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Quick, easy, one pan apple cider chicken with butternut squash, apples, and thyme, cooked in an apple cider sauce. Serve this fall meal in just 40 minutes. |

Apple Cider Chicken with Butternut Squash

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4.9 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Sam | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5-6 servings
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Quick, easy, one pan apple cider chicken with butternut squash, apples, and thyme, cooked in an apple cider sauce. Serve this fall meal in just 40 minutes. 


  • 5 chicken breastsboneless, skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oildivided
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider (NOT apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cups butternut squashdiced into 1/4-inch cubes (fresh or thawed from frozen)
  • 1 applesliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thymechopped


  1. Preheat oven to 420F.
  2. Prep the chicken. Pat dry each chicken breast with a paper towel completely before adding seasoning. This helps create extra crispy skin when searing and roasting.
  3. Season the chicken. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well with a spoon to combine. Generously smear the seasoning mixture over the chicken breasts and let it rest on a clean plate for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Sear the chicken. Heat an oven-safe or cast-iron skillet on the stove for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Once the skillet is sizzling hot, sear the chicken breasts by placing them skin side down until the skin turns brown, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts on a plate to rest.
  5. Prepare apple cider sauce. On the same skillet, turn down the heat to medium and add apple cider, butter, mustard, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce mixture to a simmer and stir until it forms a smooth texture. Remove from heat and transfer the chicken breasts back to the skillet with the skin side up.
  6. Prepare butternut squash. In a large mixing bowl, add butternut squash, sliced apples, thyme, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Toss to combine. If using frozen butternut squash, make sure to defrost first and pat dry to remove excess water. Transfer the butternut squash and apple mixture to the skillet and spread it around the chicken.
  7. Bake. Transfer the entire skillet into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden brown and the internal temperature for the chicken reaches 165F on a meat thermometer.
  8. Serve. Serve the chicken and butternut squash on a plate and drizzle some apple cider sauce from the skillet on top.


Equipment used: cast-iron skillet and meat thermometer.

How to store: Store cooked chicken and butternut squash with all the juices from the pan in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven at 300F for 5-10 minutes.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American