Spicy chickpea stew with zucchini and kale for an easy dinner. The chickpeas are cooked in a spicy-smoky tomato sauce to take on the flavors of cumin, ground coriander, and smoked paprika. We round out the dish with cooked summer squash and kale to increase our daily serving of veggies. Then serve this oil-free vegan zucchini recipe with rice or couscous, and top with fresh chopped cilantro for an even more flavorful dish.
How to make chickpea tomato stew
For oil-free cooking, preheat a large nonstick soup pot or a large high-sided skillet. Now add the diced red onion and cook until it's translucent. Add a tablespoon of water if the onions start to stick to deglaze the pan.
Then add the diced zucchini and a pinch of salt. The vegetables will release some of their liquid and they’ll end up cooking in their own juices. Cook everything until the zucchini is tender and starts to become translucent around 8-12 minutes.
Next add the garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper, and cook for about one more minute. Then add the tomato paste and stir it into the seasonings, cook for about 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Next, add the diced tomatoes and use them to deglaze the pan and scrape off any browned bits from the veggies with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Now add the drained chickpeas and ¾ teaspoon of salt.
Bring the stew to a gentle simmer and let all of your ingredients cook covered which infuses the flavors into the chickpeas and tomatoes. Simmer for about 20 minutes, occasionally stirring. Then stir in the kale until it’s wilted and add the fresh lemon juice. Serve with your favorite grain and top with fresh chopped cilantro to add a nice freshness to the dish.
- Substitute the red onion for white or yellow onion, shallots would also be pretty good.
- Substitute the fresh kale for spinach.
- Add more crushed red pepper if you like it hot, the ½ teaspoon adds just a little heat.
- Add the fresh cilantro just before serving, the heat will diminish its flavor.
- Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
More Hearty Soups and Stews
- White bean and potato soup
- Butternut squash lentil soup
- Potato curry
- Slow cooker plant-based quinoa chili
- Instant pot red lentil chili (with instructions for stovetop)
As always, I hope you enjoy this recipe for a chickpea zucchini tomato stew! The recipe was inspired by the Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew recipe from the December 2015 issue of Eating Well magazine.Print
Spicy chickpea stew with zucchini and kale cooked in a smoky tomato sauce to take on the flavors of cumin, ground coriander, and smoked paprika.
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 medium (15 ounces (427 g) zucchini, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can ((28 oz) 794 g)) diced tomatoes
- 2 cans ((15 oz) 425 g)) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 large handfuls of fresh kale, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Brown rice, white rice, potatoes, or couscous
- In a preheated non-stick soup pot, cook the red onion for a few minutes until it starts to become translucent. For oil-free cooking, start with a dry pot (no oil) and add a tablespoon of water at a time if needed, or cook the onions with ¼ cup of water.
- Add the zucchini with a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 8-12 minutes, or until the zucchini has become tender (and no longer white but more yellow/green). Use a tablespoon of water at a time to deglaze the pan if the zucchini starts to stick.
- Stir in the garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper, then cook for about 1 minute until it’s aromatic.
- Add the tomato paste and stir it into the seasonings, cook for about 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Add the diced tomatoes, use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to scrape off the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chickpeas and the ¾ teaspoon of salt, then bring to a gentle simmer.
- Cook covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the bottom isn’t burning.
- Then stir in the kale until it’s wilted, then the fresh lemon juice.
- Serve over rice, potatoes, or couscous with fresh chopped cilantro.
For oil-free cooking, keep water in a container nearby for convenience.
Use ½-1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper depending on how spicy you want the stew.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: main course
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan chickpea stew, Chickpeas stew with spinach, Chickpea stew with kale