This Easy Chickpea Stew is ready in only 35 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to transform canned chickpeas into a hearty vegan dinner with the simple addition of Moroccan-inspired seasoning, tender butternut squash and fresh spinach!

closeup of a bowl of chickpea stew

Why We Love This Easy Chickpea Stew Recipe

We love making soups and stews all season long, and this Chickpea Stew is our new favorite vegan stew. There is something so appealing about the combination of ingredients: chickpeas, rich sauce, warm spices, including cinnamon and cumin, blended with parsley, mint!

Ingredient Notes For This Recipe

ingredients for the chickpea stew with labels

In addition to the chickpeas, this stew is rich in veggies. It has butternut squash, onion, garlic and carrots. Then I also added in canned tomatoes and fresh baby spinach. It is bursting with goodness you guys!

Canned Chickpeas

I love how convenient it is to use canned chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) in this recipe. It cuts the timing down considerably and makes this recipe doable for a weeknight dinner.

You will need two 15-ounce cans. Drain them and rinse the chickpeas off in a sieve with cool tap water.

Of course you can also buy dried chickpeas and cook them from scratch. You will need two cups dried chickpeas to start. Soak and then cook them and add them to the recipe as you would for canned.

Butternut Squash:

Cut the butternut squash into chunks about 1-inch in size. If you’re not familiar with how to cut one up, there is a good video with my post for Roasted Butternut Squash that walks you through how to peel and cut it. You can also sub in sweet potatoes instead.


Since this is a stew, I cut the carrots into larger pieces than I would for a soup. I left them as coins on the thinner end of the carrot, and into half moons from the wider part of the carrot. They should be about 1/2-inch thick to soften in the same amount of time as the butternut squash.

Onions and Garlic:

Next you’ll want to dice the onion. Here’s how to dice an onion if you’re working on your knife skills. And chop the garlic finely.


You will also need a variety of spices to season the stew. We used a blend of cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne, plus salt and pepper.

How To Make A Fast and Healthy Chickpea Stew in 35 Minutes

This recipe comes together in 35 minutes so there isn’t a whole lot of technique to go over. On a difficulty scale from 1 to 10 (ten being an advance skill level) I would give this a 3, and that’s solely because of the fact that you need to cut up some veggies! So, get your kinfe good and sharp and let’s get cooking!

saute the veggies then bloom the spices

Step 1: Sauté the Vegetables

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy soup pot then add in the squash, carrots, onion and garlic. You’ll want to sauté it until the vegetables start to soften and brown. Depending on how wide your pot is, this can take 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2: Bloom The Spices

  • As I said before the spices I chose for this recipe are North African-inspired. I used a blend of cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
  • If you have a spice blend that you prefer you can use that instead. Curry powder, Garam Masala or Ras el Hanout would be great alternatives! If you like it, a bit of carraway would be good with these too.
  • Add the spices (and the salt and pepper) to the sautéed veggies and stir them to toast them. Doing this before adding liquid blooms them in the hot oil and they take on a more fragrant character and add more flavor to the finished stew.
add the liquid ingredients (break up the tomatoes by hand) and then simmer

Step 3: Add Liquid Ingredients and Chickpeas

  • To prevent the spices from scorching, you’ll need to be ready with your liquid ingredients (tomatoes and broth.)
  • As soon as you smell the spices take on a toasty smell (this takes about 30 seconds) then pour in the broth.
  • Add in the tomatoes. I used a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes that I hand crushed. (See Photo 3) You can sub in a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes for a shortcut.
  • Add in the canned, drained and rinsed chickpeas.

