Seven Spice Chickpea Stew with Tomatoes & Coconut

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 22 votes

Seven spice chickpea stew with tomato and coconut is a healthy weeknight meal that's ready in 40 minutes, naturally vegan and gluten-free.

An up close, overhead shot of seven spice chickpea stew over millet polenta in a matte black bowl. There is a light grey napkin nearby. This is all photographed on top of a beige linen tablecloth.
A head on shot of my butcher block kitchen counter with a jar of crushed tomatoes on top, along with a container of chickpeas, a container of millet, some parsley and an onion. White subway tile and open kitchen shelves are in the background.
An up close shot of ground spices in a white bowl.


My favourite meals, the ones that satisfy me to the core, are either the tasty ones that come together real fast (Burrito Bowls!) or the ones that use up all the little languishing bits in the refrigerator with unexpectedly amazing results. Minus the fresh herb sprinkle at the end, this quick recipe is all fairly common pantry staples. Although the ragged bits of parsley that I used actually came from my struggling planter outside, so it was all “pantry” for me :)

One of my keys to fast/tasty meal success though: my man and I eat some kind of tomato-based concoction over starch at least once a week. Whether that’s basic tomato sauce and brown rice spaghetti, or Morocco-inspired Stew with quinoa, or even just a quickie tomato soup with fresh bread. It’s basically in our blood at this point, but I’ve never canned a tomato in my life.

I pick my battles when it comes to making things totally from scratch. I’m a busy-ish person who appreciates efficiency. I love making fresh nut milk or creamer, growing vegetables from seed, or practicing my skills with homemade bread, but canning is something that kinda puts me on edge. Something about the steamy heat and the sanitizing and the jars everywhere. The quality of preserved produce you can find in nicer grocery stores is pretty spectacular nowadays too.

I’ve been using Muir Glen Organic tomatoes for years, and if you’ve been following along here, you know that my devotion to the fire-roasted ones is do or die. When Muir Glen invited me to come check out their farm, compost, and canning facility (and the outdoor fire roaster!!) in California last Fall, my excitement was off the charts.

It was about 107 degrees and dusty from the draught when we were there, but the processing from farm to can/jar kind of blew me away. We picked and ate the actual tomatoes that they use right there in the field with fresh basil, salt, olive oil, and bread. While we were snacking, truckloads of tomatoes were driving by to their canning facility. We learned that the process time from field to can is 8 hours or less, and I kinda had a hunch that this was true before they even told us because the taste is so genuinely and richly tomato-y.

I used their new line of jarred tomatoes for this recipe. I love the flavor in these and also the fact that I can use a cup or so, screw the lid on, and slide the jar back in the refrigerator.

The quality of the tomatoes and the freshness of your spices will make this recipe. Once your ingredients are lined up, this hearty and cozy bowl comes together in 20 minutes. The seven spice chickpea stew is lightly creamy and fragrant with coconut, and the spices make it interesting (but all of them are common spices). We ate this with some millet polenta and it was just the thing for a cold winter night. I think there might be a few more of those coming up.. ;)

A high 3/4 angle shot of ingredients for a stew on top of a beige tablecloth.
An overhead shot of seven spice chickpea stew over millet polenta in 2 matte black bowls. There is a light grey napkin and a cast iron skillet with the stew nearby. This is all photographed on top of a beige linen tablecloth.
A 3/4 angle shot of seven spice chickpea stew in a cast iron skillet topped with chopped parsley.

Seven Spice Chickpea Stew with Tomatoes and Coconut

Seven spice chickpea stew with tomato and coconut is an easy and healthy weeknight meal that's naturally vegan and gluten-free. Comes together all on the stovetop in 40 minutes!
5 from 22 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings 4 (with sides)

Ingredients

Spice Blend

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Stew

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • spice blend (see below!)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup jarred/canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • cup chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro (or a combination)

Notes

  • This stew has very few ingredients, so it’s ideal to use good quality tomatoes and fresh spices.
  • I made this during the day for the purpose of photographing/sharing it here, but when I reheated it for dinner, I added about 1 cup of chopped Swiss chard for an extra hit of greens.

