Fall Recipes Inspired by Mariano’s


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I have been on a mission to change my family’s eating habitats. One of the ways I have been doing that is trying to incorporate new seasonal foods and recipes. Living in the Midwest, the fall harvest means it’s time to start cooking squash. Squash is something that I always want to try when I see it at the store but have had a reluctant family. After a recent visit to Mariano’s, I think I have converted at least my husband and maybe even one of the kids.

fall recipes

I do not love grocery shopping, especially with little kids in tow. However, I love shopping at Mariano’s. From the double-seated kid’s carts (no fighting over who gets to sit in the seat!) to the fantastic variety and quality of produce or the tasty bakery and extremely friendly staff, we never fail to have a great shopping experience while there. On this particular day, I was shopping for just a few meals, and it was a mid-week refill of mostly produce. My goal was to woo my family to the squash side with two very different squash and two very different recipes:

Squash Two Ways

Previously the only squash my kids have seen is spaghetti. We have also had acorn, but it was hidden in macaroni and cheese, so this would be the first time they saw what they were eating. Mariano’s had a great selection of both organic and standard squash in all varieties. We picked up two acorn squash and one butternut squash. If you’re not sure where to start when faced with so many types of squash, you can always ask one of the friendly Mariano’s employees. There are at least two of them in the produce section when I am there, and they are all very knowledgeable. The

The first recipe we tried was for roasted chicken and squash {inspired from Martha Stewart Food}

Roasted Chicken with Acorn Squash Recipe


  • 1 large acorn squash, halved, seeded, and cut into ½ inch slices (we used two small-medium ones so we would have leftovers for baby food)
  • Olive oil
  • Butter – approximately half a stick
  • 1 whole chicken
  • Salt and pepper
fall recipes


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet, toss squash with one tablespoon olive oil. Prep your chicken in your preferred manner. I rub butter all over the skin, leaving a few pads in the cavity and on top. I also fill the cavity with a quartered onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic. Generously salt and pepper the chicken, tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips beneath the body. Add to the pan with the squash.
  2. Roast until the chicken is cooked through 40-50 minutes (for a 3-4 lb bird), let bird rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it.
Roast Chicken and Squash

The key to this being so tasty is the butter, don’t skimp on it! Slather that chicken up because as it melts, it will create a caramelized coating on the squash that is so tasty. Depending on the size of your chicken, you may need to remove your squash early; it’s usually tender after only an hour. In the above photo, that was a 6.5lb chicken, so I cooked it for an hour on its own and then added the squash for the second hour. We made a basic pan gravy and served it with oven-baked creamy polenta.

This is such an easy recipe and has become a favorite of my husband’s, we’ve made it twice already, and we’re only at the start of squash season!

fall recipes

We also bought a butternut squash. We have never found a recipe for butternut squash that we liked, as it always comes out too sweet for us. After some searching, we found a Martha Stewart recipe for squash and rice. We served it with a red Thai steak, and while my kids (other than the baby) wouldn’t touch it, my husband and I were pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t sweet at all; it had a strong ginger flavor and benefited from hot pepper flakes added to the recipe.

What’s your favorite squash recipe? Share it in the comments!

Want more easy and fun recipes? Find all our favorite recipes here.

This post was part of a compensated social shopper program for Collective Bias and their client, in 2013. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fall Recipes Inspired by Mariano\'s
About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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