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.

Spicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash
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

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 110 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings 6 servings


  • 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.

Recipe adapted from one in Food and Wine magazine.