Slow-cooked butternut squash stew for lent

Photograph courtesy of Conrad Manila Slow-cooked Butternut Squash Stew.

This season of Lent, discover the rich and comforting taste of butternut squash that’s bursting with earthy, nutty flavor ideal for sweet and savory dishes.

The natural sweetness of the fruit — yes, butternut squash is a fruit and not vegetable as commonly thought to be — gives this one-dish meal a lighter, softer and less edgy finish.

Warren Brown, Conrad Manila Brasserie on 3 executive chef, shares his own butternut squash recipe ideal for Lent.

“Butternut squash is a great dish during the period of Lent when fasting and no-meat dishes are observed by Catholics,” says Brown. “This is a simple and light dish, but enticingly aromatic to whet a healthy appetite with spices like cumin, ginger, cinnamon.”

However, don’t be intimidated by the length of cooking time for this dish. It has a good number of components and takes a little more to prepare, but everything is so easy to execute.

The mixture is infused with cumin, raisins, tomatoes and cinnamon which gives it a well-rounded flavor.

Chef Brown notes that butternut squash is not only tasty and flavorful but is also rich in vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting antioxidants.

“So, there’s no reason for you not to serve this dish that’s healthy and yet superbly delicious,” he shares.


1 can whole tomatoes

1/2 c raisins

2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Kosher salt and pepper

1 red onion

1/2 medium butternut squash

1 c couscous

1/4 c fresh cilantro

1 can chickpeas

Dried raisins or apricots

Place the tomatoes (and their juices) in a five to six quarts cooker and break them up slightly. Add the raisins, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and mix to combine. Add the onion and squash and cook. Cover until squash is tender, about five to seven hours on low heat or three to five hours on high heat.

Ten minutes before serving, cook the couscous according to package directions. Fold in the cilantro. Gently add the chickpeas into the stew and cook. Cover until heated through, about three minutes. Serve over the couscous.

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