This hearty, nutritious butternut chickpea stew is seasoned with Moroccan-inspired spices and has a kiss of sweetness from golden raisins. It comes together in a single container and is easy to meal prep or freeze. Serve it over couscous, quinoa, millet or another whole grain for a complete and flavorful meal!
Weeks ago, just as fall began in earnest, I made this Moroccan-inspired butternut chickpea stew.
I had plans to go to my friend’s place for dinner and offered to bring something with me. I wanted a recipe that was one-pot and easy to make, yet would make me and her and her partner happy.
This is what I made. This is one of those rare recipes that I was able to make spontaneously with what I had at home. (Cooking without a plan is not my forte.)
But I had a template in mind, at least. The recipe is a hybrid between this dish, in which the sweet curry is a dominant flavor, and my Moroccan-inspired chickpea tomato stew.
This next recipe is not only a fan favorite here from this blog, but also one of my personal favorites.
This butternut chickpea stew has similar spices, but the butternut squash gives it more heartiness and texture.
The squash also adds a savory and sweet element to the recipe, along with a handful of golden raisins.
And it gives you an excuse to put butternut squash, one of my favorite fall ingredients, to good use.
The joy of a one-pot meal
I welcome one-pot vegan meals any time of year, but they’re especially welcome during the busy fall season.
One-pot meals include soups and stews, which are especially suitable for cold weather. These include chili, which is a staple ingredient for me, braised beans, and my all-time favorite, the simple grain + lemon skillet meal.
One of the advantages of this type of recipe is that it makes a lot of food, which is true of butternut chickpea stew. You’ll have leftovers to enjoy throughout the week or freeze for the future. (More tips on freezing and defrosting vegan meal prep dinners here!)
Embrace the joy of eating homemade meals every day with hearty and healthy recipes Vegan week.
Whether you have three, two or even an hour to spare, The Vegan Week will show you how to cook varied, colorful and comforting weekend meals.
Finally, these bountiful soup and stew-like dishes are also a great opportunity to use lots of vegetables or legumes or both. Whenever a nutrition client who is trying to cook or prepare meals often asks me where to start, I recommend one-pot meals.
This is good.
Butternut Chickpea Stew Ingredients
This recipe came together because I had most of what I needed for it. You may also have a lot of ingredients in your pantry right now.
You will need about 1 – 1 1/2 pounds (455-680g) of peeled and cubed squash to make this recipe. This is about a medium sized squash, seeded, peeled and chopped.
You can use fresh squash or frozen butternut squash in the recipe. If you use frozen, I recommend defrosting it according to the package directions first, draining it, and then adding it to the stew, so it doesn’t add too much moisture.
Olive oil is used to saute onions and garlic in stews. This helps to carry the flavor and create some richness in the stew sauce.
If you prefer, you can sauté the onions and garlic in broth or water instead, though the stew may lose some of that rich quality.
If you don’t have olive oil at home, avocado oil, which is my other go-to for cooking, is a good alternative.
Ginger and garlic
Ginger and garlic help add flavor and complexity to the butternut chickpea stew. You can certainly use fresh ginger cloves and fresh, minced or grated ginger root.
If you have a jar of minced garlic and minced ginger, that’s fine to use as well. In a pinch, you can use a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder and half a teaspoon of ginger.
Talking about the spices, the spice mix here is inspired by spices which are common Russ L. Hanout. Russ L. HanoutWhich means “head of the shop” in Arabic, is often used in Tunisian, Moroccan and Algerian cuisine.
It may include cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice; This butternut chickpea stew has them all. Russ L. Hanout Can also include nutmeg, dried ginger (I used fresh instead), cardamom or cloves.
I use canned, diced tomatoes in the stew, but crushed tomatoes are fine if you have them.
If you only have whole, peeled tomatoes, you can use those too. Use the back of a spoon to crumble and break them up when you add them to the dish.
You’ll need 14 1/2 ounces—one 14 1/2-ounce/415g can, or half of a 28-ounce/800g can.
Homemade vegetable stock will add depth and flavor to the stew, and it’s something I like to be more consistent in making from scratch!
