Simmered chicken with butternut squash and red peppers

So this Paleo/Whole30 thing?

It’s been interfering with my being Italian. Like that no pasta/grains rule.

Um, how else am I supposed to eat sauce now?

I LOVE pasta sauce.

Marinara. Bolognese. All of it.

Truthfully, I have always liked it one million times more than the pasta it’s supposed to blanket. (I know – what kind of lousy Italian am I?) But lately I have been hankering for a warm bowl of sauce covered pasta! Or so I thought.

This recipe – chicken nestled in a lovely bath of homemade tomato sauce (my mom’s recipe!) alongside sauteed red pepper and butternut squash – fulfilled my craving.

Yes. I mean it! I ate it Sunday night for dinner, and then again for lunch yesterday.

That good, and just what I have  have been needing the past few days.

I’ve been trying to … organize my life lately (again), and my Type A personality sometimes makes that a bit more stressful than really necessary. You know what I mean, right? Well this meal did just about the same job as a plate of rigatoni or chicken parm in my life. 

Soothing and satisfying.

Now if that magic sauce could also make me less of a hot mess and invite some sunshine to grace D.C., we’d be in business.

Happy Tuesday!

Simmered Chicken with Butternut Squash and Red Peppers


  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx. 1-1.25 lbs)
  • 1 medium red pepper, sliced into large pieces
  • 1.5 lb butternut squash, chopped into cubes
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste


1. Spray a medium sized skillet with nonstick spray and saute chicken until white all the way through. Set aside in a separate bowl. In the same skillet, begin to saute butternut squash on medium-low heat.

2. When butternut squash begins to soften a bit, add red pepper (approximately 10 minutes).  Season with a couple hearty shakes of garlic powder, as well as salt and pepper. Saute for about ten minutes, or until red pepper has softened and you can just about slice the butternut squash pieces with a fork (should take some effort but not be too hard). Add pasta sauce.

3. Bring sauce to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes. Lower heat and add chicken. Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Cook  further until chicken is warmed.

Serves 4.

10 Comments on Simmered chicken with butternut squash and red peppers

  1. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List
    January 24, 2012 at 8:59 AM (6 years ago)

    YUM!! I love spaghetti squash! My fave is to take one, steam it, and then toss it up with some spinach and a tub of hummus! easy peasy!

    • joelle
      January 24, 2012 at 9:11 AM (6 years ago)

      I’ve always preferred b-nut squash like in this recipe, but yours sounds yummy! I’ll have to try it – a tub of hummus? In.:-)

  2. katie @KatieDid
    January 24, 2012 at 9:11 AM (6 years ago)

    I don’t eat pasta either but I always have a jar of sauce in rotation. I dump it over stir fries and I’ve definitely been known to eat it straight from the jar while I’m waiting for dinner to cook!

    • joelle
      January 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM (6 years ago)

      Yep, I’m convinced we should be friends now. 😉

  3. Maureen
    January 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM (6 years ago)

    Wow! This looks really good. Can’t wait to try it!

    • joelle
      January 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM (6 years ago)

      Maureen: not sure if you saw, but FYI I did a post on Paleo snacks, in case you still need ideas!

  4. jtz
    January 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM (6 years ago)

    joelle, as an italian, its called gravy,not sauce.thats with or without meat

    • joelle
      January 24, 2012 at 10:56 PM (6 years ago)

      Daddy, you know I’ve ALWAYS called it sauce!

  5. Jennie (the gf-gf)
    January 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM (6 years ago)

    Yum! I love winter squashes. I wanted to put in a good word for spaghetti squash “noodles,” but I see Lindsay has already taken care of that 🙂

  6. Life's a Bowl
    January 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM (6 years ago)

    Tomato sauce makes a daily appearance in my eggs or on top of my salads [don’t knock it till you’ve tried it] or just a spoonful! It’s just some crushed up tomatoes and a bunch of spices… What’s not to love ;P

    P.S. Mashed butternut squash is one of our fave sides!


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