Cheesy Chicken, Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Rice Skillet is an easy one pan dinner that’s perfect for weeknights! Simple ingredients, but tons of flavor thanks to the fresh herbs, creamy fontina and salty Pecorino Romano cheese.
With a little over a month to go until spring, I’m still over here pumping out cozy winter meals. This Cheesy Chicken, Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Rice Skillet is a recipe that came together on one of those nights where there wasn’t really a plan for dinner. I just grabbed things I had on hand in the fridge and pantry.
Frozen cauliflower rice is something that’s always in the freezer. It’s worth it to me to pay a little more for it than to mess with making my own. I like to use it on nights when I want a vegetable substitute for rice or quinoa.
Butternut squash is always in my pantry in the winter. It’s one of my favorite winter squashes. I use it to make soup, like this creamy red lentil butternut squash soup and easy side dishes like, sweet and spicy roasted butternut squash. Adding it to this cheesy chicken, butternut squash and cauliflower rice situation was a no brainer!
Ingredients Needed to Make Cheesy Chicken, Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Rice
boneless skinless chicken breasts
fresh rosemary and thyme
fontina and Pecorino Romano cheese
How to Make Cheesy Chicken, Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Rice Skillet
Like all of my skillet recipes, everything cooks in one pan and it’s easy to make. Start by adding the butternut squash to a bowl along with a little bit of water. Cover it with plastic and make a small slit in it. Microwave for several minutes or until it’s about halfway cooked.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook the chicken until it’s cooked all the way through. Remove it from the skillet onto a plate. Add the onions, cauliflower rice and butternut squash into the skillet and sauté for several minutes. Add in the garlic and chopped herbs and continue to sauté until the squash is tender.
Add the chicken, half of the fontina cheese and all of the Romano cheese into the skillet and stir everything together. Top with the remaining fontina and extra herbs. Cover the skillet with a lid until the cheese has melted and then serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Other Kinds of Cheese Can I Use?
Fontina may be substituted with provolone, gouda, gruyere or mozzarella. Pecorino Romano may be substituted with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Do I Have to Microwave the Butternut Squash?
No, but doing so cuts down significantly on the cooking time. Microwaving par-cooks the butternut squash. If you choose not to microwave the squash it may take up to 15 minutes to sauté and you’ll likely need to use more oil to prevent it from sticking to the skillet.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs?
Yes. Chicken thighs work great in this recipe as well. Cut them into bite sized pieces just as you would the chicken breasts. They may take an extra couple minutes to cook through.
Can I Substitute Cauliflower Rice with White or Brown Rice?
Yes. If you choose to do this, use rice that is already cooked or the kind in the pouches that is par-cooked and only needs several minutes to finish cooking. Add it in once the butternut squash is nearly ready and then follow the remainder of the recipe as it’s written.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 teaspoon grated or minced garlic
- 2 cups diced butternut squash, put in bowl with 2 tablespoons water, cover with plastic and microwave 2-3 minutes.
- 4 cups frozen or fresh cauliflower rice
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
- 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
- Put the peeled and diced butternut squash in a microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and use a knife to put a small slit in the plastic. Microwave the squash for 2-3 minutes. It should be slightly tender, but not completely cooked.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and add in the chicken when it's hot. Season with salt and pepper and cook until it's cooked through and no longer pink. Remove it from the skillet and onto a plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add in the onion, cauliflower rice, and butternut squash. Season it with salt, pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, rosemary and thyme and continue to sauté until the squash is fork tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken, Romano and half of the fontina cheese into the skillet. Stir everything together until the cheese is melted.
- Top with the remaining fontina cheese and extra chopped rosemary and thyme. Cover with a lid for another minute or until the cheese is melted and then serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 266mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 43g