Butternut Squash Stew with Couscous

A butternut squash grown in the garden is as different from one you get in the store as a homegrown heirloom tomato is from one bought at the supermarket. This is a fact that I was quite surprised to discover.  So, I celebrate my butternut squash by making dishes where the squash is the star.


This is the case in this stew, it is built around the butternut squash.  It has other textures and flavors, but they all compliment and highlight the squash. Chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, red pepper, and almonds…all come together with the butternut squash for a stew to be served atop couscous.


I used chickpeas I had cooked from dried chickpeas and then frozen.  I liked the texture of these chickpeas, they had a little more bite to them than canned chickpeas.  But either will work for this recipe; either use 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (from 1 cup dried) or 1 can, drained and rinsed.

This is great as leftovers, so make as much as you want!

Butternut Squash Stew with Couscous

adapted from Food Network Kitchens

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, smashed (from the garden)

1 14.5 oz can whole plum tomatoes, crushed

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs), peeled and cut into 1” pieces (from the garden)

2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 1/2 cups chicken broth, low-sodium

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup golden raisins

5 oz baby spinach

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup almonds, chopped

Feta cheese, optional as a topping


1 1/2 cups chicken broth, low sodium

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup couscous


In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.


Add the garlic, tomatoes and spices and cook about 3 minutes, until the tomatoes are a bit cooked down.


Add the squash, chickpeas, broth, and raisins and bring to a simmer.  Cook, partially covered, until the squash is fork tender, about 25 minutes.


Near the end of the cooking time, make the couscous.  Bring the broth, salt and pepper to a boil in a small saucepan.  Stir in the couscous, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.


Meanwhile, add the spinach to the butternut squash and cook until wilted, about 2 – 3 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and season to taste.


Mound the couscous in 4 soup bowls.  Spoon some stew over each.  Top with almonds and feta, if desired.  Enjoy!.


Serves 4.  If you use a deep bowl, the couscous may look hidden…


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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