Step 4: Simmer The Soup To Cook the Vegetables Through

  • All you have to do next is bring the soup to a simmer. Once it simmers, reduce the heat to medium-low or so just to maintain that simmer. You don’t want to boil it.
  • Cook the stew until the veggies are tender (you should be able to cut through a chunk of butternut squash with the side of your metal spoon.)
stir the spinach in

Step 5: Add Baby Spinach at the End

Once the vegetables are tender, stir in the baby spinach and let it wilt into the soup. As soon as it is wilted, take the soup off the heat.

bowls of stew from the side with herbs

Serving Suggestions

  • It can be paired with fresh bread, pitas or warmed flatbread for a completely plant-based meal. Wrap a stack in foil and warm it up in the oven while the stew simmers.
  • The seasonings can be adjusted if you prefer less spicy food, so even the kids can enjoy this meal.
  • To keep this vegan top it with a plant based yogurt such as Forager. {Or if you eat dairy, you can always use a cow’s milk Greek yogurt instead.}
  • Sprinkle on fresh herbs. We loved the flavor of fresh mint and parsley paired with these spices. If you happen to change up the spices in your stew, you can experiment with other herbs. Cilantro would be good too!
  • The last couple times we had this Chickpea Stew, we had homemade whole-wheat bread as an accompaniment.
  • You could also make couscous or lemon quinoa and serve the stew over it in shallow pasta style bowls.
  • If you want to pair the stew with a salad, this classic Garden Salad is a great option (omit the cheese to make it vegan.)


Can this be made without tomatoes?

Yes, but they add acidity to the stew that you will miss, so add in lemon juice to taste once it is finished cooking.

Are chickpeas a good source of protein?

Chickpeas have a blend of carbohydrates and protein and a small amount of naturally occuring fat. For each portion of stew you will get about a standard half cup serving of chickpeas which provide 7 grams of protein. You can calculate your total daily protein needs here based on your age, gender and activity level.

Can I use dried chickpeas?

Yes! They have to be cooked separately first though as they will not soften in the stew. Soak them overnight then simmer them for about 1 hour (times vary.) You can also cook them in an instant pot.

Make Ahead, Storage, Freezing and Reheating

LEFTOVERS AND STORAGE: You can make this ahead up to four days in advance and reheat before serving. Do not add fresh herbs or yogurt. Allow the soup to cool. Once the chickpea stew is cool, transfer it into quart containers or smaller resealable containers. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

TO REHEAT: Stir the leftover stew in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add in additional veggie stock or broth to thin it out as necessary. Cook it until it is steaming hot. Alternatively reheat in the microwave, stopping to stir once, until it is steaming hot (about 4 minutes per serving.)

FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS: Yes this recipe freezes very well. Cool completely and seal in straight-sided resealable containers. Leave room for expansion. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat until simmering.

several bowls of stew on a white table with herbs

More Chickpea Recipes

At Healthy Seasonal Recipes, we specialize in cooking with fresh veggies and creating weeknight meals. Sign up HERE to get more produce-forward dinner ideas for FREE! If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought! Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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closeup of a bowl of chickpea stew

Easy Chickpea Stew

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.9 from 17 reviews

  • Author: Katie
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 9 1/2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This hearty Chickpea Stew is made with butternut squash, carrots, onions and spinach. The North African inspired spices give it tons of fragrant flavor. Top it off with plant-based yogurt to keep it vegan or use cow’s milk Greek yogurt if you prefer. 



1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large sweet onion, diced

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2 cups butternut squash cubes (1-inch)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

4 cups vegetable broth

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, hand crushed

2 14-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 cups baby spinach

Vegan Yogurt (such as Forager’s)* see note

Chopped parsley and mint for serving, optional


1.     Heat oil in the bottom of a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and squash and cook, stirring often until the vegetables are browned and softening, about 10 minutes.

2.     Stir in cumin, coriander, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne and stir for 30 seconds. Add broth, tomatoes, chickpeas and increase heat to high to bring to a simmer.

3.     Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

4.     Stir in spinach and cook one minute while stirring. Remove from the heat. Ladle into bowls and serve with yogurt and herbs.


To keep this recipe vegan use plant-based yogurt for the garnish. For nut-free version, use coconut yogurt. If you are not vegan, you can also substitute a milk-based yogurt instead.

If you prefer to use another flavor profile, substitute 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite spice blend. Alter the accompanying herbs accordingly. For example, cilantro pairs well with Indian curry so you can swap it for the mint. 

  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Soup and Stew
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: African


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 303
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 12 g