Plant-based Spanish chickpea stew is a deliciously rustic, budget-friendly, mid-week meal that the whole family will enjoy.
Especially when the meal is a quick cooking one as then dinner can be served faster!
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The flavours and aromas of Spanish inspired cooking are perfect for enjoying during the warmer weather as well as during the cooler months.
Potatoes and chickpeas are cooked in a thick tomato-based sauce and flavoured with mixed herbs, sweet paprika, garlic, onions, and a splash of tangy balsamic vinegar. And just because I love greens some chopped kale is added a few minutes before serving.
I served my family’s latest chickpea stew with some quinoa pressure cooked in vegetable broth, a chunk of home-made herb bread and a few tasty garlic stuffed olives.
If you enjoy olives I highly recommend adding some olives to your finished chickpea stew. Olives especially garlic-stuffed compliment the chickpea stew so well!
Origins of Spanish chickpea stew
Spanish people have been enjoying chickpeas since the medieval ages. Chickpeas were added to simple stews which provided valuable energy and nutrition during the cooler months. Other common ingredients of chickpea stews included potatoes, carrots, green beans, green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, collards and spinach. If available meat was often added.
Traditional chickpea stew or cocido is a classic Madrid meal that is popular in Spanish restaurants. However, traditional cocido is served quite differently as each ingredient within the stew is separated and has its own area on the serving plate. The stew stock is also served separately from the stew ingredients. Noodles often accompany the stock.
Vegan Spanish Chickpea Stew
Not keen on chickpeas? Sub these out and try butterbeans or broad beans instead.
Serve with your choice of grain, bread, noodles, or salad.
Or enjoy the stew on its own for a lighter lunch.
Vegan Spanish Chickpea Rice Stew
- Sauté pan/deep frying pan/ skillet. With a lid or use a large plate.
To sauté veggies:
- 2 tsp olive oil Alternatively use 125ml (1/2cup) of vegetable stock if on a reduced oil diet.
For the stew:
- 550 grams potatoes About 4 cups. Chopped into 1/2 inch or bitesize pieces.
- 200 grams long grain rice about 3/4 – 1 cup
- 1 can chickpeas 400 grams/ 14 oz drained. About 1 1/2 cups/240 grams.
- 1 large bell pepper about 140 grams or 1 1/2 cups. Can use mixed frozen peppers. Red, orange or yellow are the best choices for this meal.
- 100 grams kale about 2 cups either frozen or fresh. Or spinach, spring greens or collard greens. Chopped into small pieces. If using spinach keep whole.
- 1 medium red onion about 1 cup. Rough chopped.
- 4 cloves garlic sliced. Use more garlic if liked.
- 2 tsp garlic granules optional but tasty.
- 1 ½ tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 tbsp paprika sweet paprika if you have it.
- 500 grams passata Or 1 can of chopped tomatoes 400 grams/ 14 oz.
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar or maple syrup or your usual sweetener/sugar
- 1200 ml vegetable stock Plus extra if required at the end of cooking to thin out the sauce.
- olives optional. Garlic stuffed olives are particularly tasty with this stew
- fresh lemon juice optional. Squeeze a spritz of fresh lemon juice over each serving for a summer citrusy flavour burst.
- small handful of fresh basil leaves or chopped parsley. optional
- Heat olive oil or 125ml of vegetable stock in the pan.Add the onion and sauté over a low-medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, paprika, mixed herbs, sugar, and dried garlic.Mix well.Dry fry for about 2-3 minutes. Stirring to avoid sticking.
- Add the tomato paste and passata.Pour in the vegetable stock.Mix.
- Add the potatoes, chickpeas, peppers and rice.Stir.
- Add a lid and bring to the boil.Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid.Add the balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the kale and cook for a further 5 minutes. Spinach only needs a minute or less to wilt in the sauce.Check to see if the potatoes and rice are soft. If not add the pan lid and allow to sit off the heat for 10 minutes for everything to soften up.
- Taste the seasoning and adjust if necessary.Add an extra 125-250ml (1/2-1 cup) of vegetable stock if you prefer a looser sauce. I don't usually as my family prefers a thicker sauce.
- If using lemon juice add a little squeeze to each serving or over the stew in the pan.Scatter or mix olives through the stew if using. Sprinkle over some chopped basil or parsley if liked.
- In the UK 1 cup equals 250ml of liquid and 1/2 cup equals 125ml.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in a covered container for up to 3 days.
- Reheat, in a pan with a little extra water or stock, until piping hot throughout.
- Portions can be frozen for up to 3-4 months. Defrost and reheat until piping hot.
The following nutritional information is for guidance only and is not a strict analysis as ingredients will vary.
Plant-based Spanish Chickpea Stew Recipe Notes
- Chickpea stew will keep fresh for up to 3 days, covered, in the fridge.
- Reheat in a pan until piping hot before serving. A little extra stock or water may be required to loosen up the sauce.
- This stew is perfect for batch prepping. Freeze portions or whole dishes for quick future meals.
- The kale used in this recipe can be subbed for another green such as spinach, collards, spring greens or even cauliflower greens.
- The white potato can be subbed for sweet potato or butternut squash.
- The chickpeas can simply be subbed for a different bean. Such as kidney, soya, or broad beans. A few UK supermarkets stock frozen soya beans and broad beans which would be ideal.
- Serve the chickpea stew with your favourite grain. A few examples are quinoa, rice, wild rice, black rice, millet, or barley. Or a combination.
- Olives are a tasty accompaniment especially garlic stuffed olives which are my family’s favourite.
- My 3 ingredient quick and easy vegan flatbreads are ideal to scoop up chickpea stew and mop up all the tasty sauce.
- I love serving this chickpea stew with homemade herb bread that I bake in my bread machine. I use a Morphy Richards Fast bake machine and have done for the past 10 years.