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casserole dish partially eaten with spoon in pan

Apple ‘n Onion Chicken Casserole {keto, paleo, Whole 30}

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  • Author: Monster Cookie
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x


Warm and hearty, this apple ‘n onion chicken casserole is an irresistible fall family favorite that even your pickiest eaters will enjoy!


  • 1 acorn squash (about 2 pounds) – OR 1 head cauliflower steamed and mashed for even lower carb (see above!)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter (or 2 Tablespoons avocado oil for paleo)
  • Optional: more butter stirred in with the squash for keto (see above for tips)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder) 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (or 1 teaspoon onion powder) 
  • 2 pounds cooked, shredded chicken, or uncooked, cubed chicken  
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped (only use 1 for keto)
  • 2 teaspoons salt  
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning 
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos 
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 
  • ½ cup vegetable broth or chicken bone broth 
  • (Optional) Top with cheese and/or chopped green onions


  1. Cut the acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place in the Instant Pot. Add 2 cups of water. Put on the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 6 minutes. Once the squash is done cooking, place a wash cloth over the vent and quick release the steam. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, wash the squash and place in the oven and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or until soft when pierced with a knife). Let the squash cool off while the rest of the food cooks.
  2. While the acorn squash cooks, prepare the onion and garlic (if not using powder), chop the apples, and cube the chicken if you are going that route!
  3. In a large pot, melt the butter. Once melted, sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. 
  4. Add the chicken, chopped apple, salt, Italian seasoning, and cayenne pepper and cook for 5 more minutes (or longer if chicken was uncooked). 
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Use a spoon to scoop out the squash from the skin. Mash the squash into the bottom of a casserole dish. If using the additional butter, I recommend stirring it into the warm squash.
  7. Spread the apple ‘n onion chicken mixture on top.
  8. If serving with cheese, broil in the oven until cheese is melty and turning golden brown. This is about 5 minutes in my oven but every oven is different so keep a close eye on it!
  9. Top with green onion if using. 


Storage: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freezing: This casserole is great to make ahead of time and freeze! Freeze for up to 6 months for best taste/freshness, but it can be stored safely longer than that.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes