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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!

Square image of a butternut squash tagine with dried apricots and almonds served on a bed of herbed bulgur wheat
Yield: 2 Servings

Butternut Squash Tagine Recipe

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:



Serving Size:


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.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Brian Jones

Friday 8th of June 2018

I love fruit in savoury dishes, that sour sweet thing really is part of my cooking mojo!


Thursday 7th of June 2018

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 ??

Brian Jones

Friday 8th of June 2018

Thanks Ramona.

Jacqueline Debono

Thursday 7th of June 2018

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!

Brian Jones

Friday 8th of June 2018

I make harissa myself from store cupboard ingredients when I run out so it is perfectly possible!

Brian Jones

Monday 2nd of November 2015

Thank you :) 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 :)

Meaghan | Cook. Craft. Love.

Wednesday 28th of October 2015

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

Brian Jones

Thursday 29th of October 2015

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 :)

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