Flavours of Morocco-Inspired Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 16 votes

Wholesome vegetable and chickpea stew inspired by Moroccan flavours--lots of warm spices and a little textural interest from chopped dates. The warm spice mixture that includes cinnamon can also be traced to harira.

An overhead shot of vegetable and chickpea stew on a light grey background. The stew is deep red and has a scoop of brown rice on top.
Side angle shot of vegetable and chickpea stew on a light grey background.
Carrot greens in harsh light with a hand beginning to pull some of the greens out of the ground.
Kale growing in a garden in harsh light.


You can file this one under “stuff I actually make with frequency.” Most of the time I just have an idea in an offhand sort of way and it ends up here. Then there’s that pile of old reliables that I make all the time, without even thinking that maybe they could be awesome and useful for others.

I really wanted the ritual of a leisurely, stew-centered afternoon, just to usher in Fall. The air smells like crushed grape skins and crunchy, slowly-fading leaves at night. I got a new mug for all those hot beverages and our apple tree is just loaded right now.

But on this stew! The first time I had a totally vegan dining experience, I ate something like this. I read “sweet potatoes, warm spices, smoky tomatoes, wilted greens etc etc,” on the menu and knew that I would love it. It was familiar, comforting, a bit new to me in some ways, and it came with a fluffy scoop of grains.

On the menu, this was called “Moroccan Stew.” From some Googling and poking around, I am gathering that the flavours and texture were inspired by harira, a tomato-based soup with chickpeas, lentils and a warm mixture of spices that includes cinnamon. I will note that every recipe I read for harira involved a thickening agent such as eggs or flour, and often some type of meat. I think the inspiration for the restaurant dish that I’m recalling was in flavour profile only. If you like, you can read more about harira and its association with Ramadan on the Taste of Marco site.

Shortly after this dinner, I was sold on the whole plant-based way of life. Then I figured out how to make this beautifully spiced vegetable and chickpea stew home! I add chopped dates and a little lemon zest, go heavy on the warm spices–the cinnamon is the best part–and I utilize one of my fave pantry items: fire roasted crushed tomatoes. Getting real cozy here!

If you like this stew, I bet you’ll also enjoy this sweet potato salad that’s inspired by the same flavours!

Four prep photos for this vegetable stew: 2 deep red heirloom carrots on a cutting board, the carrots chopped on the cutting board, a container of Medjool dates in a white background, and an open can of chickpeas near a stainless steel sink.
An overhead shot of Moroccan-inspired vegetable and chickpea stew in a light beige Dutch oven with a wooden spoon sticking out on a light grey background. The stew is deep red and topped with lots of chopped parsley and cilantro.
An overhead shot of bowls of Moroccan-inspired vegetable and chickpea stew on a light grey background. The stew is deep red and both bowls are garnished with a scoop of brown and wild rice mixture.

Morocco-Inspired Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Wholesome vegetable and chickpea stew inspired by Moroccan flavours–lots of warm spices and a little textural interest from chopped dates.
5 from 16 votes
An overhead shot of a Morocco-inspired vegetable and chickpea stew with a scoop of mixed brown rice on top. The soup is in a red patterned bowl on top of a grey background in evening light.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

Stew

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, plus extra
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chopped greens of choice , kale, spinach, collards etc

To Serve

  • chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro
  • finely grated lemon zest
  • cooked grain of choice , such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, or couscous

Notes

  • I like to slowly cook the onions and spices out in the oil before I add everything else, almost stewing them in a way. The raw-ness of the spice goes away and the onions almost “melt” into the soup. If your onions are browning too fast during this process, just lower the heat a bit.

Instructions

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and lower heat until they are sizzling kind of quietly. Once the onions are a bit soft and translucent, add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander and chili flakes. Slowly sauté and stir this mix until the onions are really, really soft, about 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the chopped dates, carrots and sweet potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables in the spices and oil. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer until the sweet potatoes are just tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Add the chopped yellow peppers and chickpeas and stir the soup. Season the whole thing again with salt and pepper. Simmer until the yellow peppers are tender and the sweet potatoes are quite soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the greens to the pot (and more stock if necessary) and cook for 1 minute, or until just-wilted. Check the soup for seasoning and serve it hot with cooked grains, drizzles of olive oil, lemon zest and chopped herbs.
26/09/2013 (Last Updated 03/08/2023)
Posted in: autumn, carrots, chickpeas, earthy, gluten free, kale, main course, nut free, refined sugar-free, salty, side dish, soup, sour, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, vegan, winter

72 comments

Recipe Rating




  • C.

    L dear — i don’t know why i haven’t made this before but this is absolutely THE BOMB.
    wanting to have leftovers for days!!!!!!!!!
    xx

  • Susan

    This is such an amazing recipe! Rich and sweet and flavoursome and wholesome. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cara's Healthy Cravings

    Just made this for dinner this evening. On a cold winter’s night, this is more than perfect! Thanks so much for the fabulous recipe.

