While I was enjoying my ossobuco tagine , the whole wheat couscous that I served it on reminded my of quinoa and that sent mind down the path of using quinoa in a Moroccan style dish. At first I was thinking of just serving a tajine on some quinoa but why not add the quinoa directly to it so that it has more time to absorb all of the amazing flavours?
After the large holiday meals I wanted to go with something a little on the lighter side and since Spring has not blessed us with fresh local produce yet, I went with butternut squash which is still available. To that I added chickpeas which when combined with the quinoa would provide an ample amount of protein. Next up was a blend of warm spices, a touch of heat from some harissa, some sweetness from honey and raisins, some saltiness from olives and some brightness from cilantro and homemade preserved lemons .
I still felt that the meal was missing something green so I served it topped with sauteed swiss chard and a dollop of cilantro yogurt. I could not help but be reminded of a burrito bowl which led me to use try the leftovers in burrito form which along with a bit of crumbled feta was another great way to enjoy this dish.
Moroccan Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Quinoa Tagine
This butternut squash and chickpea ‘tagine’ with quinoa has an amazing blend of spices, flavours and textures.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 1/2 cup vegetable broth, or chicken, or water
- 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup olives, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 preserved lemon, pith removed and diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the quinoa, broth, chickpeas, harissa, honey, raisins, olives, preserved lemon, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash and continue to simmer, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Mix in the cilantro and remove from heat.
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Looks really good 🙂 and flavorful! I have some quinoa left and this could be the perfect way to use it 🙂
well that was kinda interesting, but i really hate butternut squash….and it just so happens that I made some quinoa this evening that i want to dress up tomorrow. I have a – roasted to within an inch of it's life-yam soooo good. I'm going to add it to the grain tomorrow with whateveer else i can round up. thanks for the insperation
MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College says
Wow this look fantastic. I just made a curry and butternut squash stew the other week that was pretty delicious so I am digging the flavor combos. I love the addition of quinoa here. The colors are gorgeous.
Thank you for the recipe. Since I seem to have all the spice ingredients in my pantry, I will definitely but trying this.
I am wondering, what if I use barley instead of Quinoa?
This looks great, Kevin! I love the combination of flavours. 🙂
Rosa's Yummy Yums says
A beautiful dish! That combination of ingredients is really mouthwatering. Great filling idea…
jose manuel says
Me encantan estos platos, la quinoa la he descubierto hace poco. Que delicia.
The Mistress of Spices says
This sounds and looks delicious! I love the combination of butternut squash and chickpeas along with the other ingredients like harissa and preserved lemons. Great idea to serve it over quinoa instead of couscous – much healthier!
This is absolutely exactly my kind of meal! I adore butternut squash…and quinoa…and chickpeas…and moroccan flavors. Perfect!
Lauren Atkins says
That looks delicious. I LOVE the idea of the burrito. What a great way to use leftovers.
fiftyfinally: Yams or sweet potatoes would work well here too!
Lebo: Barley should work, though it will take longer to cook and the texture will be slightly different.
I don't like quinoa but this recipe seems delicious even with it…I like the idea of using cilantro yougurt, it adds freshness…lovely recipe…
This sounds amazing! Great idea.
This sounds so good. I've been trying to think of creative ways to incorporate quinoa into things- thanks!
Rocky Mountain Woman says
Cilantro and butternut squash? sounds wonderful!
Tammi Kibler says
This looks so delicious. I made a Moroccan quinoa salad over the weekend that I wish had included a sweet potato. Butternut squash would have worked well too.
I will remember your tip to include something salty. I like when every bite tastes a little different.
This is so perfect! My mother has so much quinoa and butternut squash left from her foodie experiments. This recipe is going on the fridge right now. By the way, your blog is pure genius, thank you for sharing!
I have a huge bag of Quinoa in my cupboard begging to be made into this dish! thanks for the inspiration!
This was a really tasty and traditional-style Moroccan tagine recipe, but some of the proportions should be changed. First off, there is too much spice for covering 1 onion. Either put more onions or less spices. Secondly, this amount of cayenne and harissa together make it pretty well spicy for the average joe. Just a warning, could do fine with half the amount of cayenne. Thirdly, I was able to serve 8 people with this amount and I had seconds. Great recipe though, and looking forward to making those burritos!
This is absolutely my kind of dish! I made a Moroccan style chicken dish for Passover, and this would have been a perfect accompaniement! next time 🙂
Great dish! I love trying new Moroccan dishes. Your photography is great too. Thanks.
Chris Brown says
I made this for supper tonight, using sweet potato instead of squash and half millet/half quinoa (only b/c I ran out of quinoa) and it was fantastic. The combination of flavours was so yummy! Unfortunately, I had to leave out the olives, lemons and cayenne to ensure my toddler would eat it, but it was worth it. He did–two whole bowls!
I just made this last week and it was AMAZING!! Thanks for the recipe! It was my first time trying quinoa- I'm kind of obsessed now.
This was so delicious, I could eat it every day. I made this last night & may make it again tonight! It is quite fast & easy to prepare. I'm trying to avoid hot spices so I left the cayenne & harissa out & substituted fresh lemon slices for the preserved lemon because I did not have those on hand. I make my own chicken broth so I used that for the liquid & green olives for the… well… olives. Excellent. Thank you!
Lesley Lazewski says
Keep up your good work you are changing the world one person at a time
I used couscous instead of quinoa but note to self (and others): couscous cooks much faster than quinoa and shouldn't be added before the squash (otherwise you'll end up with uncooked or partially cooked squash while the couscous gets all mushy). I also didn't have any preserved lemons and used tomato paste instead of harissa as I didn't have that either. All in all, I think the substitutions were appropriate and worked well. Thank you for sharing!
Loved this! I left out the lemon and the olives, and also substituted tomato paste for the harissa, although next time I make it I will buy and use harissa because I feel it could've used the extra spice. Thanks for posting!
Thanks so much for this – made it tonight and we loved it just as you posted it (though we used sweet potatoes). Perfectly delicious, a keeper, thanks again.
Delicious! Not too spicy at all, and I'm not one for a lot of spice. I will definitely be making this again!
This wowed everyone at Christmas dinner. I made it for the vegetarian gluten frees of the family but every single person, teenagers and all partook. Ill make it often and think I would love to try it as a soup as well. This xan definitely be played with. Like adding slivered almonds or pistachio s for crunch at serving time
Great, but one thing: cut the butternut squash really small or it definitely does not cook in the 10 mins. If you like bigger chunks, cook it a little first before adding it.
are the olives green? calif black? greek black? greek green?
if i don't have any fresh cilantro, would dried work? or fresh parsley?
Anonymous: I use green pimento stuffed olives and fresh parsley would be better that the dried cilantro I think.
I used fresh lemon in the recipe, 1/2 a lemon sliced, and find the dish bitter.Last time I cooked it was fine, next time I'll let it cook with the lemon, then remove it.
Any ideas to make it less bitter?
Anonymous: Preserved lemons do not have any of the sourness of fresh. If you want to omit the preserved lemons I would replace them with just lemon zest rather than lemon slices.
Is the harissa you used a dried spice or a paste? Thanks!!
Mom/Barb: I use a paste but the dried spice would also work.