This Chickpea Stew has North African spices, butternut squash and tender cooked vegetables. It makes a hearty and vegan dinner for chilly evenings. 

three bowls of stew on a table with bunches of herbs

This month on Healthy Seasonal Recipes I am going to be be bringing you all new plant-based (vegan) recipes to enjoy for a jump start on your wellness goals this year. Today I have a hearty Chickpea Stew, and later this month I will be sharing more easy 30 minute dinners and salads to keep you inspired and well fed!

Before we get to this recipe for Chickpea Stew, I should mention to make sure you check back here every Friday morning for my new recipe. Alternatively, you can also sign up for my email newsletter. I send it out every Saturday morning with the latest recipes and more inspiration for planning your week’s menu. Join 30,000 subscribers like you who love healthy whole food meals but don’t have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen.

Sharing More Vegan Recipes

Last year I listened to an interview with Michael Pollan on Fresh Air, and Terry asked him what his diet was like currently. He admitted that he was almost entirely plant-based, or vegan, with the exception of the occasional serving of fish.

He explained that refraining from meat was the most important ways we can affect our own personal carbon footprint. I was sort of blown away by that since his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma had always been such a foundational part of my food philosophy.

Since then, I have been trying to incorporate more vegan dinners into our family’s weekly menu. That’s why this month I am sharing only vegan recipes here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes. Next month you’ll start seeing more chicken, fish and meat based recipes mixed in too. I hope you’ll find this month a refreshing and inspiring one!

Now let’s talk about this recipe, shall we?

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.


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.

Chickpea stew from the side in a white bowl

How to Make Chickpea Stew

This recipe comes together in 30 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!

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.

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 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. You can sub in a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes for a shortcut.
  • Add in the canned, drained and rinsed chickpeas.

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.)

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.

How To Serve The Stew

Ladle the stew into bowls. To keep this strictly vegan you can top it with a plant based yogurt such as Forager. Or if you eat dairy, you can use a cow’s milk Greek yogurt.

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 stew in a white bowl on a table with herbs and spoons

Steps To Make This Recipe

What To Serve With This Stew

The last couple times we had this Chickpea Stew, we had homemade whole-wheat bread as an accompaniment.

You could also make lemon quinoa and serve the stew over it in shallow pasta style bowls.

You could also serve this with purchased flatbread. Wrap a stack in foil and warm it up in the oven while the stew simmers.

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.)

Veggie Stew from above in four bowls on a white table with a piece of gray slate

More Chickpea Recipes

chickpea stew bowls arranged on a table in a "c" shape

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter for healthy recipes delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

a closeup of a bowl of chickpea stew with a dollop of yogurt on top

Chickpea Stew

  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 9 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup and Stew
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: African
  • 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. 



¼ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large sweet onion, diced

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks

2 cups butternut squash cubes (1-inch)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ 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

Yogurt (either plant-based or cow’s milk)

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 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. 


  • 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