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)

Wendy_Samuels's picture

Absolutely delicious.. I added 3 roasted, outer skin removed super hot red chilies which gave it an awesome kick! Oh & I only used 1 lemon because that is all I had however it was more than enough, 2 would have been too much lemon for me.

xantha's picture

I really enjoyed this. After reading previous comments I only used one lemon and that was perfect. Any more lemon would have been too much. I omitted the cherry tomatoes simply because I don't like them. Will definitely make this again. My butternut squash cooked perfectly as I cut it into small chunks.

Zoe4's picture

This recipe is really tasty - great to take for lunch. I do peel the butternut squash and I use more harissa paste than stated.

christine56's picture

The tomatoes ruin this, they were SO overpowering we couldn't even taste the spicy Harissa. I would just use 200 ml stock and 200g cous cous next time.

mortersn's picture

used ras-el-hanout instead of spices - was lovely, an easy supper dish

ttowers's picture

Peel the squash, add more Harissa and chicken, and then it's lovely!

tamzinpuddles's picture

hi, can anyone tell me how to re-heat once frozen and defrosted?

susiegoggin's picture

Absolutely adored this dish. Contrary to other comments here, I didn't find there to be too much lemon. I had no harissa paste so excluded that and still delicious. Reheats excellently for a packed lunch. I will definitely be making this again.

fayegovan's picture

After looking at the comments I used one tin of cherry tomatoes and only one lemon, it was absolutely delicious v flavoursome.

mjp123's picture

After reading the other comments I made the following alterations:
3 chicken breasts (instead of 2)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon (instead of 2)
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes (instead of 2)
About double the amounts of ground cumin and coriander
These all seemed to work and it was really tasty! I'd definitely recommend it.

lurvlyloz's picture

tasty but did make some changes based on my fridge. used pumpkin rather than squash. didnt have any harrisa paste so used tom puree with paprika in and added a pepper and a chilli. was really tasty & will definitly making again :)

polly_vanalstyne's picture

Made this one for my family and it was a big hit. I read some reviews saying that the dish was too lemony so I cut back quite a lot on the lemon. In the end I used the zest and juice of about a quarter of one lemon. And to be honest even that was too lemony still. Next time I'll cut it back even more. I added extra harissa as we like things quite spicy. And I added a bit of cinnamon as well. Will defintely make this one again.

claudiar23's picture

this recipe is absolutely delicious. i do get how some may find it too bitter due to the lemon but i find the lemon part the missing ingredient. if you're not a big fan of lemons, add a teaspoon of lemon juice at a time and taste the sauce. i recommend making a home-made harissa paste, it is much more potent and gives more flavour. also, don't simmer this for more then 20mins (you have to add the couscous which will suck up all the tomatoe sauce, so you don't want it to get too gooey.)

Hope this helped.

emmadob24's picture

I made this tonight and loved it! Only change I made was to peel and roast the squash for 15 minutes first to make it nice and soft. I also didn't have any cherry tomatoes so added a red pepper to bulk it up a bit which worked well with the other flavours. I used 2 smallish lemons and thought it gave it a lovely flavour, but I do like lemony flavours anyway. Very filling and glad it's healthy- went down well with my boyfriend as well! Will definitely be making this again!

sweetassugar's picture

tastes so fresh!
i peel the squash because i prefer the texture without it

marysette1's picture

Thank you so much to the previous commenters for their suggestions! I made a few changes and the end result was delicious...leftovers were lovely the next day.
I sauteed onion and garlic very gently, then added the ingredients as above except for using only 1 tin of tomatoes and little bit of tomato puree, then added some dilute veg stock (1/2 tin volume) to add a bit of richness.
While the mixture cooked I added a bay leaf and a half a tsp of sugar. Agree with previous remarks about the lemon - I used only 1/2 lemon plus zest and that was adequate to get the flavour. Eyeballed the amount of couscous so it wouldn't be too dry. Thanks for the idea of adding some greens - spinach worked really well when stirred in last minute! Served with a dollop of yoghurt on top. Easy recipe, I'll be making it again.

Eleraa's picture

Love this recipe. I peel the butternut squash and don't add in the paste. I also add spinach to it, it's gorgeous and I'm always being bugged to make it more often.

sharmong's picture

This dish didn't go down well with the family at all! The lemon was so overpowering it killed any other flavours.

pinkcorgi's picture

This definitely made a lot of portions. I like it because I can freeze it in tubaware and then defrost it later.
I didn't add the lemon after reading previous comments. I don't like lemon unless it's directly on a piece of chicken or salmon that I'm about to roast. I didn't add the cherry tomatoes either as I felt that the tinned tomatoes were enough.
I peeled the squash as the thought of having skin left on didn't really appeal to me.
Next time, I would add more chicken.

claupatra's picture

The lemon dominates to much all other flavors. I would recommend to use just one lemon. Although there are several sources of contrasting flavour in the dish, they don't come to their right. To get more contrast we added raisins at the end, this helped a lot. I think the recipe has potential, but I would consider preparing it not fully as "1 pot" (i.e. cooking some ingredients separately and mixing them at the end) in order to solve the contrast issue.


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