Slow Cooker Spiced Butternut Squash, Potato, and Vegetable Stew


This one-pot stew is inspired by the wonderfully versatile flavours of a Moroccan tagine. This dish is packed with all sorts of feel-good ingredients and flavour profiles from salty, sweet to lightly spiced.

This healthy dish is made in a slow cooker which means all the ingredients just need to be prepped in advance and put into the slow cooker for a long period of time. The result is a flavourful, aromatic, warming, and wholesome stew that can be enjoyed with couscous.

It contains a range of fragrant spices such as turmeric, which contains curcumin that is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits,  and cinnamon, which helps support gut health. 

The bulk of this recipe contains deliciously sweet butternut squash, a kind of winter squash that is classified as a fruit! It is high in fibre and contains a range of vitamins, in addition to calcium and magnesium, the latter of which supports healthy brain development. 

Feel free to adapt this recipe by adding fish, meat, or switching out some of the vegetables based on what kinds of ingredients you are able to get your hands on. 

Ingredients (serves 4)

The Stew

  • 1 medium butternut squash (peeled, cubed; marinate in advance in some olive oil, cumin, paprika – leave for a few hours
  • 10 green pitted olives (cut in half)
  • 1 carrot (sliced into large chunks)
  • 2 medium russet potatoes (unpeeled, sliced into large chunks)
  • 1 yellow pepper/ capsicum (sliced into large chunks)
  • 1 courgette/ zucchini (sliced into large chunks)
  • 1 medium onion (thickly sliced) 
  • Handful dried apricots 
  • 3-4 pieces preserved lemons (if you don’t have this, you can use the zest of half a lemon)
  • 1 large cinnamon stick 
  • 1 can tomato
  • 1 tsp heaped grated ginger 
  •  2 tsp heaped coriander powder 
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 2 tsp cumin powder 
  • 1 tbsp harissa (if you can’t get this, use a tsp of chili powder or cayenne powder) 
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil 
  • Salt to taste (based on your preference) 
  • 3-4 cups of water 


  • 1.5 cup wholewheat couscous  
  • 2.5 cups water
  • Drizzle virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. For the stew, place everything into the slow cooker. Mixing the ingredients as you go along
  2. Set the heat setting to low and leave to cook for 8 hours
  3. For the couscous, simply add boiling water directly to the dried couscous, drizzle with olive oil and salt, give it a quick mix and cover for 10 minutes. Once the couscous has soaked up the water, use a fork to fluff and break it up.

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Slow Cooker Spiced Butternut Squash, Potato, and Vegetable Stew