Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

54 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, February/March 2006

Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • ¾ cup dried chickpeas
  • 2½ pounds kabocha squash, (see Note) or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron, (see Note)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain when ready to use.
  2. Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  3. Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6½ hours.
  4. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
  • Tips: Kabocha is a squash with a green-streaked rind and tender, sweet orange flesh. An average kabocha weighs two to three pounds.
  • Considered the world's most expensive spice, saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color. It is sold in threads and powdered form.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1¼ cups
  • Per serving: 283 calories; 6 g fat(1 g sat); 13 g fiber; 46 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 107 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 16,559 IU vitamin A; 25 mg vitamin C; 100 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 667 mg sodium; 870 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (331% daily value), Vitamin C (42% dv), Folate (27% dv), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 1 vegetable, 1½ lean meat

Reviews 54

October 07, 2019
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By: euppstrom
I roasted the squash and increased the spices, and the kitchen smelled good. However, I ended up with a gloppy mush. I thinned it down from mashed potato consistency but still it was not appealing. I’m sure it was nutritious and glad to have a vegan recipe but it wasn’t very good. Doesn’t work well as a crock pot recipe. Perhaps if I had added the squash in the last few minutes, and maybe something else with texture such as cauliflower ...
July 07, 2019
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By: Leah
I really enjoyed this recipe and I didn't make any changes. Would definitely make it again.
June 28, 2017
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By: Garrett
low calorie and very good. I used turmeric instead of Saffron because I'm cheap but it was still good.
February 06, 2017
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By: Lynn Wood
I usually modify recipes. In the case of this recipe, I used squash that was already cooked, canned chick peas and cooked the lentils from scratch. I added coconut yogurt and peanut butter to the broth and upped the quantity of spices and it was delicious!
October 16, 2016
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By: Christa Selig
I cooked this for eight hours, but the chickpeas and squash never cooked; I should have cooked the chickpeas and squash ahead of time. This is why I have not made a slow-cooker recipe in quite a long time. Will not make again. Chickpeas take two hours to cook under normal conditions in order to attain a creamy texture.
December 12, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Bland, but easy to improve I like the idea but the taste is quite bland - Have modified it by roasting the butternut squash beforehand (just cut in chunks, season with olive oil and a good amount of spices, chilli and salt and roast in hot oven until cooked) Pros: MAkes a one dish meal Cons: not enough spices, red lentils per se are quite flavourless so they do benefit from strong hot flavo
October 19, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Fall Delight Amazing fall prep dish, great to add chicken breast to it Pros: Filling
October 03, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty when spiced up Just made this tonight and am very happy with it. I tripled the ginger, doubled the cumin and tomato paste, added three cloves of garlic, two tsp smoked paprika, one tsp turmeric, a chicken boullion cube, and about a cup of coconut milk (the kind you drink from the refrigerator section, not the canned condensed stuff). Cooked it in a dutch oven on low heat for about 3.5 hours (adding the canned garbanzo beans about 2 hours in), and it's perfect, very flavorful.
January 26, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
You want to nail this stew, saute crushed garlic, 1 large red and 1 medium white chopped onions in 1 cooking spoon Olive oil for 3 to 5 mins; add the tomato paste or sauce, leave on the stove, medium heat and keep stirring to prevent burning or sticking for another 5 mins., then add your broth or stock, cover and allow to boil for 3 to 5 mins, then add other ingredients. I used curry and turmeric, a pinch or 2 of cummin instead of saffron. Forget the ginger and lime. Chicken stock cube and a little hot pepper and you're done. The whole house smells exotic. I also used chickpeas from can. I know, I am from north Africa.
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