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Butternut Squash Tagine with Dried Apricots

Butternut squash tagine, a simple Moroccan-influenced vegetarian dish that also features onions, apricots, & almonds in a harissa sauce.

Cooking and preparing this recipe takes around an hour, but once the prep is done all you do is pile stuff in the pot, set the heat and walk away!

Close-up butternut squash tagine served in a tagine pot featuring a title overlay.

Vegetarian Moroccan Influenced Squash Tagine

I love me, a good Moroccan or Tunisian-influenced tagine and this butternut squash recipe joins a host of them already on my site.

I have meaty options like my duck leg tagine, chicken tagine and lamb tagine and veggie options like my sweet potato tagine, chickpea tagine and a mixed vegetable tagine.

This recipe really is one for the people who 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 peeling.

Then you chuck stuff in a pot, a lid goes on and you walk away for 40 minutes!

Overhead butternut squash tagine served in a tagine pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use a tagine?

No, you can use a pan with a tight-fitting lid, you want something of a similar size, around 20-22cm (for two people) and not too deep.

If you have a perfect pan but no lid, you can improvise with some tin foil.

Can I make this vegan?

The only thing in this dish that isn’t vegan is honey, and that is debatable in some circles.

If I wanted to make this vegan and didn’t eat honey then I would be likely to choose agave syrup. Mainly because it is the common honey sub that I find most palatable, but you could use anything you like.

What can I do with leftover squash?

Cooking butternut squash for two often leads to a fair amount of leftovers. Once cut butternut squash will last for around a week in the fridge in an air-tight container.

Here are a few recipes for you to inspire you to use up any leftovers.

What harissa paste should I use?

I usually use a rose harissa paste made by Belazu, it is commonly available in most UK supermarkets.

Le Phare du Cap Bon seems to be the most commonly available harissa paste on my travels around Europe. I have made this recipe with it and it tastes good, although it is not rose harissa.

Do I have to add rose water?

No, it is both a divisive and costly ingredient, I love it and it does need to be used sensitively or your dinner will taste like a cross between a perfume shop and Turkish delight.

As a result, you should feel free to omit it if you wish.

Overhead butternut squash tagine served with buttered herby couscous.

Serving Suggestions

I ordinarily serve butternut squash tagine as a vegetarian main course with a simple side.

Usually, I’d add some simply cooked bulgur wheat or buttered couscous and throw on a generous handful of coriander or parsley.

Bread is particularly good with this dish and there is a glorious Moroccan flatbread called M’smen that works particularly well.

This also rocks as a vegetable side dish, particularly with fattier cuts of meat or oily fish.

I’ve served with everything from my harissa salmon and harissa lamb chops to my za’atar chicken legs.

Moroccan influenced butternut squash tagine served with herby couscous.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 20-22cm or 8-9″ tagine or a similarly sized skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Mine is made by Staub.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Vegetable peeler.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Moroccan influenced butternut squash tagine with dried apricots, almonds and rose harissa.
Yield: 2 Servings

Butternut Squash Tagine Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

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


  • 150g (1 Cup) Onion
  • 350g (2-2½ Cups) Diced Butternut Squash
  • 50g (⅓-½ Cup) Blanched Almonds
  • 50g (6-7) Dried Apricots
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Rose Harissa Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Rosewater
  • 1 Tsp (10g) Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • ¼-½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tbsp Zaatar
  • Coriander to Garnish


  1. Mix together the vegetable stock, harissa paste, rosewater, honey, lemon juice, olive oil and salt, then set aside.
  2. Top and tail the onion, cut it in half, peel it, then cut each half into 4 wedges, and separate them into individual petals.
  3. Peel and cut the butternut squash into a 25mm or 1" dice.
  4. Cut the dried apricots into strips 5-6mm (¼") thick.
  5. Place the onions in a single layer on the base of a small (20-22cm 8-9") tagine.
  6. Add the diced butternut squash and sprinkle over the almonds and dried apricots.
  7. Pour over the "sauce" that we made earlier then sprinkle over the za'atar.
  8. Place the lid on the tagine pot, turn the heat to low-medium and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the butternut squash is cooked.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1345mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 12gSugar: 25gProtein: 10g

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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