Butternut Mash with Lamb-Chickpea Stew


A simple squash mash is Abra’s favorite way to catch flavorful gravies and stews.

butternut squash mash

Carson Downing

Total Time:
1 hrs

This Moroccan-inspired meatball dish is a great way to use up squash that is in less-than-pristine condition. Butternuts yield more flesh than most winter squash and will last for at least 3 months when stored in a cool, dark place. Look for ones that are heavy without any soft spots or blemishes.


  • 2- to 2 1/2-lb butternut squash

  • 1 lb ground lamb or ground beef

  • 1 tbsp zaatar spice mix

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil

  • 1 cup onion, sliced thinly

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 14 1/2 oz can stewed tomatoes

  • 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place squash cut sides down on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until squash is completely soft when pushed with a finger, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until easy to touch.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine lamb, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Form mixture into sixteen 11/2-inch meatballs (2 Tbsp. each).

  3. In a large Dutch oven heat a glug (1 to 2 Tbsp.) of neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable oil) over medium. Brown meatballs on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove meatballs from the pan. Add za’atar spice mix and crushed red pepper (if using) and fry in the hot oil until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add onion and garlic with a big pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until the onion and garlic are soft, 5 minutes. Add stewed tomatoes and chickpeas; stir to combine, breaking up the tomatoes as you stir.

  4. Return meatballs to the tomato-chickpea mixture. Cover and place in the oven. Bake until the meatballs are fully cooked (165°F internal temperature), 20 minutes.

  5. Scoop the flesh from the squash into a bowl. Add butter and a big pinch of salt and mash with a wide spoon until the texture of mashed potatoes.

  6. To serve, divide the squash mash among four dishes and top with a hearty ladle of the lamb and chickpea stew. Garnish with a flurry of fresh parsley (if using). Serves 4 to 6.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

783 Calories
45g Fat
61g Carbs
40g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 783.3
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 44.5g 57%
Saturated Fat 17.3g 87%
Cholesterol 140.5mg 47%
Sodium 727.5mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 61.4g 22%
Dietary Fiber 16.3g 58%
Total Sugars 15.1g
Protein 39.8g
Vitamin D 0.1mcg 1%
Vitamin C 47.8mg 239%
Calcium 231.7mg 18%
Iron 6.5mg 36%
Potassium 1504.1mg 32%
Fatty acids, total trans 0.5g
Vitamin D 2.3IU
Alanine 2.2g
Arginine 2.6g
Ash 5.9g
Aspartic acid 3.8g
Caffeine 0mg
Carotene, alpha 2568mcg
Choline, total 124.2mg
Copper, Cu 0.7mg
Cystine 0.5g
Energy 3276.9kJ
Fluoride, F 0.4mcg
Folate, total 132mcg
Glutamic acid 6.3g
Glycine 1.8g
Histidine 1.2g
Isoleucine 1.8g
Leucine 2.9g
Lysine 3.2g
Methionine 0.9g
Magnesium, Mg 143.6mg
Manganese, Mn 1.5mg
Niacin 10.9mg
Phosphorus, P 432.8mg
Pantothenic acid 1.8mg
Phenylalanine 1.7g
Phytosterols 10.9mg
Proline 1.6g
Retinol 95.2mcg
Selenium, Se 37.6mcg
Serine 1.6g
Theobromine 0mg
Threonine 1.6g
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 6.3mg
Tryptophan 0.5g
Tyrosine 1.2g
Valine 2g
Vitamin A, IU 26069.5IU
Vitamin A, RAE 1383.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.7mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 33.5mcg
Water 481g
Zinc, Zn 6.7mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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