Instructions

  • Make the spice blend. In a bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric, dried oregano, chili flakes, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a deep cast iron skillet or a small soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is lightly shimmering, add the onions to the pan. Cook and stir the onions until translucent and quite soft, about 5-6 minutes. You want the onions to be quietly sizzling while they cook, so lower the heat if necessary.
  • Add the spice blend to the skillet and stir. Once the spices are quite fragrant and fully integrated with the onions (about 1 minute), add the tomato paste, mashing it with the back of your spoon into the spices and oil. Add the garlic and chickpeas and stir the mixture for 30 seconds.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and tomatoes to the pan and stir, using the back of your spoon to scrape up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan. Add the coconut milk to the skillet and season the stew with salt and pepper.
  • Bring the seven spice chickpea stew to a boil, and then lower the heat to a light simmer. Cook the stew for about 10-15 minutes, or until the flavours have melded to your liking. Garnish the top of the stew with the chopped parsley/cilantro. Serve stew hot with polenta, brown rice or any other accompaniment you like.

*This post was created in partnership with Muir Glen Organic. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!

20/01/2016 (Last Updated 22/04/2023)
Posted in: autumn, chickpeas, coconut milk, earthy, gluten free, main course, nut free, quick, refined sugar-free, salty, side dish, soup, spicy, spring, summer, tomatoes, umami, vegan, winter

72 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Valerie

    5 stars
    This was so so yummy! I will definitely be making this again and again. Thank you.

  • Kay

    5 stars
    I added peas, bell peppers, and carrots to mine…sooo good. I loved the creamy hint of coconut. This went well with a side of yams, quinoa, and turnip greens. Hearty, healthy, and filling. Thank you!

  • Michelle

    Hi, I made this for my lunchboxes next week and had to try it while cooling on the stove….omg! It is amazing! I have been following your blog for a while and this was the first recipe I tried. Thank you for an awesome recipe and blog Greetings from Sweden 

  • Debbie

    5 stars
    I love chickpea stews and curries and this was delicious! It was so quick and easy to make for a meat-free meal! I did substitute the coconut milk for almond milk (less of it) and it turned out well. I served this over long-grain white rice.

  • Mily

    5 stars
    Really good

  • Toni

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! I paired it with seasoned couscous and my husband couldn’t stop raving! 

  • Michael Anderson

    5 stars
    This was fantastic will certainly be making it again

  • Dana

    5 stars
    A lovely and simple weeknight stew. We served over some crispy roasted potatoes…just yum.

  • Katie LaCroix

    Hello.  You said dried chilies–aren’t there many kinds?  What should I buy?  Also, how spicy is this?  Could I leave out the chilies to avoid it being to spicy for me?  (I can’t do spicy, as much as I wish I could.)

    • Laura

      Hi Katie,
      In this recipe, I’m referring to dried red chili flakes. I don’t find this overly spicy myself, but if you decide to leave the chili component out, this recipe is still quite flavourful.
      -L

  • Emily

    I’ve never left a comment before on a food blog but this was so good I had to! This stew is so perfect and comforting but still feeling very healthy. I’ve paired it with polenta, coconut rice, pita, and I’ve even used the stew as filling for a wrap. Thank you so much for always posting such good recipes. Every single recipe I’ve made from your blog/cookbook has been a knockout!

  • Elizabeth

    My entire family LOVED this including a picky 3 year old. So delicious. Served over mashed millet and cauliflower. Really excellent fresh and as leftovers and also quite quick and easy – big payoff for not too much work. Thank you!

  • Tessa

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was SO good!! I scraped up every last bit of the spiced tomato sauce with my spoon :) definitely will be making again!

  • Mari Huff

    This was an amazingly good dish!! The spice profile was delicious and fit my palate perfectly.. thank you for this recipe and it is a keeper!! I served over spaghetti squash to keep my calories low and had to restrain myself from overindulgence

  • Elizabeth

    Laura!

    I just wanted to share with you that this is one of the recipes on regular rotation around here. I love that it heats up well, so I can take the leftovers to work for lunch. To go with the stew, I make basmati coconut rice by using the rest of the can of coconut milk that is leftover from making the stew. It adds an extra depth of amazing-ness to this dish.

    Thank you!

    • Laura

      Thank you for this! Fixed it up.
      -L

  • Hannah

    Just prepped this tonight to bring to school this week. I have only sampled it but it is delicious! I added mushrooms and used normal milk as I ran out of coconut milk.

  • Katie McMullin

    I love this recipe, have done it a few times now. Would like to try using fresh tomatoes, any suggestion on the amount and how it might change the process?

  • Luisa

    Hello!
    I’ve made this today and I loved it. It is so so conforting! And the creamyness of the millet polenta is wonderful!
    Thank you for such a great recipe! Kisses from Portugal :)

  • Mary Ann

    My guy made this Saturday night, omg, so delicious! Can you help with your preferred way to cook dried chick peas?