However, both store-bought vegetable broth and vegetable bouillon will work well in butternut chickpea stew.
You can even substitute water if you don’t have any, but be aware that you’ll need to increase the salt in the recipe accordingly.
Chickpeas are probably my favorite legume, so it’s no wonder that a can of them is always available in my pantry.
You’ll need a 15-ounce/425-gram bag of chickpeas for the recipe. If you’re cooking lemonade from scratch, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas.
Don’t be afraid if you don’t have chickpeas. Cooked white beans, lentils, cranberry beans, and kidney beans will all work well in the recipe.
Golden raisins, sometimes called sultanas, enhance the sweet and savory notes of this stew. I love what they add to the recipe, but you can leave them out if you prefer more savory than sweet.
You can replace them with either regular raisins or the same amount of currants.
How to Make Moroccan-Inspired Butternut Chickpea Stew
The steps to this recipe are surprisingly straightforward and there are only two of them.
Step 1: Fry
First thing, you fry the onion until translucent and soft. You will add garlic, ginger and spices, let it become very fragrant and proceed to step two.
Step 2: Make the Stew!
All that’s left to do now is add all the remaining ingredients to the pot, bring them to a boil, cover the pot and let it do its thing.
You cover the stew for 10 minutes, another 10-15 uncovered and then it’s ready to eat.
Just before serving, I recommend adding a small splash of acid. Red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, or—my favorite—white balsamic vinegar will all work.
Providing advice and support
I like to serve butternut chickpea stew over couscous, regular or pearl, or quinoa. But I think it would be better than millet, rice, or even orzo.
If you don’t have any of these grains, but you do have some pita bread, this is a great serving option.
Some fun things to garnish the stew with:
- Chopped, roasted pistachio nuts
- Chopped, fresh parsley
- Toasted pine nuts
- A drop of olive oil
- Pickled Onions (I’m sharing my go-to recipe soon)
Food preparation and storage
Butternut chickpea stew is a great meal prep option: Leftovers will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. Like many stews, this one will seem to deepen in flavor after a few days.
You can freeze the stew portions for up to six weeks.
Cold weather protector
To be honest, right after I made this recipe I thought maybe it wasn’t something I should post, because it reminded me of some other recipes on the blog.
But the test of a recipe’s value, for me, is how often I make it. And I’ve now made the stew not once, but twice since I first brought it to my friend’s apartment. And that occasion was just a month ago.
For the record, she and her boyfriend loved it too.
There’s no point in not sharing something warm, nutrient-dense, crowd-pleasing, and easy to make. Those recipes are worth their weight in gold. And if you’re planning a low-key holiday gathering this year, it’s filling enough to hold its own as a plant-based entree.
So here it is – my favorite new stew of the fall season!
Moroccan-inspired butternut chickpea stew
Production: 6 serving
- 2 table spoon olive oil
- 1 Medium or large red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon Fresh, grated or minced ginger (Substitute 1 tsp ginger)
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground spices
- 4 the cup Vegetable broth (950ml)
- 1 1/2 the cup Canned, diced tomatoes with their juice (1 14.5-ounce/415 gram can)
- 1 – 1 1/2 pounds Peeled and cubed butternut squash (455-680 g; about one medium squash)
- 1 1/2 the cup Cooked chickpeas (240 grams, or one 15-ounce/425 gram can, drained and rinsed)
- 1/4 the cup Golden raisins (40 grams; optional)
- 1-2 teaspoon Red or white wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, or fresh lemon juice (adjust to taste)
- 4 the cup Serve with cooked couscous, quinoa, bulgur wheat or another whole grain
Heat oil in a pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add onion. Saute onion for 5-7 minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent, stirring often. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
Add broth, tomatoes, squash, chickpeas and raisins. Boil the mixture. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover the pot and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the stew has thickened. Stir in vinegar and adjust salt to taste.
Serve over cooked couscous, quinoa or bulgur.
This has been a “clean-out-the-freezer” week for me. I can’t tell you how delighted I was to find that I had three portions of stew—and even some frozen, cooked couscous!—in there, among all the other random and odd things.
Hope you see the recipe many times this season, friends. I will be checking in on Sunday.