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Recipe for vegan butternut squash and chickpea stew {gluten-free}


When the aroma of cinnamon fills the house, I follow my nose to the kitchen, expecting to discover muffins or baked apples in the oven. Sometimes, the intoxicating smell of cinnamon comes from something even better: a savory, Moroccan-inspired vegan butternut squash and chickpea stew in a tomato sauce infused with cinnamon and coriander. A hint of smoky-hot harissa, the assertive North African pepper paste, balances the sweetness of the squash, and seems absolutely necessary here. (Kathy, my spicy-food-averse cooking assistant, loved the gentle heat, so you know it's not too spicy.) Make this stew up to three days ahead, or freeze it; like most stews, it's even better on the second day. Serve over couscous or rice, as the centerpiece of a vegan meal, or as a side dish with grilled lamb or fish.


Vegan butternut squash and chickpea stew

From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, onion, garlic, canned chopped tomatoes, harissa, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), parsley.

Serves 4-6, with couscous or rice.


2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp harissa (or more, to taste)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
1 19-oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen petite green peas
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste


In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent and just starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to keep the garlic from burning.

Stir in the harissa, cinnamon and coriander, and cook for 30 seconds to release the fragrance from the spices. Add the squash and tomatoes, stir to incorporate the spices, and add 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring a few times.

Add the chickpeas, green peas and parsley, and continue to cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve hot, over couscous or rice.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Chickpea falafel
Sweet potato, lentil and raisin stew
Chickpeas with sausage and peppers
Roasted chickpeas with garlic, cumin and paprika
Slow cooker Indian-spiced butternut squash

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Harissa hummus, from Andrea Meyers
Ground chicken (or turkey) and chickpea curry stew with yogurt and cilantro, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chickpea potato curry, from Simply Recipes
Spaghetti with chickpeas, from Smitten Kitchen
Tunisian carrot salad with harissa and feta cheese, from The Left Over Queen

Butternut squash and chickpea stew, not just for vegans! From The Perfect Pantry.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Mmm, butternut squash stew spiked with harissa sounds delightful. Can't go wrong with sweet and spicy. Such a delicious combination.

Nisrine, I love harissa, and I love the combination of flavors here with the cinnamon and coriander.

Mmmm, lovely flavours - my kind of food!

This is my kind of recipe - this combo of butternut squash and chickpeas is the perfect winter meal.

Michelle, TW: I love these flavors together, too. And the stew is quite substantial, especially when served over couscous.

I've never tried harissa before but I have a feeling I will like it :) This looks delicious!

Bianca, harissa is spicy, no doubt about it. But using just a little bit will give a richness to this dish. If you wish, you can substitute a bit of tomato paste plus a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, or even Tabasco. It won't be the same as harissa, but it will be delicious.

Oh this looks delicious! I've been experimenting with vegan recipes this year too, so I will definitely give this a whirl.

This looks like a perfect winter time dish! And it incorporates two of my favorite fiber-licious foods - chickpeas and butternut squash.

delicious and so "warming" - going to try with rice!

Made it today. Absolutely delicious and every one asked for more.
My only change - added golden raisins.

Zesty Cook, this is a great vegan recipe to ease into vegan eating. Give it a try.

Kati, the cinnamon gives this great warmth, perfect for winter.

Carol, definitely. Rice would be delicious -- I'd probably go with brown rice here.

Kutzi, great addition. I have another recipe on the blog that includes raisins, which give wonderful sweetness. Thanks for coming back to tell us how it turned out!

I made this last night after hubs decided he wanted to go more meatless. Actually doubled the portion so we'd have lots of leftovers. It was a success and I doubt leftovers will last long.

Susan, thanks so much for making the recipe and for coming back to leave a comment. I'm delighted this was a hit in your kitchen!

Gorgeous color - love all the spices in this vegan dish. I have to get my hands on some harissa!

Looks great! Came across via Pinterest, FYI.

Hi Lydia!
Made this tonight and it was fabulous!! I had not use harissa before so only used the suggested amount. I will use more next time.

Hope you are doing well! I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Took a break from blogging, but hoping to get back in with a site redesign this year. Also, I will be doing a Drop In & Decorate too.

Sounds great. Just wondering if I could do this in my slow cooker.

Jeanette, you can find harissa at any Middle Eastern market. Be sure to buy it in paste form; don't get anything that says "harissa spice".

David, thanks for stopping by.

Kat, hi! You can definitely increase the amount of harissa (I do, when I make this for Ted and me), and the dish will only get better.

Booturtle, absolutely you can make this in a slow cooker.

Oh, I have harissa in my fridge right now! I will have to make this soon. Thanks for sharing :)

This looked really yummy so I decided to try it out. It was easy to make and didn't take too long. I ended up liking it but it wasn't as great as I was expecting. I found the cinnamon to be a bit too overpowering. Next time I would put half the cinnamon. The harissa added a lot of flavor.

Thanks for the recipe!

I want to make this for 2 people but I'm not sure how much squash I would need.. anyone have any idea of what would be a suitable quantity?

I made this just the other night. It's delicious! I couldn't find harissa so I used sriracha (probably my favorite hot sauce). I served it with quinoa the first night. Then yesterday I was getting leftovers out for lunch and decided to try this stew with some coconut rice I had. I thought they paired pretty well together. Thanks for sharing this great way to use some of my store of butternut squash!

I find that this stew is even better the next day! I wrote a post using this recipe, but subbed chicken stock for the water simply because I had some around. Here's my take: https://districtdinners.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/butternut-squash-and-chickpea-stew/

Yummy, it's beautiful day for me now.Your Vegan butternut squash and chickpea stew recipe is so cool. It looks delicious and nutritious. All I can say, this is totally perfect and for sure my family love this. I cannot wait to prepare this healthy recipe for eating . Feeling excited to serve this. Your other recipes are also fabulous.Thanks for your beautiful recipe. Nice post indeed, keep updating . I felt hungry... :-)

this was delicious i made this today it was delicious i will definitely make this again even my 3 yr old enjoyed it thanks for sharing. :)

This was easy, delicious, filling and made a giant pot. Hurray for leftovers! Enjoying it even more on day 2 with too many slices of sourdough bread to mop up the sauce. The sauce/pot liquor was finger licking good! I only used 3/4 tsp cinnamon and that was just right for us. Also used 1 tsp ground coriander instead of 1/2 tsp. Added in finely chopped cilantro stems with garlic. Also subbed cilantro for the parsley at the end. As for harissa - I would recommend starting with 2 tsp and adding more later, if you want more kick. I like harissa and spicy hot food in general, but the Trader Joe's harissa I have is spicy. Glad I followed my gut and started with less. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

Just made this for dinner, and I'd say it's more like 8 servings at least! I didn't read carefully and accidentally bought harissa powder instead of paste, but I mixed it up with some olive oil and a tiny bit of tomato paste to the right consistency and it worked well. It was delicious and filling! Thanks for the recipe.

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