    • Laura

      Sorry this reply is so late! I use THIS slow cooker method from The Kitchn every single time.
      -L

  • vivian

    I made this for dinner last night and loved it, as I knew I would. The surprise was that my husband, who is usually a meat and potatoes guy, agreed to try some with his chicken dinner, and then asked for seconds! That’s the true sign of a winner in my books. I served it over firm polenta slices sautéed till just crispy on the outside, still creamy on the inside. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  • Vanessa Pita

    Hi Laura,

    I would just like to commend you on this recipe. I made it last night! It was the most amazing vegan dish I have ever had in my life. I have recently become vegan, and I don’t know why I didn’t become vegan sooner! The flavors of this meal just ooze in your taste buds and your nostril buds HEHE. I made GMO free Polenta to compliment the Chickpeas, and it is divine! I will definitely be making this again! Thank you!

    Just a question though – I could not find any jarred tomatoes :-(. So I had to buy cans. Would it be wise and would it taste the same buying organic tomatoes and dicing them up myself?

    Vanessa from Cape Town, South Africa.

    • Laura

      Hey Vanessa!
      Thanks for this lovely comment. I’m so glad that you liked the recipe! And to your question: you want to use preserved tomatoes for this as opposed to fresh diced–that’s what gives this the stew-y texture. I don’t always have access to jarred tomatoes and use canned ones quite often! :)
      -L

  • Carolyn

    this is soooooooo good and comforting and balanced!!! I am cooking my way through your blog and have yet to be disappointed. I almost just made rice to go with this, but am SO glad I tried the millet polenta, it is so delicious and innovative and went perfectly with the stew. Thnk you for another awesome recipe!!

  • Jen

    Made this for date night on Monday, and OMG it was so good. And we felt virtuous enough after having this for dinner that we could splurge on dessert! :) Sharing this recipe with everyone I know!!! Thanks!!!

  • ruchi kasajoo

    This looks amazing!! I am definitely making this for weekend lunch. And your pictures are amazing :D

  • Dana Wms.

    Hi, I would like to try your chickpea stew with tomatoes and coconut, but I don’t like chickpeas. Can you recommend some peas, beans, and other veggies that can take the place of the chickpea? I notice a few of for recipes have chickpeas trying to ear a little healthier. Thanks.

    • Laura

      Hi Dana, you could use the same amount of cooked green or French lentils or navy beans. Even some lightly blanched cauliflower florets would be delicious in place of the chickpeas.
      -L

  • Emily

    Looking forward to making this! Love your measuring cups! Where are they from?

    • Laura

      They’re from Pier 1 Imports (HERE), but honestly I wouldn’t recommend them! The copper finish has been rubbing/chipping off some of them and the handles are a little flimsy. I’ve seen similar ones at Anthropologie and Crate & Barrel that may be better quality for the price.
      -L

      • Emily

        Thanks for letting me know! I was looking at a set from World Market but I imagine the quality would not be much better. I will look around :) Making the cauliflower, kale + chickpea curry pot tonight! My seven-year-old son loves it!

  • Sandra Lea

    I made this today and it was absolutely delicious. When you throw that spice mix in with the onions the aroma is just heavenly. This recipe is a keeper.

    • Laura

      Throwing the spices in is my favourite part! I always breathe it in deep after :D
      -L

  • renee (will frolic for food)

    just FYI i made this and it’s bonkers good. i licked the bowl clean. i want to eat this pretty much every night. the addition of balsamic was so perf. this deserves fancy claps.

  • Best Bake

    Amazing Post! Images you have updated are really attractive. I enjoyed my stay here…

    Thanks for sharing

  • genevieve @ gratitude & greens

    Bowl-meals that come together in 20 minutes are my favourite kinda meal! I love all the spices in this, too. Perfect for the cold weather! <3

  • Justine

    Wow! This looks so delicious!! :-) Where can I buy this amazing pan? It looks so cool :-)

    Cheers, Justine

    • Laura

      Thanks Justine! The pan is by Finex and you can find them HERE. :D
      -L

  • Keara McGraw

    I can alwaaays get down with meals that use what ya got goin’ on in the fridge! Gotta get on my tomato game, that’s definitely been something I’ve missed this winter. Looks so SO good!!

