Butternut squash makes a lovely vegetarian stew when mixed with a few store cupboard ingredients. A great dinner for busy days where you want something cheap and healthy. If you add plant-based yoghurt, it’s also vegan.
- 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 750g/1lb 10oz), peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 300ml/½ pint boiling water
- plain yoghurt (any variety), to serve (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Add the squash and cook over a high heat for 8–10 minutes until starting to colour on the edges. Add the salt, spices, chopped tomatoes and 200ml/7fl oz boiling water. Cover and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes until the squash is soft.
Add the chickpeas with the remaining 200ml/7fl oz boiling water, cover and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with some yoghurt, if you like.
Ingredients in this Moroccan-spiced stew
We should probs chat about why this lentil Moroccan stew is so wonderful. It’s filled with incredible flavors and nutrients thanks to all of the cozy spices, butternut squash and two sources of protein. Is it just me or is the combination of chickpeas, lentils, and butternut squash in a tomato based broth a little enchanting? Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Olive or coconut oil: you’ll need a bit of olive oil or coconut oil to cook down the onion, garlic and spices.
- Onion & garlic: for a boost of flavor in the base of this stew.
- Spices: we’re using a mix of cumin, cinnamon, ground turmeric, cayenne pepper and some salt & pepper.
- Crushed tomatoes: you’ll need a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes to give this stew the right texture and flavor base.
- Vegetable broth: be sure to use a low sodium vegetable broth so that you can control the amount of salt you like in the stew. Feel free to also use chicken broth if you’re not eating vegan or vegetarian.
- Chickpeas: our first source of plant based protein comes from chickpeas!
- Butternut squash: you’ll love the tender bites of butternut squash in every bit of this delicious stew. Plus it adds a great source of vitamins A & C. Learn exactly how to peel & cut a butternut squash here!
- Green lentils: our second source of plant based protein comes from green lentils. They also pack tons of delicious fiber to fill you up. I would not suggest using red lentils as they tend to have a mushier texture.
- For topping: I highly recommend adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some chopped cilantro to bring out all of those flavors. Yogurt is also amazing, especially if you plan on dipping some naan in!
How to make Moroccan stew
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook a few minutes or until the onion becomes softened.
- Next stir in cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne; cook for 30 seconds to a minute until spices are fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, broth, chickpeas, butternut squash, lentils, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until butternut squash is tender and lentils are fully cooked
Stir in lemon juice and sprinkle with cilantro and basil, if desired. Serve with a dollop of yogurt if you aren’t vegan.