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Butternut-Squash Couscous Recipe

This delicious butternut squash couscous recipe is a perfect blend of sweet and savory, with a hint of spice. The raisins, onions, and spices complement the butternut squash beautifully, while the couscous adds a wholesome, filling touch. This dish is not only tasty but also full of nutrients and fiber, making it a healthy option for any meal.

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You may not commonly find butternut squash or couscous in your pantry. Butternut squash is a type of winter squash with a sweet, nutty taste. You can find it in the produce section of most supermarkets. Couscous, on the other hand, is a type of pasta made from semolina flour. It's usually located in the pasta or international foods aisle.

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Couscous

Almonds: They add a nice crunch and a dose of healthy fats. Olive oil: Used for sautéing, it adds a rich flavor. Onions: They provide a savory base for the dish. Garlic: It adds depth of flavor. Spices: Cayenne, nutmeg, and cinnamon add warmth and heat. Tomatoes: They add tanginess and moisture to the dish. Butternut Squash: The star ingredient, it adds sweetness and heartiness. Raisins: They provide bursts of sweetness. Chicken Broth: It adds flavor and helps cook the couscous. Salt: It enhances all the other flavors. Chickpeas: They provide protein and fiber. Parsley: It adds a fresh, herby touch. Water: It's needed to cook the couscous. Couscous: It's the base of the dish, providing a mild, nutty flavor and a nice texture.

One reader, Alden Dillard says:

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This butternut squash couscous recipe is a game-changer! The blend of spices and the sweetness of the squash create a delightful flavor. The addition of chickpeas and almonds adds a nice crunch. It's a wholesome and satisfying dish that's perfect for a cozy dinner. Highly recommended!

Alden Dillard

Cooking Techniques for Butternut Squash Couscous Recipe

How to toast almonds: Toast the almonds in a small frying pan over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, or toast them in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

How to cook the stew: In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cayenne, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, squash, raisins, broth, and 1 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a simmer. Stir in the chickpeas and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes more. Stir in the parsley.

How to prepare the couscous: In a medium saucepan, bring the water and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

How to serve: Serve the stew over the couscous and top with the toasted almonds.

How to pair with wine: For the best effect, look for a soft, fruity red wine to contrast with the spicy flavors of the couscous. The plummy flavor and supple texture of a rich California Merlot will make a terrific match.

How To Make Butternut-Squash Couscous

This rich squash couscous is deliciously spiced with aromatics and served with tender butternut squash, for a light, but equally filling savory meal!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 46 minutes
Total: 1 hour 1 minute



  • ¼cupalmonds,sliced
  • 2tbspolive oil
  • 2onions
  • 2garlic cloves
  • ¼tspcayenne
  • tspnutmeg,grated
  • tspcinnamon
  • 1cuptomatoes with their juice,(from one 15 oz can), canned diced
  • 1butternut squash,(about 2 lbs)
  • ¼cupraisins
  • 3cupschicken broth,low sodium
  • tspsalt
  • 2cupschickpeas,(one 19 oz can), drained, rinsed, canned
  • ¾cupfresh parsley,chopped
  • cupswater
  • cupscouscous


  1. In a small frying pan toast the almonds over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Or, toast them in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

  2. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until translucent.

  3. Add the garlic, cayenne, nutmeg and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer, until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes, squash, raisins, broth and 1 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a simmer.

  4. Stir in the chickpeas and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes more. Stir in the parsley.

  5. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous.

  6. Cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  7. Serve the stew over the couscous and top with the toasted almonds, and enjoy!


  • Calories: 925.02kcal
  • Fat: 20.27g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.62g
  • Trans Fat: 0.00g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10.30g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.22g
  • Carbohydrates: 153.50g
  • Fiber: 22.45g
  • Sugar: 25.84g
  • Protein: 38.24g
  • Cholesterol: 5.40mg
  • Sodium: 1180.88mg
  • Calcium: 227.32mg
  • Potassium: 1847.50mg
  • Iron: 7.95mg
  • Vitamin A: 735.46µg
  • Vitamin C: 56.14mg

Expert Tip for Perfecting Butternut Squash Couscous Recipe

When preparing the butternut squash, make sure to peel it thoroughly and cut it into even pieces. This ensures that it cooks evenly and at the same rate. Also, when toasting the almonds, keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn. Stir them frequently for an even toast. Lastly, when cooking the couscous, remember to fluff it with a fork after it's cooked. This helps to separate the grains and gives the couscous a lighter texture.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Butternut Squash Couscous

Prep ahead: Chop and store ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonders: Opt for recipes that allow you to cook everything in a single pot or pan to minimize cleanup.

Batch cooking: Make larger quantities and freeze individual portions for quick and easy meals later.

