Chicken, Butternut & Basil Stir-Fry


Butternut squash isn’t a traditional ingredient for stir-fry or Chinese food, but it works so well here. The starchy consistency means you don’t need rice, and that makes the meal a lot easier to put together. Also, I can’t get enough winter squash during this time of year.

A down side to the dropping temperatures is that my basil plant needed to be retired. The leaves were getting brown edges, and I knew the first frost could happen anytime. I stripped off every leaf, even the pea-sized babies. This translated to 1 cup of leaves and inspired me to add a basil explosion to this stir fry. Thank you, basil plant, for your contributions this year! I will be purchasing one of your cousins in the spring.



  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt
  • 6 chicken tenders or 2 small chicken breasts
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 heaping tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the butternut squash and chop it into small pieces.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Arrange squash evenly on the sheet and coat with cooking spray. Roast at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
  3. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the surface with cooking spray.
  4. In a small bowl, mix oregano, thyme, onion powder, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Dice the chicken into 1-inch pieces. Coat with the spice mix. IMG_4793
  6. When the pan is very hot, add the chicken in a single layer. Lower the heat to medium. Add the ginger, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce and stir to coat evenly. Cook until chicken is just cooked through, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  7. When the squash is done, immediately add it to the hot pan along with the chicken. Add the basil leaves and olive oil and stir to coat. Serve immediately (before the basil wilts too much). IMG_4799
Serves 3 to 4.

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