 degrees.

  4. Step


    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine syrup, butter, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and chile powder. Simmer for 3 minutes. Toss mixture with squash.

  5. Step


    Spread squash in a 9-by-13-inch pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet. Nestle chicken and lemon on top of squash. Roast for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, toss scallions and remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Scatter over chicken and squash; keep roasting until chicken is no longer pink, about 20 minutes more.



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Cooking Notes


Just as a comment, the recipe calls for chili powder, not flakes. A bit more mild...


Why use the delicata squash in the title of the recipe, when the picture clearly shows acorn squash?

Eva Santos-Phillips

Probably one of my very favorite recipes I have tried from NYT. I love the lemon in the recipe and have used this way of preparing the lemon in other recipes. I don't like sage, so I used thyme instead. The first time I used the acorn squash and it was good, but when I used the delicata squash it was fantastic.


This is a go to recipe for me - I have made it a dozen times. It is pretty and has a nice range of flavors. I cook it at lower temperature for longer and add more lemon. I also toss everything in the maple syrup mixture to save a step. It is a good company dish because it can be assembled ahead of time and is forgiving on cooking time (assuming that you have cooked the chicken through)


Really good warm fall flavors. I've only made it with delicata squash and use cookie cutters to quickly and neatly remove the seeds and membrane from the rings. Used ground coriander instead of the seed because I don't care for the bark-like texture of whole seed. Needed more like 45 minutes cooking time.


Delicado is so naturally sweet that you don't need to add any other sweetening to it. Just evoo and salt and pepper gives a deliciously sweet squash. Will make it without the maple syrup (which we love on pancakes or fritters!) next time. Otherwise, a very tasty dish! Too sweet as written!


I used cumin in place of the sage and ginger instead of chili pepper in the maple sauce...both were delicious alternatives. This is simply a wonderful dish!


I made this with boneless chicken breasts and it was delicious!

J. David Nelson

Use one lemon, not one half lemon. For roasting after adding the scallions, use convection bake at 425 degrees, which gets the skin perfectly brown. My guests thought the meal was really, really good.


No lemons in the house, used a lime, went Southwest on the seasoning using a green chili spice blend and a Serrano pepper from my garden, minced. Used a little extra chili powder in the squash glaze, a little less butter. Paired this with tomatoes and cakes from my garden drizzled with olive oil and red wine vinegar. No scallions, but I used leeks from my garden ( did I mention I have a garden?) Definite keeper, it was a delicious meal. Thanks!

Oh, and the squash was from my garden too. Yum.


OMG! SO good! I would give this 10 stars if I could. I did need to cook it for 45 minutes though.


On prepping the delicata squash.... I sliced then seeded each ring which was clearly a mistake! Next time would cut off one end, seed, then slice. Another simpler option would be to cut in half lengthwise, seed, then slice into half circles.

Margo Rogers

Oh my, I loved this recipe. I stumbled across it while standing in front of the squash at the store. The delicata looked so pretty and so I looked for a quick and easy recipe. It was a great "welcome home" dinner after a 24 hour trek from Chile. Easy enough to put together while being sort of brain dead and yummy enough to sooth the soul after a long trip. It was a bit mild though, if you want more oomph, add some extra chili powder. I'll make again. Bon appetit!


Used dried sage and ground coriander (I don't use it often enough to have both seeds & ground on hand), which worked out fine. Have some gorgeous NM red chili powder and used a VERY generous pinch and it was divine. My husband isn't big on squash but gobbled this up. Cooked on a quarter sheet pan covered with piled heavy duty foil, so clean up was a snap, even with the reduced syrup. Definite keeper!


A fall favorite recipe. I will often make the spicy maple glazed squash without the chicken when I want a quick but flavorful fall side course.


Absolutely delicious! I accidentally thawed boneless, skinless thighs instead of bone-in, and they worked fine - just kept them sort of balled up while roasting. Also added some pitted dried dates quartered lengthwise to the squash mixture, and tossed the scallions in toasted sesame oil rather than olive. Divine!!

Lola Ansel

This was a bust at our house despite liking the ingredients. Probably user error but I’ve unsaved it.

M Parlett

Marvelous! I used a Meyers lemon as that was all I had, along with fresh sage and a tiny acorn squash (no delicata to be found). Lovely, fresh, sweet and savory and zesty flavors. A definite winner for us!

Joanne P

I made this with minimal changes: sage powder instead of leaves, minced yellow onion instead of scallion as these were what I had in the house. I used delicata squash and I dont think that the flavor mixed well with the chicken and the lemon. It was a good dish but not a 5 star great dish. Don't think I will make it again as there are too many other recipes that I like better. I guess it is a matter of personal taste. MIght have been better with thyme.


I was really excited to try a new MC sheet pan recipe but this one fell flat for me. The lemon rind was inedibly bitter—I spit it out and figured I must have read the recipe wrong. Did I? My sage didn’t come through at all. And most disappointing, the squash (acorn) didn’t have much of any flavor at all. On to the next!


This recipe is amazing! I made it once with delicata squash and last night I only had a sweet potato so I used that. My favorite part of this recipe is how lemon gets caramelized!


I purchased cut-up butternut squash and tossed it with half of the sauce ingredients. Also used skinless boneless chicken thighs. Delicious. (Great idea to make squash as a side dish.)


Followed the recipe precisely except used boneless, skinless thighs which I had on hand. It was delicious and will make it again soon! Next time will try with half the butter and use a TBS of EVOO, reduce syrup to 3 TBS and kick up the chili powder to 1/4 tsp. Love the coriander seeds and fresh sage. Fabulous!


Recommend peeling the squash. Besides that it was a tasty fall dish.


Delicious! I would make more of the syrup sauce to add to the chicken as well if I made it again


This tastes like fall on a plate. It would be amazing with turkey. Surprisingly, out of all of the interesting ingredients, it is the coriander seed that rises to prominence.I made this with kabocha squash and (cringes) pancake syrup since I didn't have real maple. It still tasted great. I don't think you could go wrong being heavy handed on the sage and green onion.


This was pretty good, I only had boneless thighs and I think it would have been much better with bone-in, skin on thighs. Used butternut squash and it was delicious. Highly recommend tasting the heavenly maple syrup mixture after pouring on - I cleaned out the whole pot with my finger!


Unfortunately, had to skip the lemon because my household doesn't like any kind of lemony chicken.Used fresh hyssop instead of sage, which blended beautifully with the coriander.Only squash I had was butternut.And spulged on whiskey barrel aged maple syrup.Absolutely no leftovers.


Second time- Michael didn’t love it. Chicken could have been more browned etc. Not a keeper


Excellent - I used delicata squash and a tsp of Aleppo Chile flakes and chipotle chili powder - this will be on our regular rotation! Yum!! Thank you Melissa for another superb recipe!

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Roasted Chicken Thighs With Winter Squash Recipe (2024)
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