Moroccan Chickpea Tomato Stew
September 9, 2016

Moroccan Chickpea Tomato Stew | The Full Helping

Nothing makes me happier than tomato season. I’ve been soaking it up all month, and this week I’m celebrating with a flavorful and versatile Moroccan chickpea tomato stew.

No matter what else I make over the course of a given week, I almost always prepare a stew. I interpret “stew” pretty loosely: it could be a thick soup, a chili, or curried vegetables. Something that can easily be scooped over grains, enjoyed with pita slices, or sopped up with toast.

These meals are usually pretty easy to make. More importantly, they give me plenty of leftovers. I love the contrast of something spicy and flavorful with a starchy grain or bread accompaniment. This Moroccan chickpea tomato stew is a perfect example of how a single pot of cooked beans can turn into many different meals. I’ve now served it in and with pita, with rice, and over orzo.

Picking your tomatoes

I’ve been joking in my Instagram posts lately that I’m about to turn into a tomato, thanks to the pints and pints of cherry tomatoes that I’ve been gorging on (not to mention sliced heirlooms, roasted plum tomatoes with everything, tomato jam, and so on).

I used fresh tomatoes in this recipe, which gives it sweetness and the taste of summer. If tomatoes are in season where you are, I definitely recommend using them in the recipe. However, this stew can be made with canned tomatoes as well, which is a good option for the colder months.

I use whole, peeled tomatoes, and I crush them right in the pot. I think they’re more flavorful than diced tomatoes, but either will work in a pinch. In fact, in spite of their differences, most types of canned tomatoes can work here. This includes crushed or pureed.

When I use fresh tomatoes, I’ll usually add about a tablespoon of sugar to the recipe, for sweetness. If I use the canned tomatoes, which are a little more acidic, I’ll opt for two tablespoons. The sugar is optional; I like it, but the recipe will taste fine without it.

Tips for making Moroccan chickpea tomato stew

This Moroccan chickpea tomato stew is thankfully very easy to make. Even so, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

Give your tomatoes time to reduce

If you do use fresh tomatoes in the stew, they might be very juicy once you add them to the pot. Give them time to cook down and reduce. This will not only keep the stew from being watery, but also help to concentrate the flavors of the tomatoes.

Don’t skip the tahini! (But substitute it if you need to)

Usually I add cashew cream to recipes when I need creamy texture, but lately I’ve been expanding on this. Nowadays I might use a vegan unsweetened yogurt or creamer instead. Tahini was a new experiment when I tried it in this Moroccan chickpea tomato stew, and I was really happy with how it turned out. The tahini adds just enough creaminess without overpowering the fresh tomatoes.

If you don’t have tahini, you can use cashew butter or a few tablespoons of vegan yogurt (choose something unsweetened) instead.

Modify the texture to your liking

Before you add chickpeas to the stew, you can make the texture closer to a rich sauce or leave it chunky. It’s totally up to you, and it also depends on how you’d like to serve the chickpeas. If you’d like them over pasta, you may prefer them saucy. If you’d like to stuff them into a pita or scoop them up with some other flatbread, more texture may be nice.

I like to use my immersion blender to puree the tomatoes partially before I add the chickpeas. For me, this is the best of both worlds: textured, yet still soupy.

Moroccan Chickpea Tomato Stew | The Full Helping

Moroccan Chickpea Tomato Stew | The Full Helping

Moroccan Chickpea Tomato Stew

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 pounds chopped plum tomatoes, or 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar (to taste, will vary based on level of acidity and whether you use fresh or canned tomatoes)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (substitute cashew butter or a few tablespoons plain non-dairy yogurt)
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 14.5-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • cooked couscous, bulgur wheat, quinoa, brown rice, pita or other flatbread, or toast, for serving
  • fresh chopped parsley leaves, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion. Cook onion for five minutes, stirring now and then, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently and adding a tablespoon or two of water if the garlic starts to stick.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pot. If using canned whole peeled tomatoes, use a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to crush them well. Add 1 tablespoon sugar (more as needed) salt, coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, cloves, and cinnamon. Cook the tomatoes, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until they're thickening up and very bubbly. Add the broth or water, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the tahini and use an immersion blender to blend the soup partially, so that some pieces of tomato are still visible but the mixture is thick and resembles a chunky soup (you can also transfer half of the mixture to a standing blender and blend till smooth, then return it to the pot).
  • Stir in the chickpeas and vinegar. Cook for another 5 minutes. Taste the stew and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve with a grain of choice and a sprinkle of parsley, if desired.

Notes

Leftover stew will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge, and it can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Moroccan Chickpea Tomato Stew Close Up | The Full Helping

Spice it up

Don’t be afraid to add some variety to the spices that you use in the recipe. I added some of the spices that I know appear in a number of Moroccan recipes. I especially love using cinnamon and cloves in savory dishes. But I’m certainly no expert on cuisine from Morocco or the Middle East. I’m just a curious and appreciative cook who learns as I go. A good harissa paste could work well in this recipe, and if there’s a spice here that you don’t care for, you can omit or lessen it.

