Instant Pot Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash – 2 Weight Watchers Points

4.1 / 5 (7 reviews) 25 Comments

butternut squash stew instant pot

One of My Favorite Instant Pot Chicken Stew Recipes!

This may not be your typical stew, but I highly recommend you give it a try as soon as possible! You can add it to your list of tried and true chicken recipes!

The thing I love most about this instant pot chicken stew is that it’s thick and filling, but at the same time tastes fresh and light. Also, the butternut squash, tomatoes, and all of the other flavors and textures blend together wonderfully to create a delicious and healthy meal!


If you’re on the Weight Watchers program, you’ll be thrilled to know this filling meal is only 2 Freestyle Points!! Check out all of our Recipes with Weight Watchers Freestyle Points calculated!

chicken butternut squash instant pot

You can adapt the ingredients as you desire, but I wouldn’t change a thing! This butternut squash stew is perfect just as it is!

instant pot chicken stew

Chicken Butternut Squash Instant Pot Tips

With the chicken, you want to keep the pieces big enough that it is easy to remove them from the pot, but small enough that it doesn’t take too long to cook them. I usually just cut each chicken breast in half – easy peasy. (Check out how you can use a stand mixer to shred chicken once it is cooked.)

It speeds things up if you know how to peel and cut a butternut squash but you can also try using frozen cubed butternut squash. I just saw some at a store the other day and was thinking how easy this recipe would be with it!

How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash

  1. Place the squash on its side and slice off both ends.
  2. Use a peeler to peel the squash.
  3. Cut the squash in half, where it looks like the neck ends and the body begins to curve out.
  4. To cut the neck end, cut the squash into rings as thick as you want your cubes to be, then slice the rings into long rectangles and then into cubes.
  5. To cut the body, cut the body in half lengthwise, exposing the seeds. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and any stringy bits. Slice each half into strips and each strip into cubes.

cooking the butternut squash stew instant pot

Just so you know, one of my friends was very skeptical because she thinks she doesn’t like squash, but she tasted it anyway. And guess what, she really likes this stew! So thinking you don’t like squash or quinoa, doesn’t mean you won’t like this lovely stew. 😉

finished chicken butternut squash instant pot

I love all of the beautiful colors and flavors in this stew! I hope you try it and love it too!

Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. Set your Instant Pot to saute and add the oil
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, oregano, garlic, and chicken (uncooked and diced)
  3. Saute, stirring often, until onions soften, about 5 minutes
  4. Add the broth, tomatoes, squash, and uncooked quinoa
  5. Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure, until squash is tender, chicken is cooked through, and quinoa is cooked
  6. Use Natural Pressure Release for 2-3 minutes, and then use a Quick Pressure Release
  7. Add salt and pepper, to taste
  8. Add spinach and stir for a minute or two, until wilted
  9. Serve warm

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instant pot chicken stew


Instant Pot Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash – 2 Weight Watchers Points

4.1 / 5 (7 reviews)
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 40 mins
Yield: 4 quarts | Serves: 8


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • 1 can (14-ounce) petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups chopped butternut squash (about 1 medium squash, peeled and seeded)
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped fresh spinach


  1. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, oregano, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until onion is softened.
  2. Add the broth, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the chicken and boil until it is cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. (If you are using large pieces of chicken, I recommend cutting each piece in half to help it cook faster.) Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add tomatoes, squash, and quinoa to the pot. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the squash is tender and the quinoa is cooked. If desired, mash up some of the squash pieces.
  5. Shred the chicken and return it to the pot. Stir in the salt and pepper. Add more to taste, if needed.
  6. Stir in the chopped fresh spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is wilted. Serve warm.
  7. Instant Pot

  8. Set Instant Pot to saute and add the oil. Once oil is hot, add the onion, oregano, garlic, and chicken (uncooked and diced); saute, stirring often, until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Then add the broth, tomatoes, squash, and uncooked quinoa. Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure, until squash is tender, chicken is cooked through, and quinoa is cooked. Use Natural Pressure Release for 2-3 minutes, and then use a Quick Pressure Release. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Add spinach and stir for a minute or two, until wilted. Serve warm.

