This couscous stuffed butternut squash is a warming and cosy vegan dinner idea, or side dish. Easy to make with mostly pantry staples and so delicious!
Hearty vegetarian (or vegan!) dinner ideas are always a go-to in my home when we are eating a little lighter and want to get all our veggies! If you're the same you may like to see my quinoa stuffed zucchini boats and my baked fennel risotto. Both so tasty and healthy too!
These roasted butternut squash stuffed with couscous are the ultimate comfort food dinner idea, or can be sliced and served as a side dish too. Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner I think! Healthy, delicious and very filling!
⭐ Why you'll love this recipe
- Vegetarian main dish - there's always something fun about stuffed vegetables, and this cous cous stuffed butternut squash makes for a hearty main meal.
- Fall flavours - makes the most of fall squash!
- Healthy - lots of nutritious vegetables and herbs to enjoy, with a tasty and creamy tahini drizzle.
All the ingredients and their quantities are set out in the recipe card below.
Some pointers on a few of them:
- Butternut squash - as with all fresh produce, choose one without any bruising or wrinkles to the skin.
- Couscous - a very easy grain to use, it works perfectly in the squash as a stuffing.
- Tahini - adds a lovely creaminess. I suggest using light tahini for a lighter flavour.
📖 Swaps and variations
Use wholegrain couscous. If you prefer, this form of couscous can also be used instead of the more refined couscous.
Swap out the vegetables. I suggest keeping the onion for flavour, but choose bell peppers of another colour, or other vegetables such as finely diced carrots or fennel.
Add garlic. If you a garlic lover, a clove or two can be included along with the onion and vegetables.
🔪 Step by step instructions
Making this couscous stuffed butternut squash is quite easy, and the oven does most of the work. Just a few steps:
Slice the butternut squash in half lengthways and use a spoon to remove the seeds, place on the baking tray and drizzle with olive oil (image 1). Bake for 45-60 minutes (cook time will vary depending on the size of the squash).
While the squash is cooking, dice the onion, red bell peppers and zucchini (image 2).
Recipe tip: use a pastry brush to coat the squash in the olive oil.
In a little olive oil first fry the onion for 2-3 minutes until softened, and then add the other vegetables and cook for 5-6 minutes until they have also softened (image 3).
Make the cous cous by adding it to a small bowl with the dried basil and apple cider vinegar (if using) and pouring over boiling water. Cover with a plate. Leave for about 5 minutes and once cooked fluff up with a fork (image 4).
Remove the squash from the oven and, once cool enough to handle, slice around the edges leaving about ½ inch 'lip'. Scoop out the flesh of the squash, being careful not to pierce the bottom of the squash (image 5).
Add the vegetables and half the scooped out squash to a bowl with the couscous. Pour in the tahini and stir very throughly. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Add the mixture to the squash and return to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked through and softened (image 6).
If you wish, make a quick tahini dressing and drizzle over the squash to serve, along with some fresh parsley or herb of choice.
💭 Recipe tips and notes
- Adjust the amount of vegetables and couscous used slightly depending upon the size of your butternut squash. This recipe is for a medium sized squash.
- Be careful not to pierce through the skin when scooping out the flesh. Using a small teaspoon tends to be a good idea!
- Make sure to fully soften the vegetables in the skillet. We aren't baking them for too long once in the stuffing, so they need to be cooked through beforehand.
🍽 More tasty main dishes
Easy family dinner ideas perfect for busy weeknight meals are always needed I think. Why not try my fun sweet potato fritters or my pan fried panko chicken! Some more ideas:
I’m always in the kitchen, so come join me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to be the first to hear of new recipes. And please do leave a star rating ⭐ if you tried the recipe!
Couscous Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Small bowl
- 1 butternut squash medium size
- ½ white onion sliced and diced
- ½ red bell pepper diced
- ½ zucchini diced
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon tahini
- ¼ cup couscous
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar optional
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- fresh parsley
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 360F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the butternut squash in half lengthways and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Place on the baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Use a pastry brush to brush the oil over the surface of the squash. Bake for 45-60 minutes (depending on the size of the squash).
- While the squash is cooking, slice and dice the onion, red bell peppers and zucchini.
- In a little olive oil first fry the onion for 2-3 minutes until softened, and then add the other vegetables and cook for 5-6 minutes until they have also softened.
- Make the cous cous by adding it to a small bowl with the dried basil and apple cider vinegar (if using) and pouring over boiling water. Cover with a plate. Leave for about 5 minutes and once cooked fluff up with a fork.
- Remove the squash from the oven and slice around the edges leaving about ½ inch 'lip'. Scoop out the flesh of the squash, being careful not to pierce the bottom of the squash.
- Add the vegetables and half the scooped out squash to the bowl with the couscous. Pour in the tahini and stir very throughly. Season with salt to taste. Add the couscous mixture to the squash and return to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes.
- If you wish, make a simple tahini drizzle by combing 2 tablespoon of tahini with 5 tablespoon of water and stirring until it becomes creamy. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
- Use a pastry brush to coat the squash in olive oil before roasting in the oven.
- Be careful not to pierce through the skin of the butternut squash when removing the flesh. Using a teaspoon is best in my experience.
- Adjust the quantity of the couscous and vegetables slightly depending upon the size of the squash.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- tahini - sesame seeds score a '1';
- apple cider vinegar scores a '1'.
- couscous - wheat scores a '1' and has a ? as a liberator - you can change up for quinoa for a change!
Is Cous cous Löw on Histaminse?
So cous cous is made of wheat, which scores 0 on the SIGHI food list for histamine. I would consider this to be low histamine, but some people prefer to stick to foods scoring 0 depending upon their symptoms and sensitivities. If you prefer to be wheat-free then you could cook up some quinoa and use that in the recipe instead. Hope it works out for you!