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Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

  • 30 m
  • 8 h
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.”


    • 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


  • 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.
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