Chicken Thighs with Cranberries and Butternut Squash is an award winning recipe created by our Culinary Registered Dietitian, Kaitlin Eckstein, MPH, RD, LD.  This tasty entree is a warm, colorful dish to bring to the dinner table! It is a wonderful combo of sweet and savory.  It looks so festive, it will be the hit of your next dinner party!

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Chicken Thighs with Cranberries and Butternut Squash

A sweet and savory recipe you will love!
Prep Time1 minute
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time41 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fall, Holiday, Meal prep, Party, Winter
Cooking Method: Oven, Sheet Pan Meals
Condition: Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dairy Free, Diabetes, Heart Health, Nut Free, PCOS
Servings: 8


  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 lb butternut squash cubed
  • 1 tbsp thyme chopped


  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup cranberries, olive oil, worcestershire sauce, honey, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth.
  • Place chicken thighs in a large gallon bag and add the cranberry mixture. Seal and place it in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour, and up to 12 hours.
  • Place butternut squash and remaining cranberries on the prepared sheet pan.
  • After placing the butternut squash and cranberries in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and add the chopped thyme.
  • Nestle chicken among the squash/cranberries, skin side down, and pour remaining marinade over chicken pieces. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, switch oven to broil setting to slightly char chicken skin.


Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 468mg | Fiber: 2g | Iron: 1mg

Not only does this recipe pair chicken, cranberries and butternut squash, thinking about how to combine common foods in new ways is a great way to expand your cooking skills, try new recipes and add variety to you diet.  If you are a novice in the kitchen, sticking to a few basic ingredients is a really good way to get started and to improve your skills in an easy, manageable way.  Take a look at other recipes in our collection of easy recipes grouped together below by ingredients.

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Recipe updated: March 31, 2020

An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.