A feel-good roasted veggie dinner! You won’t miss the meat in these roasted butternut squash couscous bowls with pecans, avocado, couscous, and a delicious sauce.
This post will also teach you how to roast the PERFECT butternut squash! All my tips and tricks to delicious roasted butternut squash every time!
Roasted Butternut Squash Couscous Bowls
I’ve made these sweet potato couscous bowls more times than I can count this past summer and was inspired to switch out some ingredients and flavors to create a more Fall/Winter inspired bowl. Cue the butternut squash, pecans, and the herb-y dressing that covers all of this. While I can’t say I’m not going to miss all the fresh summer pesto, I am not at all sad about eating these roasted butternut squash couscous bowl for the next several months! 🙂
What is the best way to prepare roasted butternut squash?
- First: make sure you pick out a great butternut squash. In the U.S., the best time to buy ripe local squash is September through October. Look for butternut squash with a solid beige color and one that feels heavy for its size.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and begin to prepare the butternut squash.
- To prepare the butternut squash: slice off the stems at both ends and then peel the entire squash. Slice the squash in half where the thinner end begins to widen around the middle.
- Slice the thick end in half and with a sharp spoon, scoop out and remove the seeds (you can roast the seeds too for a fun snack!).
- Dice the squash into even 1-inch cubes — the more even your pieces, the more perfectly the squash will roast!
- Toss the squash on a large sheet pan with just the right amount of olive oil (I’ve found 4 cups to 2 tablespoons is perfect!), salt & pepper, and a few other spices. Make sure to spread the squash into one even layer. If the squash is crammed, it will end up steaming instead of roasting.
- Cook in the preheated oven and toss after 10 minutes to get an even roasting!
Can I meal prep with this roasted butternut squash couscous bowls?
- Yes!! You can prepare the couscous, roasted butternut squash, and dressing for 4 consecutive days.
- To prepare for meal prep: add cooked and cooled couscous and cooked and cooled roasted butternut squash into 4 equal meal prep containers. Divide the dressing equally among 4 smaller containers and place in each meal prep container. Place the pecans in reusable bags in each container. Each morning/afternoon before eating, add some fresh sliced avocado and fresh arugula (if desired). Toss everything with the dressing and enjoy!
Can I add meat to these roasted butternut squash couscous bowls?
Yes! I’d recommend either smoked turkey sausage (roast in the oven or saute in a skillet) on the side OR serve with grilled chicken. This grilled chicken marinade is our favorite!
What makes these roasted butternut squash couscous bowls healthy?
- Roasted Butternut Squash: butternut squash is a powerhouse ingredient! It’s got a ton of potassium which can help decrease blood pressure, it’s loaded with vitamin A which is super important for healthy eyesight, has a good amount of vitamin C which has been linked to healthier skin, and is linked to anti-inflammatory effects. In addition to the many benefits, it’s also low in calories and almost no fat (less than 100 calories with 26 carbohydrates in 1 cup).
- Avocado: although bananas are known for their potassium, did you know avocados have even more potassium in them?! They pack 14% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium while bananas are at 10%. There are lots of studies linking a high potassium intake to reduce blood pressure which correlates reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, and/or kidney failure.
- Pecans: in just one ounce of pecans you’ll be getting 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 20 grams of mostly unsaturated fats (the healthy fats!) which makes these nuts satisfying and hearty with lots of benefits. Pecans provide phytonutrients which have powerful antioxidant benefits (antioxidants help to ward off disease/illness). Pecans are also packed with vitamin E which has been linked to lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Similar Healthy (and Vegetarian) Meals:
- Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls
- Roasted Sweet Potato Pesto Couscous Bowls
- Bruschetta Pasta
- Crockpot Mexican Quinoa Tacos
- Sweet Potato Enchiladas
A feel-good roasted veggie dinner! You won't miss the meat in these roasted butternut squash couscous bowls with pecans, avocado, couscous, and a delicious sauce.
- 4 cups chopped butternut squash (~1 medium butternut squash)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH: dried parsley, dried oregano
- Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup vegetable stock (or broth), or chicken stock (not vegetarian)
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1-2 large ripe avocado(s), thinly sliced or chopped
- 1/2 cup honey roasted almonds or pecans*
- Optional: fresh arugula
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 of 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon EACH: dried parsley, dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and chop the butternut squash into small, bite-sized pieces. Place on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil, dried parsley, dried oregano and salt + pepper (to taste; I add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Toss ingredients together and place in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, remove and stir around, and return to the oven for another 7-10 minutes or until crisp tender (timing will depend on the size of the squash; I chop mine pretty small). Remove the squash tray from the oven and set aside.
Prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a mason jar and shaking well to combine.
Meanwhile, add the broth, stock, or water to a small pot. Add in the butter and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat. Stir in the couscous and cover the pot with a lid. After about 5 minutes the liquid should be absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Stir in 1/3 cup of the prepared dressing.
Assemble the bowls: fill up 4 bowls with even amounts of the dressed couscous. On top add the roasted butternut squash. Add fresh avocado and a handful of arugula to each bowl and top with even amounts of the almonds or pecans. Spoon the remaining dressing evenly (shake again before topping if needed) over the bowls to taste preference. Enjoy immediately.
I buy pre-made honey roasted sliced almonds (or pecan pieces) that are "ready for salads" (made by fresh gourmet). You can also roast your own nuts or add them in plain!