Kitchen organization: Keep your kitchen tidy and organized to easily locate ingredients and utensils while cooking.

Efficient multitasking: Plan your cooking process to efficiently utilize time and resources, such as boiling water while chopping vegetables.

Substitute Ingredients For Butternut-Squash Couscous Recipe

  • butternut squash - Substitute with sweet potato: Sweet potatoes have a similar sweet and nutty flavor and a comparable texture when cooked, making them a suitable substitute for butternut squash in this recipe.

  • couscous - Substitute with quinoa: Quinoa is a nutritious and gluten-free alternative to couscous, offering a similar texture and the ability to absorb the flavors of the dish.

Presentation Tips for Serving Butternut Squash Couscous

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the butternut squash couscous, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use fresh parsley and toasted almonds as garnishes to add texture and color to the dish.

  2. Incorporate contrasting colors: Arrange the butternut squash stew and couscous on the plate to create a visually striking contrast. The vibrant orange hues of the squash against the light, fluffy couscous will create an eye-catching presentation.

  3. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the vibrant colors and textures of the dish to stand out. Ensure that the plating is clean and minimalistic to highlight the star ingredients.

  4. Focus on precision: Pay attention to the placement of each component on the plate. Use culinary tweezers to delicately position the elements, showcasing the attention to detail and precision in the presentation.

  5. Incorporate height and layers: Build the dish with varying heights and layers to add dimension to the presentation. Consider stacking the couscous and squash stew to create an appealing visual impact.

  6. Consider the plate shape and size: Select a plate that complements the colors and textures of the dish. The plate should provide a frame for the culinary masterpiece without overwhelming the presentation.

  7. Add a final flourish: Just before serving, drizzle a hint of olive oil over the dish to add a glossy finish and enhance the flavors. This final touch will elevate the overall presentation and provide a sensory experience for the diners.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Butternut Squash Couscous

  • Frying pan: A flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods.
  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking, roasting, and heating food.
  • Dutch oven: A heavy, thick-walled cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid, suitable for braising, stewing, and roasting.
  • Small saucepan: A small, deep cooking vessel with a long handle and a lid, used for heating liquids and making sauces.
  • Medium saucepan: A medium-sized cooking pot with a lid, used for boiling, simmering, and making sauces.
  • Fork: A kitchen utensil with two or more prongs, used for picking up and turning food.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Butternut Squash Couscous

  • To store leftover butternut squash couscous, allow it to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • When reheating, add a splash of chicken broth or water to help moisten the couscous and prevent it from drying out. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the couscous for up to 2-3 months. To freeze, portion the cooled couscous into freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
  • To thaw frozen couscous, transfer it to the refrigerator overnight or place the container in a bowl of cold water for faster thawing. Reheat as mentioned above, adding a bit more liquid if needed to restore moisture.
  • It's important to note that the texture of the couscous may change slightly after freezing and thawing, becoming a bit softer or more clumped together. However, the flavor should remain delicious, and the added vegetables and spices will help maintain the overall taste and quality of the dish.

How To Reheat Leftover Butternut Squash Couscous

  • Reheat the butternut squash couscous in a microwave-safe dish, covered with a damp paper towel, for 2-3 minutes on high power, stirring halfway through to ensure even heating. This method is quick and easy, perfect for a speedy lunch or dinner.

  • For a crispy texture, spread the leftover couscous in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through and slightly crispy on top. This method works well if you prefer a drier, crunchier texture.

  • Revive the flavors of the dish by sautéing the leftover couscous in a large skillet with a bit of olive oil or butter over medium heat. Stir frequently until the couscous is heated through and slightly toasted, about 5-7 minutes. You can also add some fresh herbs, like parsley or cilantro, for an extra burst of flavor.

  • Transform your leftover butternut squash couscous into a refreshing salad by tossing it with some fresh greens, like arugula or spinach, and a light vinaigrette dressing. This method is perfect for a quick and healthy lunch, especially during warmer months.

  • Create a comforting and creamy butternut squash couscous soup by blending the leftovers with some vegetable broth or chicken stock in a food processor or blender until smooth. Heat the soup in a pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Adjust the consistency by adding more broth if needed, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Interesting Trivia About Butternut Squash Couscous

The butternut squash couscous recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of butternut squash, chickpeas, and aromatic spices creates a hearty and satisfying dish. This recipe offers a perfect balance of sweet and savory elements, with the addition of raisins adding a touch of natural sweetness. The use of almonds provides a delightful crunch and nutty flavor, complementing the overall dish. Additionally, the pairing of this dish with a rich California Merlot creates a delightful contrast, enhancing the dining experience.

