Simple Vegetarian Butternut Squash Tagine with Apricots

This simple vegetarian butternut squash tagine is a winner for those of you who like a bit of sweetness in their savoury courses!

Portrait close up image of a butternut squash tagine with dried apricots and almonds served on a bed of herbed bulgur wheat

Easy Pumpkin Tagine.

For some people sweetness in savoury food does not work, those people are all sorts of wrong!

This recipe really is one for the people that like a little sweetness in their main courses.

We have the natural earthy sweetness of butternut squash, onions and apricots.

The savoury comes from one of my favourite spice pastes harissa and wonderfully nutty almonds.

This dish is gloriously simple, no fine dice here, just some rough chopping and then 10 minutes of serving. Then a lid goes on and you walk away for 40 minutes!

In many ways, it is a “sister dish” to my sweet potato tagine which explores the same cuisine but with very different flavours.

The same goes for this simple mixed vegetable tagine.

Portrait overhead image of a butternut squash tagine with dried apricots and almonds served on a bed of herbed bulgur wheat on a black plate

Ingredient Guide.

If you are cooking for two then the first thing you will note is that you have lots of leftover butternut squash.

Don’t worry, I have plenty of recipes for you to choose from to use up any leftovers.

You can of course swap out the butternut squash for other varieties from the pumpkin family.

The flavours work although the cooking time does vary a little.

I always buy my harissa pasta and use a variety called Le Phare du Cap Bon.

You can make decent homemade approximations but for me, they all lack a level of complexity that comes from the variety of types of pepper used in a traditional paste.

The final ingredient of note is rose water, this will and does divide opinion.

It does need using with sensitivity or your dinner will taste like a cross between a perfume shop and Turkish delight. So tread carefully and if you are worried then omit it, the recipe still tastes wonderful!

Portrait image of a butternut squash tagine with dried apricots and almonds served on a bed of herbed bulgur wheat on a black plate

Serving Suggestions.

I ordinarily serve this recipe as a vegetarian main course.

I will add either bulgur wheat or buttered couscous as a side dish and an optional wedge of lemon.

As I have mentioned this recipe has some sweetness so you do not want to add more in the side dish.

But this also works really well as a side dish and matches really well with both lamb or pork. In particular the fattier cuts of both!

Butternut Squash Tagine Recipe

Butternut Squash Tagine Recipe

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Almonds add crunch and dried apricots add a fruity surprise in this slightly spicy and wonderfully exotic butternut squash tagine.


  • 400 g Butternut Squash
  • 100 g Onion
  • 50 g Blanched Almonds
  • 1 Tsp Olive oil
  • 50 g Butter
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 75 g Dried Apricots
  • 35 g Harissa Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Rosewater
  • 1 Tsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • Salt to Taste


  1. Peel and cut the butternut squash into a rough 2cm dice.
  2. Top and tail the onion and then peel it before cutting into 8 wedges.
  3. Slice the garlic as finely as you can.
  4. Cut the dried apricots in half.
  5. Heat a heavy-based pan with a well-fitting lid over a medium heat.
  6. Add the almonds a toast them for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  7. Add the olive oil and butter to the almonds.
  8. When the butter has almost melted add the onions and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  9. Add in the harissa paste, apricots and garlic and stir to combine.
  10. Turn down the heat to low.
  11. Add in the butternut squash and the honey stirring to ensure everything is combined.
  12. Finally add the salt, lemon juice, rosewater and water stirring once more.
  13. Cover with a lid and cook for 40 minutes over a low heat or until the butternut squash is cooked.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 639Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 875mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 17gSugar: 32gProtein: 11g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

27 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. Waw, this recipe is heaven on Earth. I definitely must make this deliciousness. I love the addition of almonds. That makes it sooo extra yummy. Divine! Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe Brian ??

  2. I love all the flavours in this recipe. I’d have to make my own harissa as it’s hard to find in Italy, but I’d love to try this tagine! I even have tagine dishes from Morocco to serve it in!

  3. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Fortunately Dried Apricots are always available here but have to make my own Harissa paste, I am working on a recipe section at the moment that features a whole host of store cupboard ideas that do not warrant a post on their own of which Harissa will be right up there ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. This looks like a great substitute for sweet potatoes since I’m not a fan of those! I bet the sweet and salty combo is heaven

    • I’m still trying to find a way to cook with sweet potatoes, I’m not 100% convinced just yet but this works so well with the North African flavours ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thanks Dini, I love #saucysaturdays such a great variety of stuff, I do mean to try and post more often but Suaturday afternoons seem to be an odd time for me, no idea why I seem to have made them the busiest time of my week?

  6. This is lovely! I have a bumper crop of butternut squash this year, and this will be a wonderful way to use some of them. This will also be great as part of a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal option for the non-meat eaters in my house. I wouldn’t have thought to pair apricots with the squash — nice!

    • I love adding a different kind of sweetness to squash I think it works really well, honoured to think it would work on a thanksgiving spread, I hope it is enjoyed ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Thanks Sherri, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do… Nuts in savoury dishes seem to be a bit of an obsession for me at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Wow, I know I will love this! I could live on butternut although in Australia everyone calls it pumpkin. Being the American at heart, I always end up saying ‘butternut squash oh I mean pumpkin.”

    • I have exactly the same dilemma and often use them interchangeably now, in fact I have a recipe coming up where I have called it pumpkin… Oh the problems of global food names ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Cheers Molly, I love Harissa paste with all sorts of stuff but I find it does go really well with squashes and pumpkin.

  9. What a lovely and simple but different way to use a butternut. I wouldn’t have thought to add almonds but I reckon they are nice and nubbly next to that soft spiced squash ๐Ÿ™‚


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