Butternut and Chickpea Tagine


Our garden is gourd and winter squash central for family, neighbors and friends. The little ones love to explore the vines holding these autumn treasures. 

During a recent hunt, granddaughters Ellery, Eva and Emerson found what they claimed was a new kind of gourd. Not so. They found edible tan honey nut squash, a very small member of the large butternut squash family. 

I planted seeds in June and somehow the honey nut squash vines wound up tangling with ornamental gourds. 

Honey nut butternut squash is easy to prepare. The peel is tender so I leave it on. Seeds are small enough to leave in. The perfect butternut to include in this warming vegetarian tagine recipe. 

I first tasted this stew during a winter Turner Farms, Indian Hill (turnerfarm.org) culinary class on sources of anti-inflammatory, fiber filled plant foods and herbs. Topped with a spicy yogurt herb sauce, this stew is a filling, healthful and delish meal. I adapted their recipes only slightly. 

Root vegetable and chickpea tagine/stew

Go to taste on ingredients, especially seasonings. 


2 cups chickpeas, drained

Chili powder and salt to taste

1 teaspoon cumin, ground

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon coriander, ground 

1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground or small piece fresh, minced

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional but good)

1-1/2 cups sliced carrots

Combination 2 cups honey nut butternut squash or regular butternut and parsnips

2 cups diced shallots or onion

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/3 cup dried, diced apricots, golden raisins or currants

Slivered almonds (optional)


Film bottom of pot with olive oil and heat over medium.

Add chickpeas, chili powder and salt and cook just until a little crispy, 5 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve. 

In same pan add a bit more oil and stir in cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and caraway.

Once aromatic, add carrots, squash, parsnips and shallots. Cook until shallots are a bit translucent. 

Add garlic and ginger, cook for a bit, then add tomatoes and apricots. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until carrots and squash are tender.
Add chickpea mixture.
Serve over quinoa, rice or favorite grain. 

Garnish with almonds and spicy yogurt sauce.
Tip: Carrots and squash can be replaced with rutabaga, parsnips,
other winter squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, and beets. Mix & match!

Good add ins: finely chopped turnip or other greens.

Spicy green yogurt sauce


3 cups parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup jalapeno pepper, chopped

1 heaping cup Greek strained yogurt 

1/2 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

Lemon juice and salt to taste


Place parsley, garlic and jalapeno in food processor and blend until finely chopped. 

Add remaining ingredients and pulse to incorporate. 

Good for you herbs and spices!

  • Cumin contains iron.
  • Garlic and shallots for heart health.  
  • Caraway helps digestion.
  • Coriander is an immune booster.  
  • Turmeric and ginger contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. Ginger calms the tummy and has antiviral benefits.
  • Paprika contains vitamin A. 

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