Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Squash

Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Squash

Serves4-6 Origin North Africa and Middle East
Preparation 20 min Heat rating (No heat)
Cooking 35 min Ease (Easy)
Vegetarian Yes


1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 tbsp olive oil
50g dried apricots
1 small butternut squash (about 450g) peeled, seeded and cut into 2cm dice
250g couscous
400ml chicken or vegetable stock
a pinch of saffron strands
3 tbsp roughly chopped tarragon
3 tbsp roughly chopped mint
3 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
grated zest of half a lemon
coarse sea salt and black pepper


1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/ 180c. Heat 2tbsp of the oil in a frying pan with a pinch of salt and saute the onion over a high heat for around 10 minutes until golden brown. Put to one side to cool.
2. Meanwhile cover the apricot in hot water from the tap, soak for five minutes then cut into little dice.
3. Toss the squash in 1tbsp of the oil and some salt and pepper. Spread the squash on a baking tray and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes by which time it should be soft.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring your stock and saffron to the boil. Turn off the heat and tip in the dried cous cous replacing the lid. After 10 minutes the liquid should have all been absorbed.
5. Using a fork, fluff the cous cous and then combine gently with the butternut squash, onion, apricot, herbs, cinnamon and lemon zest. Season to taste. Can be served warm or cold.

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