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 (85)

ebefel's picture

I loved this recipe. I peeled the squash, added a little extra harrisa and only used one lemon (with a large pinch of sugar). Absolutely gorgeous! Definitely one that will be done again and again. Tastes just as good after freezing and reheating too, brilliant!!

natnee's picture

After reading comments, I used just one tin of tomatoes and no lemon at all. Also only had 1 red onion in the cupboard so used half a white one I had leftover in the fridge aswell. I think 2 reds would've been too sweet. I really enjoyed this and would definately make again. Perhaps the addition of some chickpeas next time?

eleanormayo's picture

I halved the recipe, but only used the juice of half a lemon having read the other comments. We really enjoyed it and I could not even sense overwhelming lemon, so would be tempted to stick to the recipe next time. Didn't add the cherry tomatoes though as didn't have any!

davidwy's picture

Peel the squash
Recue tinned tomatoes by half and add fresh instead.
Use juice of 1/2 lemon

vickpole's picture

Really disappointed with this recipe, it was bland and the squash should definitely have been peeled. I would not do this again.

father12's picture

This recipe was fine after the above tweaks. I am so glad I
read the comments, will make sure I always do before attemping anything new. This dish was made for a very relaxing evening with friends and everyone enjoyed it.

Janet T

father12's picture

I am trying this recipe tonight, taking on board what I have read above, will let you know how I go on. I am puting more chicken in, leaving out one lemon and adding a little sugar.............

jenny21's picture

May be a silly question, but is it 140g UNCOOKED couscous you add at the end?

drfabio's picture

We love this, and have made it several times since it was in the magazine using turkey instead of chicken. It wasn't too lemony for us, though I can understand how it can be for others if you're not crazy about lemons! I can also see how the tomatoes can be too acidic (they seem to be hit and miss sometimes) - though I echo BonAp!s comments about adding sugar - I *always* add a little sugar to tomato dishes. It really helps!

Nom nom nom. Don't be put off trying this, just add the lemon gradually to taste and try a bit of sugar!

dandy1204's picture

if you don't have any Harissa paste,like me, the try:
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp of tomato paste
Put it in a blender and it should be a good replacement :)

glossopemma's picture

I too wish i had read the comments before making this recipe. The lemon was overpowering, and i agree i think it needed more chicken. What a waste of food!

lovelyfrancesca's picture

most disappointing recipe so far.. wish I had read the comments first. I used one lemon instead of two but it still just tasted of bitter tomato. It was just horrible.

mscupcake's picture

The squash in the picture does look quite chunky but in fairness, the recipe states 1 cm cubes, which seems about right.

mscupcake's picture

Me too, Beth: I quite enjoyed it. I definitely prefer the squash peeled and next time I'd cut them slightly smaller. And it was easy to make - and one pot too.

jeanetteski's picture

I echo Ilona's comments above.

ilonaboyd's picture

I wish I'd read the comments before I cooked it. Very disappointing. Too much lemon, but not really very good at all.I wont make this again.

carpediem's picture

Just seen this recipe and comments and haven't actually tried it yet, tho' I fully intend to, but I would just say that I've found before that a combination of tomatoes and lemon can be rather acid, or even just tinned tomatoes on their own, and adding a teaspoonful or so of demerara sugar can take the edge of that without making it sweet!

bethocallaghan's picture

After reading some of the comments on here I decided to adapt the recipe. I had a large butternut squash so used half and 1 tin of plum tomatoes and 1 lemon. Turned out nicely.

kategater's picture

Sorry, but this was a really unpleasant experience! I would definitely agree with the other comment about the over-powering flavours of the tomatoes and lemon. I made this for my mother-in-law and she tried really hard to eat it, bless her heart, until I took it from her! Can't think of any improvements to make to this one better, sorry again!

vikingpurplepenguin's picture

Halved the recipe for 2. The unpeeled squash was ok, but I think I'd rather not eat the peel in future. I also cut it up into much smaller chunks than in the picture above.
Really enjoyed the flavours (used 1 lemon as I was halving the recipe - didn't overpower). Still used 2 chicken thighs despite halving the recipe, as it didn't seem much meat on 1 (maybe I got small thighs). I also added a couple of chopped carrots. I'll make this again.


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