  • Nada

    This looks fantastic! I seriously am going to try this vert soon! Also, What greens did you use in this recipe? Thanks!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Nada! I used a mix of chopped up beet tops and swiss chard, but kale, spinach, and mustard greens would also be good. Whatever you like! :)
      -L

  • Karyn Mason

    Avid cook and baker looking to add more vegetable based recipes to my mental recipebox. I read recipes for inspiration never follow completely. This Moroccan Vegie Stew sounds heavenly.

  • Devki

    I just tried this, as and when I started adding the spices to the oil the kitchen started smelling wonderful. It takes while to cook but the results are worth it. Tasted so good. I am and Indian and I ate this with chapati and It was perfect.

    Thanks :)

  • Sarah

    I made this for dinner tonight. even without the onions and garlic, which I’m allergic to so had to omit, it was FABULOUS! I used chard and devoured a big bowl. This will definitely be going in my recipe box for the future. Thank you for sharing!

  • Fleur

    My mouth is watering just reading through this recipe! I genuinely cannot wait to try it.

  • Alice

    I made this today and it was absolutely delicious! Loads of interesting flavours, I definitely this sweating the onions in the spices before adding any other ingredients is a great tip. Excited to try some more of your recipes.

  • Lutch

    Just made this, it was easy to make and very delicious. Probably the only success I’ve ever had in the kitchen. Excited to try many of your other recipes!

  • Hannah

    Such a lovely dish with beautiful warming flavours. Served my with yoghurt and fresh coriander. Definitely on my list of favourite recipes now.

  • Luz

    I made this for dinner tonight with some changes due to a dwindling pantry. I didn’t have coriander, crushed tomatoes, dates, stock, greens, or yellow pepper. I added more cinnamon and cumin, fresh chopped tomatoes, well salted water, bay leaf, and lastly green and red bell peppers. It was AMAZING. This was really easy, filled the apartment with a wonderful aroma. My 19-month old loved it with some rice. I will definitely be making this again, I can’t imagine how good it will be with all of the ingredients. Thank you very much for the lovely recipe!

  • Lois gagnon

    This looks delicious and I’m going to make it, but it would be nice to have a printer friendly version without the pictures.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Lois, I haven’t found a “print recipe” plug-in option that I’m happy with yet. I am working on this though. In the meantime, if you would like to print the recipes without pictures, you could always copy the text and then paste it into a word processor.
      -L

  • Petra

    Hi, made one based on your recipe yesterday (cooked chickpeas myself, no dates but raisins, no pepper as I did not have one, herbs was fresh coriander), served it with basmati cooked with couple of cardamon pods, stick of cinnamon and teaspoon of whole cumin tossed with caramelized onions and more raisins. Looked great, smelled great, tasted great and was really healthy. Very pleased. Will read more of your recipes for some inspiration since I love cooking, too.

  • Maggie

    I seriously survive off of this stuff. My very favorite thing to make in the fall. The flavors are perfectly cozy and comforting. I ate it for breakfast this morning at work and got some looks, but I don’t care if people judge me for having stew for breakfast. It’s just that good.

  • Lana

    I made this tonight for my weekly soup lunch stash. Oh man, the flavours are so intense! Love the idea of the rice on top, too. Perfect for the first snowfall of the year.

  • Holly

    Delicious! Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe. I added pine nuts, fresh halved cherry tomatoes and cilantro to serve. The pine nuts are a great addition.

  • dervla @ the curator

    Laura!!! This stew needs to be in my life right now. Gorgeous and stomach warming.

  • Kate Barton

    Oh my goodness! Yum! I really loved this recipe! Thank you for all your recipes, I am on an anti-inflammatory diet and your recipes have been a lifesaver.

  • Kelly

    Laura – I skipped the slow cooker. This stew is amazing. Thank you for the recipe!!

  • stacey snacks

    Oh my! I made this tonight for dinner (minus the yellow pepper), and served over couscous w/ fresh cilantro.

    AH-MAZING! No meat missed in this house tonight!
    Thanks, will be re-posting soon.

    Stacey

  • Sophie

    I made this for dinner. It was heavenly! The left overs were even better. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Emily

    Made this last night, so good!

  • Hannah

    I love the Muir Glen tomatoes but have never tried the fire roasted. If/when you have kids you might find that tinned tomatoes, ‘stock helpers’ and canned beans become much more regular players in your kitchen – and a recipe like this one will be even more beloved. I can’t wait to try it, myself.

  • Kathryn

    I pretty much want to eat this and nothing else for the rest of time. Love that spicy smoky sweetness and all that goodness.

  • Kelly

    Is it possible to throw all these fab ingredients in the slow cooker? Im not lazy… but sometimes I am. And this sounds really delish…thoughts?

