Everyone needs one go-to “cheat” meal that they can make quickly and easily at a moment’s notice. This Spiced Lamb with Roasted Butternut Squash recipe falls into this quick and easy category. It’s fast, consistently good, delicious, and looks impressive when served, so don’t just have it at family mealtimes. I’ve served it when friends have come round, and we’ve wanted something quick and simple that I can prep and walk away from for a while until it’s ready. It always goes down well, and no one has any idea how I’ve made it (until now!).
You can prepare and make this easy recipe in around 35 minutes, and although I’ve paired it with butternut squash here, which adds a little to the overall preparation time, if you’re really in a hurry, it’s just as great with a packet of microwave rice.
Spiced Lamb with Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 small jar pasta sauce
- ¼ cup water - add more if needed
- 2 ¾ cups chickpeas - in a can
- 1 small handful cilantro (coriander) - chopped
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7, 220°C, 425°F.
- Leaving the skin on, “top and tail” the butternut squash and divide into three or four portions according to the number of people eating. Remove the seeds and place them on a baking sheet (I’ve put a greaseproof paper on mine to prevent sticking, but this is optional). Sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt and place in the oven for around 40 minutes.
- The butternut squash will be ready when you can easily insert a fork or knife into the soft flesh. Don’t worry if the butternut squash is starting to char a little in places – this is fine. When it is ready, switch off the oven and leave inside to stay warm and settle/soften further until needed.
- In the meantime, fry the onion in the vegetable oil until it becomes translucent and then add the pack of mince, break it up and fry until it is all browned off.
- Sprinkle the allspice, ground coriander, cumin and cinnamon over the meat and stir in well for a couple of minutes. At this point, the aroma of the dish will start to come through.
- When you’ve thoroughly mixed in all the spices, add your jar of pasta sauce. I chose roasted tomato and garlic for this particular one, but I also use tomato and chilli to make the dish a bit spicier. I have also used tomato and aubergine in the past. Fill the pasta sauce jar about a third full of cold water and add this too, then mix well.
- Next, rinse and add your chickpeas.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer gently with the pan lid on for around 20 minutes. Remove the cover just before the end to allow the sauce to simmer and become a little thicker if required.
- When ready, arrange the butternut squash on the serving plate and spoon over the spiced lamb. Add some freshly chopped coriander as this adds flavour and makes the dish look great too. Finally, serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt. Enjoy!