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Recipe for spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew with garlic and mint {gluten-free}

Spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew with garlic and mint, from The Perfect Pantry.

When the last of Bob and Charlotte's canoe-size zucchini appeared in my car (how careless of me to leave the car unlocked in their driveway), I planned to turn that zucchini, along with a few trimmings of some very ripe tomatoes, into a curry. Along the way, however, cinnamon and cumin called out to me, and just like that, this mildly spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew veered off toward the Middle East. A few sprigs of mint from my garden gave the dish just the right amount of brightness, without overwhelming the delicate zucchini flavor, and turmeric turned it a glowing golden color. As with all stews, this was even better on the second day, served over fluffy brown rice.

Zucchini and tomato stew.

Spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew with garlic and mint

From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, agave nectar, kosher salt.

If you love chickpeas, add those to turn this into a heartier vegan main dish. Serves 4.


2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 enormous zucchini, cubed (6 cups of cubes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
2 cups cubed fresh tomatoes, seeded (do not peel), or 1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
1/2 to 1 tsp agave nectar, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
1 tsp fresh mint leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried mint


In a small (4-quart) tall-sided sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and zucchini, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the zucchini is slightly softened.

Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne and turmeric, and cook for 2 minutes.

Then, add the tomato, and stir well. Reduce the heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Taste, and add agave nectar and salt, along with the mint. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half.

Serve hot or at room temperature, over brown or white rice. Or, cool completely, and refrigerate. Like all stews, this one tastes even better the second day.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Zucchini, tomato, white bean and basil soup
Puff pastry tartlets with zucchini and slow-roasted tomato filling
Slow cooker ratatouille
Chicken ratatouille

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Zucchini tomato mozzarella pie, from Gluten-free Goddess
Zucchini and chickpea tagine, from Herbivoracious
Zucchini cookies, from My Baking Addiction
Zucchini and tomato gratin, from Andrea Meyers
Tunisian vegetable ragout with quinoa, from The Taste Space


Need more creative ideas for using zucchini? Get 23 Zucchini, my e-book packed with fantastic recipes, full-color photos and a few fun videos. With the FREE Kindle Reading app, delicious zucchini recipes will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

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.


Six cups from one zucchini?! Wow, that thing really must have been canoe-sized! This sounds fantastic, Lydia.

Cookin' Canuck, remember those old fish tales? How big was that zucchini? It was THIS big!

Delicious vegan food is why the number of vegans has doubled in less than 3 years.

This does look like a great way to use those over sized zucchinis we all don't know what to do with. I love that you added mint for a surprise.

JC, we're not vegans in my house, but we love making vegan food a few times a week.

Donna, the mint in my garden practically walks itself up the steps into my kitchen! It's a great addition to this stew.

I have planted over 8 mint plants in my yard this year (they are useful for repelling rodents from the yard) and now I am on a mint kick! thanks!

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