Spicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash

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Spicy lamb stew with butternut squash! Lean lamb shoulder braised in tomato sauce with butternut squash, garbanzo beans, and garlic. Spiced with paprika, cayenne, and black pepper.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

With shorter days and colder nights, this richly flavorful lamb stew with butternut squash is a great way to fill up and stay warm.

Spicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lean lamb shoulder, on the bone, trimmed of fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 pounds of butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 14-oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint


1 Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper on the meat. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Add the meat and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until all the juices evaporate, about 7 minutes.

2 Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

3 Add the tomato paste, 1 Tbsp of paprika and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until the mixture begins to carmelize. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and simmer until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes.

4 Add the squash, garbanzo beans, tomato, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and enough water to just cover the ingredients. Cover and cook until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

5 Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Season with salt. Transfer the stew to a shallow serving dish.

6 Rub the 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and dried mint through a fine sieve. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat, until a speck of spice dropped into the oil sizzles. Add the sieved spices and stir for just an instant. Swirl the seasoned oil into the stew, stir once and serve hot.

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Recipe adapted from one in Food and Wine magazine.

Showing 4 of 15 Comments / Reviews

  • Andrea Middleton

    Hey, what about interpreting this recipe for a slow cooker? Any ideas?

  • Rachel

    Mmm, I tried this last night and it was wonderful! I think I put a bit too much cayenne in there (it was HOT) but I happen to like it that way. :-) Thanks for sharing. I LOVE your website.

  • Mina Y.

    Do you cut the lamb into cubes and leave it on the bone?

  • Elise

    Hi Mina,

    Leave some meat on the bones, cut the rest into 1-inch cubes, make sure you cook both the meat and the bones as much flavor comes out of those bones.

  • Mina

    OHHHHHHHh. We had the butcher cut the lamb shoulder and he left it on the bone — and there wasn’t that much meat to cut off the bone so we left it on and cooked it that way. I don’t think it was as good. But it is pretty tasty!

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Spicy Lamb Stew with Butternut SquashSpicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash