Spicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash


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.

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Spicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • 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 extra virgin 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 Cook the lamb: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper on the cubed lamb. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Add the lamb and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until all the juices evaporate, about 7 minutes.

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

3 Add tomato paste and spices: Add the tomato paste, 1 Tbsp of paprika and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until the mixture begins to caramelize.

4 Add water, simmer until meat is tender: 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.

5 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.

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

7 Make seasoned oil: 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.

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

15 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSpicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Cindy Su

    I was looking at another lamb stew recipe and so “accidentally” bought lamb shank instead of lamb shoulder but actually it turned out really delicious! The marrow in the lamb shank bones added quite a bit of flavor, so I’m happy for the “mistake”!

  2. Kira

    I made this fabulous stew recipe and added a roasted green pepper and used Ancho and Chipotle chili instead of smoked paprika and red pepper flakes for a more smokey Southwest flavor. I added just a hint of cinnamon too. Delish!

    Thanks Elise ~ this is just what I was looking for ~ a lamb stew with butternut squash. Love your website. One of my favorite recipes is your Dad’s Fisherman Stew. It’s quick and super tasty.

  3. Vicky

    Thought that I had some lamb for stew, but didn’t. So I made this with pork stew meat instead. The only other change that I made was to double the amount of garbanzo beans cuz we are big fans. It was delicious the first day, and amazing the second day! It was a great send-off for the last butternut squash from our CSA. Thanks, Elise.

  4. kimberly

    Made this last week. Didn’t have mint but followed the rest of the recipe. Everyone loved it – will definitely be repeating this one during the winter.


  5. Hannah

    Thanks Elise, this inspired me yesterday (I’m incapable of actually following a recipe!), and was delicious with cinnamon instead of mint.

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