TNH Test Kitchen: Maple Balsamic Butternut Squash Pasta with Maple-Mustard Chicken

Bret Belden

With graduation looming, I’ve been thinking a lot about being an adult: where I want to go; what I want to be; the things that, when I have them, I’ll know I’ve “made it.” I’ve actually been thinking about that last one for a while, and most of those things are kitchen appliances. Specifically, a KitchenAid stand mixer, a food processor and a spiralizer. Oh, how I need a spiralizer in my life.

For those of you who currently live under rocks, spiralizers are nifty little gadgets that shave vegetables into long, thin strips and allow you to make “noodles” out of vegetables for a healthier alternative. They’re very cool right now.

My mom got a spiralizer for Christmas, and has been making me mad jealous with her awesome veggie pasta dishes ever since. I almost put her zucchini noodle and artichoke casserole in here out of respect (and a little bit of desperation). I had to face the facts: my mom was a trendier cook than me. Then, salvation, in the form of the Market Basket produce department. My last shopping trip revealed an array of pre-spiralized veggie noodles, including the butternut squash pasta that I used for this dish.

The point is, ‘Cats, you too, could be competing with Laura Sleeper for World’s Best Veggie Noodle Dish. If you, like me, don’t have a spiralizer of your very own, hit up the ol’ MB for some pre-noodled veggies. Feel free to follow this recipe, or substitute your veggie noodles into your favorite pasta dish. Please, help me put my mother in her place, and as always, happy cooking, ‘Cats!


Cube chicken and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine marinade ingredients and whisk. Add chicken. *optional: If you have time, cover and refrigerate this for one to four hours before cooking, to enhance flavor.

In a large skillet, cook chicken over medium-high heat until fully cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.

In another skillet, toss noodles with 2 tbsp each of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Cook over medium high heat, seasoning with salt, pepper and brown sugar as you stir. Cook until noodles are soft, and slightly browned.

Add cooked chicken to pasta and toss. Drizzle with maple mustard and enjoy!


Maple Mustard Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp dried dill

salt and pepper to taste

Maple Balsamic Butternut squash Pasta

1 package butternut squash noodles

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

To Make Maple Mustard Sauce:

Mix 2 parts dijon mustard with 1 part maple syrup, whisk until well-combined. Use your homemade maple mustard to dress chicken, sweet potato fries, salads and more!