Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine

Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine Recipe(3)

The flavours of North Africa and, more specifically, Morocco are perennial favourites. There’s something about the juxtaposition of savoury and sweet, so endemic in that cuisine, that’s simply fascinating. It’s certainly a contrast that you’ll find, and hopefully enjoy, in this simple recipe for chicken and butternut squash tagine.

Of all the dried fruit used in tagines, dried figs are perhaps my favourite. Not only are figs incredibly sweet, they are rich and decadent in equal measure. It is these characteristics that enable dried figs to work in harmony with ingredients like chicken and cumin to create the impressive depth of flavour that this casserole has.

Traditionally speaking, a chicken and butternut squash tagine – or indeed any tagine – should be cooked in an earthenware pot of the same name. Practically speaking, however, that’s not always possible. For an easy life it’s usually best to force them apart. In fact, preparing your ingredients in this way makes for particularly succulent chicken and a rich, thick sauce.

Though this Moroccan-inspired casserole is certainly a quick dinner, ready in under an hour, it is one that will impress. Full of aromatic spices and easy to prepare in bulk, my chicken and butternut squash tagine is the perfect meal for gatherings of family and friends alike.

Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine

Serves 4


  • 4 chicken legs

  • 1 butternut squash, roughly chopped

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 tbsp salted butter

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 8 dried figs, roughly chopped

  • a large handful of pitted green olives

  • 300ml chicken stock

  • Salt, to taste


  1. Sprinkle your squash with a little oil and bake in the oven at 180C until browning at the edges.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Fry the chicken, skin down, until golden brown. Cook on the other side for 2 minutes and set aside.

  3. Add the butter to the same pan, followed by the onions and garlic. Saute on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes before adding the cumin, paprika, cinnamon stick and ground ginger

  4. After a further 2 minutes tip in the figs, olives and chicken stock. Cook for 2-3 minutes and incorporate the butternut squash and chicken.

  5. Pop a lid over the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately alongside a couscous salad.

Recipe for Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine Recipe

Cost: I don’t often feature meat in my recipes, but when I do it’s always frugal. The chicken legs featured here set me back a mere £1 a piece, which I think is pretty good! Indeed, the entire chicken and butternut squash tagine, enough for four, can be made for as little as £6.

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16 comments on “Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine

  1. Sophia
    March 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I adore tagines (in fact a chicken, olive and preserved lemon tagine is top on my list of things to cook once I unpack all my kitchen stuff in my new flat). Don’t think I have seen butternut squash in a tagine before but love all sorts of pumpkin in tagine so bet this is really nice!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 16, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      I was considering preserved lemons, but I couldn’t actually find any. I think I might preserve some of my own.

      • Sophia
        March 21, 2014 at 9:46 am

        You should – other than the long wait it is super easy! I made a preserved lemon gremolata to have with Chermoula rubbed-steak the other day, so good!

  2. cookinginsens
    March 14, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    What a wonderful, well presented dish for company!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 16, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you, Rosemary. Perfect food for lots of people.

  3. 30075ivan
    March 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I’m going to give this a go ASAP. That may well mean tomorrow or Sunday!

  4. Eha
    March 15, 2014 at 1:49 am

    Truly a wonderful tagine and cooked in amounts a person living alone will like :) ! Shall have to wait a few months as our butternut pumpkin [sorry, but squash means a much smaller vegetable Down Under!!] won’t be on the shelves as yet . . . but am filing!!!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Hmm, that’s a shame – they’re everywhere here. Please do let me know how you like it.

  5. jdubs
    March 16, 2014 at 3:22 am

    wow just salivating looking at this..

  6. Antonio Caggiano
    March 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    hello there :) Thanks very much for your like on my Spaghetti and Vongole dish .. Your Chicken dish look deliscious too .. have a great time.

  7. allythebell
    March 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    So excited for this. My mother-in-law gave me a tagine for Christmas and I’m itching to use it!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 25, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Well – this is surely the perfect opportunity!

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