Squash, chicken & couscous one-pot

Squash, chicken & couscous one-pot

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(70 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 45 mins Plus standing


Serves 4
Use up leftovers in this superhealthy one-pot, packed with vital nutrients

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal283
  • fat3g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs42g
  • sugars16g
  • fibre6g
  • protein25g
  • salt0.53g
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  • 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 2 red onion, halved and cut into thin wedges
  • 2 skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 small butternut squash, cut into 1cm chunks (no need to peel)
  • 2 x 400g cans tomato



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • zest and juice 2 lemons



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 200g cherry tomato, halved
  • 140g couscous



    Consisting of many tiny granules made from steamed and dried durum wheat, couscous has become a…

  • small bunch coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Heat a large non-stick casserole dish or pan on the hob. Add the harissa, spices and onions, stir and cook gently for 10 mins until soft. Add chicken and brown for 5-10 mins. Add squash, stirring to combine, and a splash of water if it starts to stick. Cook for 5 mins more.

  2. Tip canned tomatoes into the pan with ½ can of water, cover and simmer for 20-30 mins. Add the lemon zest and juice, cherry tomatoes, couscous and seasoning. Cover and turn off the heat. Leave on the hob for 10 mins, then stir through the coriander and serve.

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Comments (86)

Sarahlj7's picture

Far too much lemon, overpowered all of the other flavours. Will try it with 1/4 lemon next time.

lyvia972's picture

Loved that recipe, found it very tasty andperfect for a low-cal healthy meal. Two things I would say: halve the quantity of lemon (I believe it should be more than enough) and I reckon this recipe actually makes 6 servings and not 4. I will definitely make it again.

rachel_k's picture

Quite nice - I made a few changes after reading the comments and used only one lemon and no cherry tomatoes, and added 1tsp of ras el hanout and a chicken stock cube. Overall I thought it was a bit too tomatoey (god knows what it would have been like if I'd added the cherry tomatoes!) and a little lacking in flavour other than general heat from the harissa. Also I know the recipe says there's no need to peel the squash but I really disagree, it's not being cooked long enough for the skin to become tender. I would definitely peel it next time. In terms of quantity, I added about 30g extra couscous to absorb some excess liquid and it easily made enough for 3 meals (I'd originally scaled it down to make 2).

ellasedman's picture

One of my favourite recipes! A relatively easy, super healthy and cheap meal option. After reading the previous comments, I made some amendments which seemed to work well. I only used 1 lemon & no cherry tomatoes (as the chopped tomatoes are enough). Really tasty recipe that I fully recommend.

middle_pin2's picture

Tasty. Amended recipe to add quarter of lemon, more harissa and more chicken. Also added a red pepper. Was nice and filling too- great as a filling low cal meal. Served with salad.

claireacluck's picture

Far too acidic for us - even quartering the lemon and adding a pinch of sugar!

Wibser's picture

Really disappointed with this, followed recipe to the letter, the juice and zest of two lemons was way too much and completely overpowered the entire dish. First real disappointment from suggested recipes on this site though.

sllyst's picture

I love this recipe and I do a lot of cooking. This ticks so many boxes for me and when i'm trying to be healthy and need something that tastes and good but is satisfying, this is my go-to. I add more chicken though and whatever extra veg I have or fancy, courgettes and aubergine work well. I love the lemons is this as it counter-acts some of the heat from the harissa and I love citrus anyway. I do and have, highly recommended it.

joanne_nl's picture

Fantastic recipe! Easy to make and very tasty. Looking forward to the leftovers.

Marty46's picture

Wow! What a tasty, fresh surprise. I didn't have any Harissa so had to make my own first. The one-pot turned out SO WELL - most impressed. Quite lemony but we like that.

Steph Gadsby's picture

Wish I had read the comments first! I've just made this and it was very acidic, it was still very nice though and I would make again but probably use one lemon. I diced the butternut squash into about 1cm cubes and used 3 chicken breasts. Perfect!

jtacon's picture

I agree with lots of other comments : it's way too acidic even though I only used the juice of half a lemon and no zest. I used all the canned tomatoes but no cherry tomatoes and added 1tsp of sugar but it wasn't enough. If I were to cook it again (which i won't), i'd put more sugar and spices and no lemon juice.

littleme09's picture

I was really disappointed with this dish. The tomatoes were far too overpowering in my opinion, and I love tomatoes. Won't be making again.

janjan87's picture

Oh and upped the chicken breasts to 3 and left out the cherry tomatoes in the end. Kept the cous cous the same amount as shown. This dish fed three hungry mouths fine!

janjan87's picture

Took on board some of the other tips about using less lemon, I only used half a lemon juice and zest in the end and this worked fine. Also used a teaspoon of light brown sugar to counteract the acidity of the lemon and tomatoes. I only used one tin of chopped tomatoes and some chicken stock as suggested by some but found there still wasn't enough liquid in the dinner for the cous cous to sop up. So next time I think I'd use two tins as shown and top it up with stock if it looks like it's drying out a bit. I kept the Harissa amount the same but doubled the spices. Definitely worth it as it keeps the favours kicking their punch through all that tomato. Added into an orange pepper and some mushrooms for extra veg content. I peeled and roasted the butternut squash for about 20 mins and am glad I did as it tasted so soft and yummy in the dish. Would definitely try this again :o)

reevey's picture

Good idea, but didn't rock my boat or my husbands. A dish of chicken, butternut tomatoes and couscous but that was it. Nothing out of the ordinary, but we will give a second go with a few tweets like more harissa and less lemon, it needed more flavour having halved the quantities for two of us, it still lacked taste. Tasted better !

emmas29's picture

I made this for 2 with 1 red onion, 1 1/2 tbs of harissa, 1 tsp of ras-el-hanout, half a butternut, 100g of couscous and bulgar wheat mix, 1 can of tomatoes and 1 can of water, a stock cube, some cherry toms and 1 lemon. Absolutely delicious topped with some sour cream and chopped parsley!

horlicksjam's picture

I made this dish this evening - somewhat improvised, as did not have harissa, and I chose to use chicken stock instead of tomatoes. It was totally delicious, a winner with my family. Will be definitely making it again.

Pineapplesandwich's picture

Didn't enjoy this as perhaps used too much squash and not enough spices. Won't make again.

Emma.NL's picture

I LOVED the idea of this .... and perhaps I didn't add nearly enough harissa --- but I only used 1 lemon --- but that 1 lemon was way too much. Ended up adding honey to try and balance the tartness of this dish, but the lemon remained too overpowering. Shame. I was so excited.


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