Pic of Spiced squash, chickpea & kale filo bake

Spiced squash, chickpea & kale filo bake

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Vegetarian mains

Spiced squash, chickpea & kale filo bake

Serves 6 1h 15 min
This protein-rich centrepiece would work wonderfully during the festive season, or at any other time when squash are plentiful. The spicing is warm and comforting, slightly reminiscent of a Moroccan tagine. It would go with all the traditional veg for a roast dinner, but if you’re using gravy then it may be best to make it with a light stock rather than something dark and winey.


  • 500g of diced winter squash, e.g. Butternut, Kabocha, Bonbon, etc.
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 tins cooked chickpeas
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • pinch of saffron, optional
  • 200g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 80g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 100g black kale, stripped from the stalk and roughly chopped
  • nutmeg, to taste
  • 4 large filo pastry sheets
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Image of Spiced squash, chickpea & kale filo bake


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 1h
  • Step 1

    Preheat your oven to 200⁰C/Gas 6.
  • Step 2

    Throw the squash and onion together in a roasting tray with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, turning halfway through, until soft and starting to colour.
  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, tip the chickpeas into a saucepan, along with all their liquid from the tin. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, and saffron. Add a pinch of salt and bring up to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the chickpeas have softened and most of the liquid has cooked away.
  • Step 4

    When the squash is cooked, add the chestnuts, apricots, and kale to the tray. Mix well and return to the oven for 5 minutes to allow the kale to wilt.
  • Step 5

    Remove from the oven and add the chickpeas to the tray. Season with a modest grating of nutmeg and mix everything together gently. Taste and tweak with more salt, pepper, and nutmeg to your liking.
  • Step 6

    Now brush a round, shallow baking tray with olive oil and lay in the filo sheets one at a time, brushing each one olive oil before adding the other. There should be plenty overhanging the edges to fold back over the top. Pack the squash filling into the tray and then bring the overhanging filo to the top, scrunching it down roughly. Brush lightly with a final bit of olive oil and transfer to the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
  • Step 7

    Serve straight from the tray, or allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a plate or chopping board.

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