    • Laura Wright

      Hey Kelly, I think you might be able to… Maybe leave out the cooked beans and greens until closer to the end of cooking time though. I don’t have much experience with slow cookers, so have no idea what speed, time etc you would have to apply… Let me know how it goes if you try it out! :)
      -L

  • Renata

    OMG! I just finished cooking this amazing Moroccan Stew and prepared some couscous with it, we absolutely love it. Thank you for this recipe! ❤️

  • Christine

    This is exactly what I want now that it’s getting a little chilly out at night. Looks so lovely! I think I saw Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes in your picture. Where did you find those?! Whenever I am in big cities in the US (NYC, Boston) I always stop by Whole Foods and pack them away in my suitcase because I’ve never been able to find them here in Niagara. But maybe you have?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Christine, I always buy the Muir Glen tomatoes over at Wegman’s in Niagara Falls NY/Amherst when we make a trip over. They’re truly the best.
      -L

  • Meredith @ Live Local Greens

    I will DEFINITELY be making this! Love hearty stews in Autumn and Moroccan flavours are the bomb! I actually just posted a Morrocan-y vibed recipe on my blog yesterday too! Thank you for sharing one of your fave dishes :)

  • S

    Thinking about making a double batch to have on hand for those harried weeknight dinners. Do you think it would freeze well (with the greens omitted)

    • Laura Wright

      Hi S! I freeze this stew all the time (without the greens as you said) :)
      -L

  • Nicola Galloway

    I love the combo of spices used in Moroccan cooking. Will have to try this. Beautiful bowl you have served the stew in.

  • mich

    Baby, you’ve got a stew going!

    Seriously though, this looks great. Wondering if one could sub other dried fruit for the dates – dried apricots, raisins etc…?

    • Laura Wright

      Michelle! I’ve made this with dried apricots and currants too. Way tasty any old way you go really :)

  • Stacy

    This looks FANTASTIC. Another winner, my friend. (: I am all about ushering in fall with this sort of coziness, and the flavor combinations sound absolutely delicious. I’ll be making this for sure!

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Ahhhh Sandra Lee. You can always count on her for a good laugh. Like in this video: http://youtu.be/we2iWTJqo98 All joking a side, this soup looks lovely :) It’s fall and I’m ready for some SOUP!

  • grace

    Oh golly that Sandra Lee! This video never gets old for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLMNZ6xY6YY
    Your soup looks absolutely delicious. I shared the link around the office so I could drool over the pictures with my coworkers and it’s not even lunchtime yet!

  • dishing up the dirt

    It has finally gotten cool enough here to enjoy hearty food like this! This is my favorite kind of stew. The right amount of spice packed full of veggies. Love it!

  • Mariela

    Love it! I might just have to make this tonight.

  • The Peace Patch

    zowie that looks so temptingly delicious! I love dates and cinnamon in anything and chickpeas too and ohgoodgolly it’s all together in one!
    Purple rice pilaf…that is so intriguing. Not that this needs it, but purple rice just sounds like a bowlful of fun. ;)

  • Ashley

    This is absolutely wonderful!!! That first photo is killer. I also agree about the fire roasted tomatoes. They just add so much! This sounds like the exact thing I want in my belly for lunch…and dinner..for the next month. So glad you were able to take a little breather between vacation + work/life when you got home. xo

  • Ashlae

    Hellllll yes. I had a high vibe vegan stew at a biergarten (OF ALL PLACES) and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. Super bummed I won’t have a proper kitchen to make this for a couple more months – but I know there’s a can of fire roasted tomatoes tucked away in a box labeled “pantry” just waiting to rage with chickpeas and sweet potatoes and cozy spices.

  • Reeve

    Oh. my. goodness. Looks so yummy! Will definitely be trying this one once I’m back home. perfect start to fall!

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    This kind of stew is my absolute favorite! I love the spice, the veggies, the depth, oh my! Lovely pictures as always Laura!

  • Claire (Eat Well. Party Hard.)

    “She mixed a quart-box of tomato soup and a jar of salsa, simmered that shit, and called it MEXICAN TOMATO SOUP.”

    Tha fuck is this shit??

    On a happier note, it’s rad that you added dates to this dish. Sweet in savory = win every time.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I love a good stew like this – especially in fall. Looks lovely!

  • Lana

    Have you done a post on kitchen gear? If so….I’ve missed it :). I’d love to see the pots, pans, baking sheets, etc etc. I make do with what I’ve accumulated over time, but I’d love to know what you’d recommend to have if I purposefully shopped for an excellent kitchen set-up :)

    • Laura Wright

      Hey Lana! I’m thinking of doing something like that, along with a pantry basics kind of thing when I move into the new house. So possibly soon! :)
      -L

  • Kristen

    This looks way better than the version sold at Urban Herbivore…and it doesn’t come with a side of hipster abuse!

  • Danielle

    This is so, so perfect for cooler weather! Thank you. I love how Moroccan(-inspired) cuisine combines sweet and savory so deliciously.

  • Harriet

    I have a similar recipe in regular rotation during the cooler months, but I think yours might be better! I love the Moroccan combo of lemon, cinnamon and tomato. Also adding dried fruit to anything is guaranteed to make it doubly delicious! Big pot meals for the win :)

  • Emma

    I posted a very similar recipe just yesterday- My red lentil + root vegetable tagine! I love the fragrant spices and sweetness from the dried fruit.