Budget-Friendly: Is Butternut Squash Couscous Cost-Effective?

This butternut squash couscous recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as butternut squash, chickpeas, and couscous, are affordable and readily available. The addition of almonds and raisins may slightly increase the cost, but they contribute to the dish's flavor and texture. Overall, this recipe offers a balance of nutrition and affordability. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate it an 8 for cost-effectiveness. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20, making it a budget-friendly and satisfying meal option.

Is Butternut Squash Couscous Healthy or Unhealthy?

The butternut squash couscous recipe is a healthy and nutritious dish overall. It incorporates a variety of wholesome ingredients such as:

  • Butternut squash: Rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants
  • Chickpeas: A good source of plant-based protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates
  • Almonds: Provide healthy fats, protein, and vitamin E
  • Couscous: A whole grain that offers complex carbohydrates and fiber
  • Spices like cayenne, nutmeg, and cinnamon: Offer antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties

The recipe also uses olive oil, which is a heart-healthy fat, and includes a generous amount of fresh parsley, which is packed with vitamins and minerals.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of salt used in the recipe or replace it with a low-sodium alternative like herbs or spices
  • Use whole wheat couscous instead of regular couscous to increase the fiber content
  • Add more vegetables to the dish, such as carrots, bell peppers, or zucchini, to boost the nutrient profile
  • Replace the raisins with fresh or dried berries for a lower sugar option and added antioxidants
  • Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make the recipe vegetarian-friendly
  • Limit the portion size of the couscous and increase the portion of the vegetable-rich stew to balance the meal

Editor's Opinion on the Flavors of Butternut Squash Couscous

The butternut squash couscous recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of sweet butternut squash, savory chickpeas, and aromatic spices creates a rich and satisfying stew. The addition of raisins adds a pleasant sweetness, while the toasted almonds provide a delightful crunch. The couscous serves as a perfect base, soaking up the flavorful stew. The recommended wine pairing of a rich California Merlot complements the dish beautifully. Overall, this recipe offers a delightful culinary experience that is sure to impress and satisfy.

Enhance Your Butternut-Squash Couscous Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for balancing out the spicy flavors of the couscous stew.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus grilled to perfection and finished with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest, adding a bright and refreshing element to the meal.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sweet and tender carrots glazed with honey, providing a touch of natural sweetness to complement the savory and spicy notes of the butternut squash couscous.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Enjoy Butternut Squash Couscous

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad: This hearty salad is packed with roasted vegetables, quinoa, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. It's a perfect dish for a light and healthy meal.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken: This flavorful roasted chicken is marinated in a zesty lemon garlic sauce and then baked to perfection. It's a delicious and comforting dish that's perfect for a family dinner.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: This creamy and tropical chia pudding is made with fresh mango, coconut milk, and chia seeds. It's a refreshing and nutritious dessert that's perfect for a hot summer day.

Menu Ideas: Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Butternut Squash Couscous

Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing large mushrooms with a mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. Bake until golden and bubbly for a delicious start to any meal.
Bruschetta: Elevate your appetizer game with a classic bruschetta. Top crispy slices of baguette with a flavorful mixture of diced tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and balsamic glaze for a refreshing and vibrant starter.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of baked apples, cinnamon, and oats in a delightful apple crisp, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast of temperatures and textures.

Why trust this Butternut-Squash Couscous Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, creating a harmonious balance that will tantalize your taste buds. The combination of butternut squash, couscous, and chickpeas provides a hearty and nutritious base, while the aromatic blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne adds a tantalizing depth. The inclusion of raisins infuses a subtle sweetness, complementing the savory elements. With the addition of toasted almonds for a satisfying crunch, this dish promises a delightful culinary experience that will surely impress your palate.

Have you tried this delicious Butternut-Squash Couscous Recipe? Join our Recipe Sharing forum to discuss your experience making this dish and share your own twist on this recipe!
What can I use as a substitute for almonds in this recipe?
You can substitute almonds with other nuts such as walnuts, pecans, or even pumpkin seeds for a nut-free option.
Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?
Yes, you can definitely use vegetable broth as a substitute for chicken broth to make this recipe vegetarian or vegan-friendly.
How can I make this recipe gluten-free?
To make this recipe gluten-free, you can substitute the couscous with quinoa or gluten-free couscous. Ensure that all other ingredients, such as the broth and spices, are also gluten-free.
Can I prepare this dish ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the butternut squash stew ahead of time and reheat it before serving. However, it's best to cook the couscous fresh before serving to maintain its texture and flavor.
Is there a way to reduce the spiciness of the dish?
If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce or omit the cayenne pepper in the recipe. You can always adjust the spices to suit your taste preferences.

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