Sometimes there’s not too much to say about a recipe that’s flavorful, nutritious, versatile, and easy. Except maybe: try it! I hope you enjoy this Moroccan chickpea tomato stew as much as I have, and I hope you find ways to make it your own over time.

This has been a long week, and I’m very ready for the weekend. I’ll be hosting a friend who’s in town, and I’ll be catching up with another friend who was traveling all summer. After a few days of feeling pretty disconnected, I’m so looking forward to these these visits. See you on Sunday for weekend reading.

xo

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    37 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    An amazingly versatile recipe! I didn’t have tahini but noticed one of your commenters added a bit of sesame oil to theirs so I did the same – it was great!
    I also used a mixture of cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, a 796mL can of organic crushed tomatoes and only 1 cup of vegetable stock.
    SO GOOD! Ate it with couscous and some homemade sourdough garlic focaccia for dipping, a beautifully comforting meal that comes together in less than an hour! I love it!
    I’m also pregnant and cooking meat has been a no-go the last few days so its nice to have something filling and nutritious without my meat gags haha.
    Thanks so much for the recipe – will definitely be using it again!

  2. Delicious, only thing I would change is reducing the amount of broth if using fresh tomatoes. The moisture from the tomatoes was just about enough, only used ~1/2 c stock.

  3. Thanks for the recipe, I made it tonight. As my side I made whole grain couscous with vegetable stock and then mixed in fresh parsley and mint and a drizzle of olive oil. It was Devine! I’ll certainly be exploring your other recipes over the next week!

  4. 5 stars
    It was delicious. I used a little sesame oil because I didn’t have tahini and I ate it with warm pita bread. I also added chopped cilantro stems to the stew and cilantro leaves for garnish. Would definitely make this again

  5. Chickpea Stew

    I made this recipe today and it absolutely delicious. I will be making it again and often. Not only is it delicious but healthy and easy to make.

  6. 4 stars
    I made this for our Veggie Lunch Club. I added a little salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. Served with Israeli couscous. It was a great way to us up my garden tomatoes. Yum!

  7. 4 stars
    I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! The flavors work really nicely together and make for an excellent vegetarian meal. I really enjoyed it and plenty for leftovers! Pretty simple to make too. Will keep this one around 🙂 Thanks!

  8. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I didn’t feel like shopping and I wanted to use up my pantry items. This fit the bill perfectly to use up my canned chickpeas, canned tomatoes, boxed chicken stock, boxed couscous, and to bulk it up I threw in a can of diced potatoes! My son is allergic to tahini. I haven’t found a company that does not process their product without tree nuts being used on the equipment or in a tree nut free facility. So, I used peanut butter and it was very, very good!

    Thank you so much for a recipe I will be sure to make again and again.

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve been cooking since my childhood and this has surprisingly made it into my all-time top ten. The subtle nuttiness of the chickpeas and the tahini really elevate this otherwise fairly standard tomato stew onto a new level. Many thanks for sharing this experience!

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now and it is beyond delicious. Thank you for posting this recipe – will be scouring the site for more delicious ideas 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    This is the BEST stew ever. I usually HATE leftovers and require meat, but I happily eat this five days a week for lunch, over and over. THANK YOU!

  12. Just made this using my new instant pot. I’m a somewhat serious soup & stew maker, and have to say this recipe just may become one of my favorite vegan dishes – Thank you !

  13. 5 stars
    This looks seriously delicious! I’ve been looking for a new way to combine tomatoes and chickpeas so am definitely going to be giving this a go. Great work!

  14. 5 stars
    I just made this stew last night. The spices in it were so delicious and worked together perfectly. I also loved the tahini added to the tomato sauce because it gave it a little creaminess. I served this over millet because I was out of couscous. I even fooled the BF who thought it was couscous, haha. Thank you so much for the delicious recipe!

  15. I can’t blame you! Tomato is SO good and there are a lot of recipes that you can make with it! Like this gorgeous bowl of stew for example! It looks really yummy and I’d love to give it a try. I also like chickpea because of the texture, not sure why but it’s good!

  16. Haha, I love the tomato jokes 😀 I definitely share your love for stews AND tomatoes so this recipe just made it to my must-make list! And I absolutely love the cinnamon in there, that’s such a great touch! I’ve been so close-minded only putting it in my sweet recipes

  17. 5 stars
    Jackpot! I have every single ingredient already at home. I am soooo making this tonight. Thank you for sharing such a tasty( and not too complicated for those of us who are “kitchen” challenged!!)meal.

  18. 5 stars
    Hi Gena,
    This looks great! I can see that you are the same tomato addict as I am. Have you tried Tomimaro Mucho tomatoes?