Recipe Adapted From: Cookin' Canuck and Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients: Butternut Squash, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Garlic, Olive Oil, Onion, Oregano, Pepper, Quinoa, Salt, Spinach, Tomato
Meal Type: Main Dish, Fall, Winter, Clean Eating, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Weight Watchers
Categories: Healthy, Meat and Poultry, Soups and Chilis, Vegetables, Pressure Cooker, Stove Top

Comments & Reviews

  • Becky

    I made this for dinner tonight Melanie… SO SO SO good! Thanks!

  • Amber

    Can you cook this in a pressure cooker? If so how would you do it?

    • Melanie

      Yes! Becky tells me she has been making it that way quite often lately. She has an electric pressure cooker, and just puts everything in, sets the cooker to poultry, and lets it cook.

  • Dixie

    I made this last night with red quinoa, and it was fantastic. I did it in the instapot. This is a definite keeper

  • jekuehnle

    How would i adapt in pressure cooker if my chicken and squash is frozen? Thank you!

    • Melanie

      I haven’t tried that myself, but from what I hear, you don’t usually have to adjust cooking time with frozen foods in the Instant Pot. But it will probably take a little longer to come to pressure. 🙂 Let us know how it goes!

  • Tina

    Can you add the uncooked quinoa with all the other ingredients using the instant pot? Or does it have to be cooked separately?

    • Cathy

      I’ve only tried it cooked separately BUT it might work if you cook it in the instant pot uncooked, try it and let us know!

    • KEE

      I have tried both ways (cooking quinoa separately and adding uncooked quinoa to instant pot)
      I personally prefer cooking quinoa separately. I find my preference is more of a soup consistency.
      When adding the uncooked quinoa to the instant pot, it tends to be much thicker consistency bc it soaks up a lot of the liquid. Almost too mushy. It still tastes incredible though. I love this recipe!

      • Melanie

        Thank you so much, KEE! That makes perfect sense and I’m glad to know that it works either way and what the difference is. Thanks for letting us know!

  • Cecilia

    can you cut ingredients in half and use the same settings? there are only two of us!

    • Melanie

      I think so! I would give it a try with the same settings, although it is possible it could be done a bit earlier. Or you could make the whole recipe and plan to have leftovers for a while too! 😉 Let us know how it goes.

  • Khara Maxwell

    I’m going to cook this in the Instant Pot. How should the chicken be cut and do I still shred it? When should I add spinach?

    • Melanie

      Hi, Khara! I would put the chicken in whole, then shred it once it is cooked through. And that is when I would add the spinach too, after the chicken is cooked. If the spinach needs some more cooking in the stew in order to wilt, you could just set the pot to saute for a minute or two. Thanks!

  • Stacy

    Has anyone used chopped kale instead of spinach?

    • Melanie

      I haven’t before, but I imagine it work well! You could probably try adding it with the squash or after the majority of the cooking, depending on the texture you’re looking for.

  • Courtney Hayden

    I love this recipe! Yummy and easy! I was reviewing the sodium and it seems very high, is that right?

  • Julie

    This recipe was a good base but I actually found it to be a little bit bland. It was an easy fix by adding a couple of other spices. I will have to try it again some other time because I think I could have chose different spices and it would have turned out even better. It also makes quite a bit, so I ate a few servings and froze a few for later; hopefully next time I will find the magic combination of spices that will encourage my husband to eat more of it (although frankly, I’ll probably just have to add more meat!). Thanks for sharing!

  • Linda

    As a stew, pretty sad. Way too watery and over cooked, with not much taste. Closer to a soup. I will eat it, as I hate waste, but will thicken with more quinoa and more seasoning.

    • Melanie

      I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you this time, Linda. It always turns out wonderfully for me when I make it on the stove top. 🙂

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