Couscous with roasted butternut squash and dried cranberries

I don't know about you but I have always been a side-dish kind of person. What do I mean by that; well, for one, I usually relish the side-dish just as much as I like the main-dish! Infact, I have been known to be making meals out of side-dishes.. one pot quinoa salad for a quick lunch, smashed yams with a drizzle of honey for desert, soup as the main-course for dinner.. well, you get the idea. Needless to say, whenever I am invited to a Thanksgiving dinner, I am perfectly happy bringing a side-dish. Nothing screams fall to me like this dish with roasted, camelized butternut squash and dried cranberries with couscous!

The dish is wide open to variations and experimentations. I tried it with orange flavored dried cranberries from Trader Joe's and loved the orangy after-taste it gave. Occasionally I also add pumpkin seeds or pistachios for a crunch at times. As for the herbs, I suspect fried torn sage leaves would pair really well with the squash but I haven't tried it myself. I usually add the chives or the oregano from garden and its wonderful! If you are unsure what to bring to Thanksgiving and have been slated with a side-dish, give this a try, I guarantee you won't regret having to bring a side ;)

Recipe: Couscous with roasted butternut squash and cranberries
Serves 4
1.5C whole wheat couscous
1.5C boiling water
1/2 of medium size butternut squash
1 medium sized onion
2 cloves of garlic - smashed
handful of dried cranberries
fresh herb of choice - sage, oregano or chives
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
crushed chili flakes
salt & pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Cut the butternut squash in halves. Add olive oil, salt & pepper and roast for about 30-35mins until the squash is soft (poke with a knife, there should not be much resistance). Remove from oven let cool. When cool, peel the skin off and chop the half of butternut squash into byte sized chunks. Reserve the other half for later use.

Heat 1Tbsp olive oil in a large bottomed pan. When hot, add onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes until onions are tender.

Add butternut squash pieces, dried couscous, lemon zest and mix well. Add boiling water to the couscous mixture and turn off the heat. Add salt & pepper. Mix well, cover and let stand for 5mins. Uncover, add the cranberries, drizzle with more olive oil (optional), lemon juice, black pepper and crushed chili flakes. Serve warm!


Sonia{7spice} said…
Side-dish lover, I would line up dozen side dishes when you're around with me. :) Hey...don't make me tempt by showing this beautiful red bowl again and again. :D

A creative idea here!
Bergamot said…
lovely recipe...the pic looks really tempting
Suji said…
awesome click and a yummy recipe...
sangeeta said…
Completely my type...... any whole grains salad or soup and i am set ...lots of vegetables and herbs are a must for me too.

This looks great and even i feel jealous of your red bowl.
totally one pot meals with vegetables and herbs. this butternut squash looks so cute. yesterday saw spagetti squash at another blog. nice idea of adding them to couscous Prajakta.
Priya Suresh said…
Wat a fabulous one pot meal..thats really tempting..
I have never cooked with butternut squash...but i absolutely louve cous cous:)
Ushnish Ghosh said…
Dear Prajakta
how are you? Very nice dish indeed...Just wondering what is butternut it some kind of kaddu ( pumpkin)? I had brought one pack of cous cous I think it has expired ..let me check..
Have a nice week ahead
Hamaree Rasoi said…
tempting dish presented in a very attractive bowl ...

Hamaree Rasoi
Kitty said…
Wow, I am making this for lunch this week, I can't wait for Thanksgiving!

I think the torn fried sage leaves sound like they'd be a brilliant addition, maybe I'll do them as a chiffonade, fried slightly crisp in butter and sprinkled on top as a savoury decoration. Oh, this is fantastic, I have one less side to worry about in ten days time.
Thank you for this great recipe!

And, yeah, I rather covet the red bowl, as well. :)
Treat and Trick said…
Though I never tried couscous so far, love the simplicity of this dish but it looks very tasty and healthy..
Hari Chandana P said…
Lovely and delicious recipe.. thanks for sharing dear !!
Panchpakwan said…
Healthy and filling recipe...If this kind of side dish is there, then I dont mind to forget abt main course..
indosungod said…
That is as hearty as a main dish PJ. The butternut squash is a winner in any recipe. I have one last one saved from my garden.
indosungod said…
Forgot to mention the beautiful serving dish. It is lovely
Cool Lassi(e) said…
A lovely one pot dish! Love the pot too!
Namitha said…
Wonderful one pot meal...
How have you been Prajakta?
Pari Vasisht said…
Hi dear, I have a lot to catch up at ur space but let me speak out here first..
before I talk abt the recipe, I must say the bowl is beautiful. Couscous is an all time favorite as it's so convenient to cook and a perfect side dish. Love the flavors and the squash going into it.
San said…
Healthy and delicious , wonderful for either breakfast or lunch .Liked the addition of butter nut squash into it .
Miri said…
Was just wondering how to cook some couscous which has been lying for sometime now and didnt want to use my usual recipe---this one seems perfect for sunday lunch tomorrow!
Fantastic combi and looks sooo good!!!
Lovvee ur new red beauty , which one is this?