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)

laurajoh's picture

I'm also halved this recipe and used 1 lemon. I agree the taste of bitter tomato was present but if you add enough spice the chicken, couscous, and Onion are a good flavour. I loved the onions and the spice. If I made it again. I would add more chicken and include less canned tomato.

ms_diva88's picture

Delicious! Very tasty and will definitely make it again, tempted to double the recipe and freeze it before the stage of adding the lemon, couscous and cherry tomatoes.

I agree with the comments here - one lemon was enough, I used extra chicken and the general texture is much nicer when the butternut squash doesn't have skin on.

I would definitely recommend this recipe.

jazzyfood's picture

I wish I'd read the feedback. An uninspiring meal!

glassychic's picture

Easy recipie, but way too much lemon in the mix, it really overpowered it to have the juice and zest of 2 x lemons!!!
Use just one or half maybe next time??

elizaturner's picture

This was delicious, it wasn't too tomatoey and the lemon was perfect, not too overpowering. I added paprika which was nice

peachywalrus's picture

Made this last night but failed to read the comments below! Way too much lemon- only needs one. We used a small butternut squash but probably only needed half of it. Next time we make this we'll put in more chicken and more Harissa paste. The recipe is very generous- feeds 4-6 people. Will try this again but will follow the comments other users have posted next time!!

ladylivingstone's picture

one should adapt this recipe in order to succeed; herewith
• 2 tbsp harissa paste
• 1 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander
• 2 red onions , halved and cut into thin wedges
• 3 skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-sized chunks
• ½ butternut squash , cut into 1cm chunks (peeled)
• 400g can tomatoes
• zest and juice 1/2 lemon
• 100g cherry tomatoes , halved
• 140g couscous
• small bunch coriander , roughly chopped
• Soft brown sugar and Honey (add to taste)

one chose to serve this with slithers of freshly made crusty bread alla waitrose

a light green would have complimented the flavours superbly!

One would certainly recommend!!

doofsteele's picture

I followed alot of the suggestions - upped the harissa, and reduced the tomato. really easy and tasty - but the squash really needs to be peeled!!

stkate's picture

This was really nice but a tad too lemony so next time will only use one lemon

bbcgazfood's picture

I made a few (what I considered obvious) changes to this recipe, as it sounded like it would be far too tomatoey and lemony, from the volumes of those ingredients.

I used only fresh tomatoes and no canned ones. I also used no lemon at all. Furthermore, if you "Add the harissa, spices and onions, then you have a clogged, too-dry mix to "cook gently for 10 mins". I added a little olive oil to loosen it up, which worked.

Finally, having had cause to doubt some of the measurements already, I didn't add the couscous until the end (so I knew how much liquid there would be). I just stirred it in, after the pan was off the heat, and left it to absorb the cooking liquor/sauce. I turned the couscous once and left it again to stabilise.

After all that, it ended up *gorgeous*!!

luby12's picture

I spent loads of time and money making this dish but the end result just was not worth it. I can't put my finger on the problem but it just did not workk for me. Wont make it again.

deehoops's picture

Just made this and it was delicious. I didn't have any squash so used red peppers instead. I also had no cherry tomatoes so relied only on tinned. I also left out the zest as I find zest too strong.

As for those who said it was bland? it's got two tablespoons of harissa in it! Had a great kick off it.

All and all it was delicious, easy to make, cheap and healthy so will definitely be making it again.

tordis's picture

After reading the comments, I decided to peel the squash and use less lemon. The result was OK-ish, but nothing to write home about. I think it would taste better with more chicken. Oh, and without the squash - its sweetness kills the strong kick of harissa.

lizfis's picture

Have tried this twice now and love it. Suggest adapting it as follows: Use chopped tinned tomatoes instead of whole. Definitely peel the squash. Use twice as much chicken (I always use chicken thighs - much more tender than breast but its a matter of choice) and possibly a little more couscous. Pinch of sugar always a good idea when using tinned tomatoes.

mscupcake's picture

This may not be to everyone's taste but I can't see how this recipe is bland when you add 2 tbsp harissa paste!


gemtaylor82's picture

I tried this recipe despite the reviews and it was really nice, I halved all the ingredients except for the harissa paste as it was only meant to be for 2 but there was loads, enough for 4 easily or leftovers for lunch the next day.

I peeled and then roasted the butternut squash for 15 mins or so before I put it in the pot and also added courgette and mushrooms to bulk it up a bit. The lemon made a nice addition at the end but I only used half as more would have been too overpowering. I didn't use the zest but I'd recommend seasoning it well.

natasha.canning@gmail.com's picture

This recipe needs refining. The butternut squash was far too hard despite me taking the skin off. I would suggest that you roast the squash for 20 minutes so that it caramelises and softens before you add it to the pot. Flavours were ok although I would agree with only adding one lemon. My son thought it was too spicy; I however didn't mind the flavour. Would cook again but would make some changes.

bex-the-cook's picture

Delicious! easy to make and great to freeze. I only used one lemon as this was enough- next time id use a bit more chicken too

bex-the-cook's picture

Delicious! easy to make and great to freeze. I only used one lemon as this was enough- next time id use a bit more chicken too

bex-the-cook's picture

Delicious! easy to make and great to freeze. I only used one lemon as this was enough- next time id use a bit more chicken too


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