Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

February/March 2006

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (497 votes)

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

"It wasn't bad, but we definitely won't be making it again. Not very much flavor (and I did use the garlic, parsley & hot sauce). ***If you're going to try this recipe anyway, I would suggest making pumpkin bread as well. It's very...
Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

Makes: 8 servings

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Total Time:


  • 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash, (see Note) or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron, (see Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 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 6 1/2 hours.
  4. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
  • Notes: 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.


Per serving: 294 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 14 g protein; 11 g fiber; 578 mg sodium; 1029 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (310% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Folate (30% dv), Potassium (27% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2.5 starch, 1 vegetable, 1.5 lean meat

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