    • Laura

      Preserved tomatoes save me from being a grump in the Canadian winters. Like a lil’ bit of sunshine :D
      -L

  • Lindsey

    i couldn’t feel you more on the canning thing. brooklyn is so into their canning/preserving that it’s hard to go to a store or market and not find some piece of awesome produce canned like a boss. and what an awesome partnership, love me some muir glen : ) xo

  • Anna Balaton

    I’ve just made this dish and it is the most perfect food I’ve eaten in quite a while. It is even better than the chickpea stew I ate in an excellent moroccan restaurant. Thank you!

    • Laura

      Thanks for the wonderful comment, Anna! So glad that you enjoyed it :)
      -L

  • Tieghan

    This is my kind of comfort food!! So pretty and healthy and flavorful!! YESS!

    • Laura

      Thanks so much, Tieghan! xo
      -L

  • Sarah

    Chickpea stews are my fave – always nourishing and filling and hearty and, when done right, tasty. Looking forward to giving this one a go, sounds like a winner!

  • Katherine

    Made this tonight after seeing your post last night and the picture looked so good I had to try it. It turned out amazing! ! I followed the recipe as written and added chopped spinach at the end and served it over whole wheat cous cous. The whole family loved it. Will definitely be making it again. Super easy to make and so good when the weather is chilly. Had it with a Moroccan carrot salad and roasted cauliflower on the side. Love this recipe!

    • Laura

      Woohoo! So glad that you and your family loved it, Katherine. The sides sound amazing too :D
      -L

  • Maggie

    I made this for dinner tonight! It was the perfect dish for this cold Michigan weather. Super yummy and bonus is I feel great after eating it! I threw in a handful of spinach just to my bowl and it worked great. The millet polenta was also on point. Can’t wait to go to my candlelight stretch yoga tonight now that my belly is so happy :)

    • Laura

      Your turnaround time is amazing! So glad you made it and loved it. Stay warm :)
      -L

  • Allyson

    A good canned tomato is sunshine during winter.This looks so good and warming.

  • Kiki

    I follow you from Australia and although its boiling hot here I’m still gonna make this deliciousness. Also, Wegman’s is the Mecca of Upstate NY. I miss it!

    • Laura

      The American dollar is quite high compared to the Canadian dollar right now, so we haven’t been over to Wegman’s in mooooonths! Slight withdrawal. Once you’ve been to one, every other grocery store is kinda “meh.” ;)
      -L

  • renee (will frolic for food)

    this. sounds. delicious! going to make this to combat the cold / oncoming snow storm here in virginia. stews and soups and one pot meals + tons of greens are my staple always. i can see this recipe entering my regular rotation. also, your photos are such a constant inspiration!

    • Laura

      Stay cozy, babe! :D
      xo L

  • valentina | sweet kabocha

    I have their roasted tomatoes in the pantry – my boyfriend bought a can!
    Anyway, I’m going to pin this recipe since I just started to live together with him and I’ve never ideas for dinner :D

    • Laura

      Your boyfriend is a good man for buying those ;) Hope you get around to trying it!
      xo L

  • Heidi

    Yum! I plan on making this tonight. I actually have all of these ingredients( except I have a different brand of tomatoes). That is so cool you got to visit Muir Glens factory! I’d love to do that. One question – you mentioned millet polenta – do you have a recipe for them as well? I’ve been try to cook more millet, but I’m still new to working with it. Thanks! ☺

    • Laura

      Hi Heidi,
      I have a recipe for the millet polenta in an older post right HERE :)
      -L

      • Heidi

        Sweet! Thank you very much. ☺

  • Umm Salma

    Hi, this looks too good to not try. Just a question about how much of the spice blend to add. Do i make it all and add all of it to the stew or just like a tbsp of it?

    • Laura

      You use all of the spice blend for this recipe!
      -L

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    This chickpea stew looks so dreamy served over that creamy polenta! I’ll have to look out for those Muir Glen jarred tomatoes at the grocery store! :D

    • Laura

      Yes! They are so good. If you find them, I really recommend the Arabella Select ones. Such bright, beautiful flavour! :D
      xo L

  • Katrina

    All of those spices together make this dish sound so inviting! Perfect for winter :)

    • Laura

      It’s definitely a Winter warmer kinda dish :) Thanks Katrina!
      xo L

  • Lisa

    Waahhh, Laura! I love the fact that we love and use exactly the same kinda ingredients (daily). xx-Lisa

    • Laura

      I guess we just have excellent taste ;)
      xo L

  • Angela - Patisserie Makes Perfect

    Oh this looks so delicious, I love chickpeas! I definitely have to try this, the spice mix sounds really lovely.

    • Laura

      Thanks so much, Angela!
      -L