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butternut squash and chickpea stew recipe

October 16, 2013

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butternut squash and chickpea stew | pamela salzman

I have been consistently making Monday our meatless night, although I often have another vegetarian dinner during the week as well.  This week I was excited to cook something with one of the many winter squashes I have bought recently.  I taught this vegan butternut squash and chickpea stew last February and I was waiting for the change in seasons to make it again.  As opposed to most stews, this one doesn’t take hours to cook and was perfect for a busy weeknight.  Actually, I was so busy on Monday that I had to serve it with white basmati rice instead of brown rice (nobody’s perfect!)  I also made a delicious kale salad with avocados, pomegranates and sliced almonds.  It was the perfect meal for me.  I also love this stew because it can be made the day before and reheated, or made earlier in the afternoon and left on the stove, off the heat, until dinner time.

brown onions

coconut oil and onions



I was really delighted that my son, also known as, but soon to be formerly known as, Mr. Picky, ate everything on his plate (kale, chickpeas, carrots, onions, rice) except the butternut squash.  This is major progress and I am very encouraged by how far he has come since the days not too long ago when he wouldn’t have eaten a single bite of this stew.  Small steps, but they all get there eventually.

butternut squash

stew in the making

This stew has a little bit of a Moroccan kick to it.  I used really flavorful (and anti-inflammatory) spices like turmeric, ginger, coriander and a little cayenne.  The cayenne gives it just enough heat, but not too much that you would think this is spicy.  I think this would be delicious for a Halloween dinner, whether you are entertaining or just filling everyone up before trick-or-treating.  That’s my strategy, you know.  I don’t prohibit the kids from eating a little candy on Halloween night, but I give them a nice hearty, substantial dinner so they’re not hungry when they leave the house.  Pretty tricky, Mom!

butternut squash and chickpea stew | pamela salzman

butternut squash and chickpea stew

inspired by epicurious.com

serves 4-6


2 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil or olive oil (I use coconut oil and I really like Barlean’s)

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon sea salt + extra for seasoning at the end

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground turmeric (feel free to add more if you like it)

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

3 cups 1-inch cubes of peeled butternut squash (about 1 ½ pounds)

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch pieces

1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced or 14 ounces boxed, drained

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed

a handful of golden raisins or currants

1 cup chicken stock, vegetable stock or water


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another 1 minute or until fragrant.
  2. Add salt, pepper and all spices to the onions.  Sauté for a minute.
  3. Add the squash and carrots and toss to coat with the spices.
  4. Add tomatoes, lemon juice, chickpeas, raisins and stock/water.  Bring to a boil and cover.  Lower the heat and simmer over low or medium/low heat until squash is tender and flavors have melded, about 40 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add extra salt and pepper as desired.


Notes:  Feel free to stir some spinach or chopped chard leaves in at the end.  Delicious served over quinoa, millet, rice, spaghetti squash or couscous.




16 Responses to “butternut squash and chickpea stew recipe”

  1. Amelia says:

    I made the worst butternut squash soup recently. It was the first thing I’ve thrown away in years! I’m excited to try this stew & erase the memory of my own brutal squash soup ;)

  2. marco says:

    Just finished making your recipe x2 so that I can freeze some. The additional chopped greens at the end is brilliant along with the gluten free millet suggestion. I pumped up the heat for more of a kick. I lead a somewhat boring semi-vegan life. You heard me I said semi-vegan.

  3. Mia says:

    The stew was delicious, especially on a cool fall evening! I did not use the tomatoes, however, and also added some white wine to the cooking liquid. I’m looking forward to trying a combination of squash and sweet potatoes next time. Thanks for another great recipe!

  4. Naz says:

    Oh I’ve also been meaning to tell you, your apple stuffed pancakes have become a staple. My husband has been happily making them. And we have been happily eating them. Thank you!

  5. Naz says:

    Looks and sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try this. Very similar to some Persian stews we make. My girls don’t like butternut squash either. I think it has something to do with the texture. Oh well can’t win ‘em all.

  6. Lauren says:

    I’m obsessed with this. It’s so good. I would make it every other week if I could.

  7. Intense nutrition here! I will be trying this. Question though – brown onion? The one with the brownish-tan paper covering, I assume? It is stronger tasting, I suppose. Great that your son is trying new foods. Makes us moms so happy!

    • Pamela says:

      Normal onion. Just not sweet or Vidalia. Someone in a class asked me recently when I specify “onion,” what do I mean. Just your standard onion with the brown skin is fine, or sometimes I see onions with yellow skin. That’s prefect as well. Yes, always a happy moment when the kids’ palates evolve!

      • Heather says:

        That is curious, I have never heard of an onion called a brown onion before..and I cook for a living. Yellow onion, yes, Vidalia, red onion, white onion, never brown. Could this be a California thing? In my recipes for a standard onion I ALWAYS say yellow onion..

        • Pamela says:

          Actually yellow onions are also sometimes referred to as brown onions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion I only wrote it that way because someone asked me what I meant when I specify “onion” in a recipe. I was trying to help her out, but clearly I am creating more confusion. I hereby remove the word “brown” and assume everyone will know what kind of onion I mean — just a regular onion, which happens to often have brown layers, also referred to as a yellow onion and less frequently as a brown onion. Phew!

          • Pamela says:

            Even though I removed the word “brown” from the recipe next to the word “onion,” I wanted to alleviate any confusion by showing a picture of what I meant. See second image from the top. Thanks!

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