Let’s talk about this chickpea carrot stew. With just five main ingredients plus spices and optional greens, this is a real bare shelves kind of meal. I almost always have canned tomatoes and carrots, plus frozen chickpeas (canned works too – see substitutions).
If you have frozen greens or some over-wintering in the garden, they’re a very nice addition, but not mandatory. The original recipe didn’t include them and that’s the one change I’ve made here. It makes for a slightly more balanced meal but is just as good without.
Plenty of spice adds interest to what would otherwise be a very boring meal – cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and more. You can switch this up based on your preference, but all pair wonderfully with both carrots and tomatoes. So if you’re staring into a mostly empty refrigerator at five o’clock, make this.
Some more excellent empty crisper soups – carrot, red lentil, and spinach soup (with frozen greens), spicy tomato coconut milk soup, and lentil potato stew.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Carrots: try sweet potato or pumpkin for the carrots, if that’s what you have on hand. You can also add extra root vegetables, like parsnips, celeriac, and even potatoes.
- Spices: switch up the spices based on your preference. You may want to reduce the cayenne pepper if you don’t like heat – but you can also change the flavours. Try adding cardamom or ground ginger, or add a little fresh ginger along with the garlic.
- Chickpeas: other legumes can be used in place of chickpeas, with white beans being the easy favourite. You could use red lentils in a pinch (use half the amount compared to chickpeas, and double the water).
- Toppings: I like to top with pomegranate, and preserved lemon is a nice addition if you have them. Just be sure not to add too much salt to the stew in that case as the lemon will provide it. Raisins are delicious if you still want a pop of sweetness and don’t have pomegranate.
Step by Step
1. Cook vegetables: cool the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent and fragrant. Add the carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
2. Add spices: Stir in the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper, coating the carrots in the spices. Cook for about 30 seconds.
3. Add remaining ingredients: add the tomatoes and water to the pot. Stir in the chickpeas, cover, and increase the heat to bring to a rolling boil.
4. Simmer: cook until the carrots are soft, then stir in the greens and serve.
If you can’t see the recipe video, please watch it here on YouTube instead.
Serve with brown rice or vegan naan for an even more filling meal. While this stew is very good on its own, some whole grains never hurt.
If they’re canned, soaking your chickpeas for a few minutes after rinsing them will help pull out some of the salt. Just rinse them again after soaking. (I cook big batches of beans a couple times a month and freeze in jars, which is why I usually call for cooked rather than canned – much cheaper.)
How to Store
Storage: refrigerate in a sealed container for up to three days.
Freezing: transfer cooled portions to airtight containers and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before heating as usual.
- Season to taste: once the stew is finished cooking, taste and add salt to your preference before serving.
- Don’t worry about peeling: the carrots don’t need to be peeled for this recipe unless they’re cow/winter carrots and have a very thick skin.
- Reduce the spice: if cayenne pepper is too hot for you, omit it and spice only with black pepper.
More Easy Dinners
Chickpea Pumpkin Curry
Rice, Lentil, and Butternut Squash Soup
Lentil and Potato Stew
Moroccan Quinoa Carrot Salad
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Moroccan Spiced Carrot Chickpea Stew
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 medium carrots sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- 400 ml diced tomatoes
- 175 ml vegetable broth or water
- 300 grams cooked or canned chickpeas* rinsed and drained
- 50 grams hardy greens (spinach, kale, rucola, etc.) optional
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.2 teaspoons olive oil
- Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent and fragrant. Add the carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes.1 small onion, 3 medium carrots
- Stir in the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper, coating the carrots in the spices. Cook for about 30 seconds.2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Add the tomatoes and broth to the pot. Stir in the chickpeas, cover, and increase the heat to bring to a rolling boil.400 ml diced tomatoes, 175 ml vegetable broth, 300 grams cooked or canned chickpeas*
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are knife-soft. Taste and season as needed.
- Remove the stew from the heat and stir in the greens, if using. Serve hot with brown rice or naan, topped with pomegranate, preserved lemon, and/or raisins.50 grams hardy greens (spinach, kale, rucola, etc.)
- Leftovers freeze very well and can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in December 2014. It has been updated most recently as of January 2021, with new images, text, and some minor recipe tweaks.
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