Moroccan Couscous


I’m trying to challenge myself. Some of my least favourite pulses are chickpeas and I’m mostly not more than luke-warm about any squash or pumpkin. So this recipe is a bit of a ‘leap of faith’ for me. In using flavours (Harissa) and textures (couscous and roasted onions) that I like in the dish, I was hoping to make the squash and chickpeas more palatable. Roasting them gives a wonderfully sweet flavour and the robust spicing overwhelms the bits I don’t like in the veg. It looks wonderful piled high on a platter and works equally well as a salad, side or even main dish. Can I say I’m a convert? Well, nearly! Just have to keep the variety going to pep your unloved veg. Hope you enjoy as much as I did…

Worth noting that this is the best, most foolproof way of cooking couscous I’ve ever come across – always resulting in tasty, fluffy grains in a flash. Couscous sounds like it should be so easy, but the number of times I have it off a menu and it’s been cooked terribly is shocking.

Moroccan Couscous (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)


serves 4

  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 red onion, roughly sliced
  • 1/2 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Harissa paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Small handful if parsley, finely chopped

For the couscous:

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of any combination of lemon or vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

– Mix together the squash, onion, chickpeas, oil and Harissa and roast for 30 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade, tossing now and then
– Add the balsamic and cook for an extra 10 minutes
– Taste and adjust seasoning as desired
– To make the couscous: bring the water, lemon/vinegar, oil and salt to the boil
– Pour over the couscous and cover
– Leave for 10 minutes then fluff up with a fork
– Add the roasted veg to the couscous, pls the raisins and parsley
– Serve warm or room temperature




6 Comments Add yours

  1. bscartabello says:

    What a gorgeous, colorful dish. I love moroccan dishes, so this is a must-make. Thanks for sharing it and for your awesome presentation!

  2. warriormom76 says:

    Looks delish!! 🙂

  3. This couscous dish looks absolutely glorious! I’d never thought about using butternut squash in a dish like this, so I’m definitely going to have to give your recipe a go! Also loving your food photography. If you have a minute, I’d love your thoughts on my Moroccan ratatouille! 🙂

  4. raibaker says:

    We love North African Scram! Thanks for sharing this recipe and for being courageous with your chick peas! Once Aars has passed his chickpea food challenge at the hospital (fingers crossed) I shall HOPEFULLY be able to share with you the couscous I learnt in Tunis! My partner hates aubergine and chickpea – but loves them in Tunisian couscous!

    1. lucylox says:

      Ooh i bet thats a delicious dish – i look forward to it 🙂

      1. raibaker says:

        I’ll let you know when I get round to posting it 🙂 how are you getting on with your chickpeas? ;-P

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