Middle Eastern Lamb Stew

Middle Eastern Lamb Stew

26 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine January/February 2008

This brothy stew is boldly flavored with a blend of characteristic Middle Eastern spices and finished with fresh spinach and fiber-rich chickpeas. Economical lamb shoulder tenderizes beautifully when leisurely cooked in a slow cooker. If you can't find boneless shoulder stew meat, do not substitute more-expensive lamb leg—it tends to dry out during slow cooking. Instead, purchase lamb shoulder chops and debone them. Serve over bulgur and accompany with a salad.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb stew meat, (shoulder cut) or 2 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder chops, deboned, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or canola oil
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15- or 19-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 6 ounces baby spinach


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Place lamb in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Mix oil, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Coat the lamb with the spice paste and toss to coat well. Top with onion.
  2. Bring tomatoes, broth and garlic to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour over the lamb and onion. Cover and cook until the lamb is very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours on high or 5 1/2 to 6 hours on low.
  3. Skim or blot any visible fat from the surface of the stew. Mash 1/2 cup chickpeas with a fork in a small bowl. Stir the mashed and whole chickpeas into the stew, along with spinach. Cover and cook on high until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the stew, omitting the spinach, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 4 months. Add spinach after the stew is reheated. | Prep ahead: Trim lamb and coat with spice mixture. Chop onions. Combine broth, tomatoes and garlic. Refr
  • 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: about 1 cup
  • Per serving: 253 calories; 14 g fat(5 g sat); 5 g fiber; 12 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 58 mcg folate; 59 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2155 IU vitamin A; 16 mg vitamin C; 98 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 412 mg sodium; 570 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Reviews 26

January 18, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty, but needed a bit more ethnic flavor. This was in incredibly easy soup to prepare. I doubled it seeing as I had come across a great price on boneless lamb leg. DO NOT pay attention to the part where it says not to use leg meat if that's what you prefer using. I have always used leg meat for stews and it has never, ever been dry. It's super tender every time. I doubled the recipe because soup goes a long way in our house. I also added a 6 ox can of tomato paste (use 3 oz if you're doing a single batch) and used beef stock instead because that's what I happened to have in the house. As far as spices went, I looked up commonly used Middle Eastern spices and there is a long list of them, including turmeric and allspice. I added a teaspoon of each per batch and it made for a more well rounded Middle Eastern flavor. Instead of bulgar, we had it over couscous. Pros: Very easy, minimal prep Cons: Lacked a few important Middle Eastern spices, broth needed to be a little thicker.
November 25, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious, fragrant, and easy! I got 1.5 lbs of lamb stew meat from the butcher and tossed it in the seasonings in a plastic freezer bag, and left it in the fridge over night. I added more seasonings than was called for, at least a tablespoon each of coriander and cumin. I kept dashing in more of each spice, and pepper, until all the lamb stew meat was completely heavily coated in spice mixture. I sauteed onion, garlic, and a couple of carrots - left them in their own container in the fridge overnight, then put those in the bottom of the slow cooker and added one DRAINED 28-oz can of tomatoes. Then the broth, then I topped with the lamb meat and cooked on low for 9 hours (while I was at work). Afterwards I added a full drained 15 oz can of chickpeas which I mashed all of in a food processor. I didn't add the greens. It was the perfect amount of liquid and it was a delicious, hearty, fall stew. The lamb meat was so tender. Pros: easy, low fat, high protein Cons: not enough spices
September 28, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Truly enjoyed this! I just tossed everything into the crockpot - did not bother simmering the tomatoes, broth and garlic. Because it was a little watery, I decided to add a cup of rice an hour before it was finished, and that made it nice and thick. I also bought bone-in lamb accidentally, so I ended up with about a pound of lamb, and I think that was good as lamb is pretty flavorful. I think more would have made it over powering. Definitely will make again. I was careful to cook on low for only 6 hours. I hate overcooked crockpot food. Pros: Simple and delicious
September 08, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty I had some boneless leg of lamb steaks that the butcher cut too thin. I decided to cut them up into chunks. I added extra fresh ground coriander (5 tsp), extra cumin (4 tsp), extra garlic (6 cloves) and 2 very large onions I did not pre-saute anything. I used 1/4 cup organic chicken bouillon paste with out adding extra water(the onions and tomato will create the extra liquid). I let it cook on high all day. When the stew was done we separated most of the stew and liquid to cover in a serving dish and added couscous to the remaining liquid in the crock pot, letting that cook for 5 min. Sprinkled finishing sea salt to taste and a Mediterranean spice called Ras el Hanout which put it over the edge of fantastic! This is a keeper, even for me. I am not partial to over cooked meats. Pros: Simple & Quick don't forget your crock pot liner for no mess clean up Cons: Not for us
March 04, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Smells like an Old Shoe This lamb stew smells like an old shoe and tastes pretty terrible too. I can barely stomach it but I'm trying to finish it so as not to waste all the lamb. I followed the recipe exactly. Yuck. Pros: the bread I ate as a side was good Cons: everything about the stew
January 18, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Great Recipe! My husband and I are on a healthy kick and loosing weight. We needed a change from chicken. I trimmed up 2 lamb shanks on the bone. After all was done... I ended up with 1lb of meat. Instead of canned tomatoes, I used 3.5 homemade crushed tomatoes and 1 fresh. I used a whole can of low sodium chicken broth and instead of all the olive oil I used 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. To us, it didn't need any salt, but we have been on a very low sodium diet....so the mix of foods was enough flavor. It all worked great. I used the suggestion and used bulgur. Defiantly will do this again! Pros: Healthy and Hearty!
April 01, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Sounds delicious but anything but delicious I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and I thought it sounded delicious so I printed a copy. Over the weekend I made it. I was so disappointed. First of all the stew was watery, second it lacked any flavor, and finally I wasted my heard earned money on lamb. I even tried marinating the meat in the spices for 2 hours and used the lamb bones from the lamb shoulder. That did not add any flavor. I cut down on the broth because there was too much liquid from the tomatoes, and there still was too much liquid in the end. I hate wasting food but after giving the stew another shot the following day, it is going out into the garbage. Pros: Can't think of any Cons: Waste of money
January 13, 2013
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By: nhunter
A hit This stew came together quickly and easily. I used regular spinach instead of baby spinach, so that added to the prep time. Canned chick peas (AKA, garbanzo beans) worked very well. I cooked it on low for the minimum length of time (5 1/2 hours) and consequently the meat was still a little chewy. The flavors were very well balanced. I like spicy food and this was definitely on the mild end of the scale but by no means bland. The warmth of the seasonings harmonized nicely with the umami of the meat juices and the vegetable bitterness of the spinach. I will definitely be preparing this dish again. Pros: Delicious, easily assembled Cons: Lamb stew meat was surprisingly hard to find
October 15, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Excellent! I made this with dry chickpeas and lentils (with the lamb). I soaked the peas and lentils in water for about 6 hours, drained them and added them to the crock pot. I cooked everything for about 5 hours on high. Served with mashed potatoes (we'd had rice and pasta just earlier this week). My 7 year old didn't care for it due to the onions, and my husband liked it. I loved it. Our 1.5 yr old didn't like it. I'll make it again and increase the spices a little. Next time I'll probably make it with either venison or goat. Pros: Smelled wonderful. Cons: The mix of spices was wonderful, next time I'll increase them some to boost the intensity of flavors