Emily’s Butternut Squash Tagine


Delicious silky butternut squash and halloumi tagine recipe.

An economical dish, but big in flavour.  Step by step photos and video included.  You can of course add many things to a tagine, a tagine is a traditional clay cooking pot used in Morocco.  I’m lucky enough to own one, but I know most people don’t have them, just use a good solid sauce pan instead!

So its Meat free Monday, and you don’t need any with this recipe, this is a earthy, warming spicy tagine!

I realised this morning that I hadn’t thought of a new recipe for my blog.  Blurry eyed I peered into my fridge to see what I had in to cook?  There has been a random butternut squash and chilli halloumi in my fridge for weeks.  So here’s going for it, Butternut Squash Tagine with halloumi!  For you purists out there, this is not a traditional Moroccan recipe, I am using my creative licence for this one!

Lets get cooking !

Ingredients    Serves 4 

Takes about 30 minutes to prepare (lots of chopping)

20 – 30 minutes to Cook

  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil or fry light spray
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, chopped into small 1cm cubes
  • 4 Cloves of garlic, bashed and roughly chopped up
  • 1 Red onion finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 carton of passata 500grams
  • 3 preserved lemons, pips taken out and roughly chopped up
  • 1 tbsp. of clear runny honey
  • 150 ml of stock  (vegetable or chicken)
  • 200 grams of halloumi into cubes
  • 12 olives
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh coriander as a garnish
  • Yogurt – optional

(If you are looking at the syn value including olive oil, you need to use halloumi as your healthy extra and then allow approximately 1.5 syns for the olives and oil)

On the hob!

Slice in half and remove the seeds from the butternut squash, peel, and chop it.  USE a STRONG sharp knife.



Chop up the onion and garlic.


Prepare the spices and lemon.


With a saucepan or tagine heat it up on the hob to a medium heat.   Drizzle or spray the oil and add then throw in the onion and garlic, let it slowly soften for 4 – 5 minutes stirring regularly.

Next add the spices for a minute or two to heat through, then the lemon.  Add the butternut squash stirring well to coat all the cubes with the spices.  Splash in the tomato passata, stir….. and the honey and salt and pepper.

Pour in the stock cube, now let the sauce do its things, bring it down to a gentle simmer.  Stir occasionally to make sure its not burning on the bottom.

Check the butternut squash with a fork or knife after 20 minutes to see if its soft all the way through but not mushy.  It may need another 10 minutes or so.  At the end stir in the halloumi and olives to heat through.

Serve with couscous, and flat breads! delicious!


You may need to add some yogurt to temper down the heat!

Tuck in and Enjoy!

Emily x


Video  ⇓




I’ve really enjoyed making this recipe up today, it has brought back lots of memories, from our holidays in Marrakesh.   From being able to use the mini tagines we picked up in the hectic  Souks, and using the large Tagine my brother bought me many years ago as a gift.  To most recently using my lovely new honey drizzler that my lovely friend Sarah bought me for Christmas.  Happy Heart Cooking Days!


3 thoughts on “Emily’s Butternut Squash Tagine

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