Moroccan Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash

It’s fall and it’s squash season. I have recently discovered how much I enjoy squash and have been experimenting with different varieties of squash (there are so many!) and different methods of cooking them. This is my first time cooking with butternut squash and it was an experience. Cutting a butternut squash is like cutting a sweet potato, you need a sharp knife and some muscle to get through the flesh. Peeling it is tricky as well, the skin is waxy and my peeler just couldn’t get a grip on it. So if you aren’t opposed to it, I would recommend buying butternut squash pre-cubed. But first make sure to try working with a whole squash first; it will make you appreciate the cubed ones so much more.

Aside from preparing your own butternut squash, this recipe is very, very easy to do. It’s a quick weeknight meal that is very hearty and very satisfying. The only thing I would change for next time is increasing the amount of raisins. I love the flavor raisins can add and compared to the amount of other ingredients, there aren’t enough for my taste.

Saving the time it took for me to chop up the butternut squash, the entire process took 20 minutes. Trust me when I say that this dish is quick and easy.

Moroccan Couscous withRoasted Butternut Squash

From Women’s Health Magazine, November 2012

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 box (5.8 oz) garlic flavored couscous (such as Near East)
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • ¼ cup dark raisins
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss squash and onions with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

2. Combine remaining olive oil, water, cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and spice pouch from couscous package in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add raisins and chickpeas, stir, then add couscous, cover. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 10 minutes.

3. Remove vegetables from oven, toss with couscous mixture, and garnish with almonds, if desired.

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