Winter Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

READY IN: 6hrs 25mins
Recipe by justcallmetoni

Inspired by the flavors of North Africa, this vegetarian stew replaces the tagine with the crock pot. The combination of saffron, ginger and cinnamon give of a wonderful aroma and flavor. It would tempting to substitute canned chickpeas here but you will get a different result. In this dish the chickpeas while tender have greater firmness than the canned type. Time saving tip: Prepare the ingredients the night before, placing the cubed squash, carrots, onions, tomato paste, garlic and ginger in one sealable bag or covered container, the lentils and dried spices in another. In the morning add the contents of both bags/containers, the soaked chickpeas and broth to your crock pot, turn it on and go.

Top Review by maplecottage

Unbelievable, this was divine! The saffron and cinnamon filled the house with a wonderful tagine aroma. The flavours were phenomenal, I am in love with this dish! But I have a confession - I had to use canned chick peas! And I did not have 5 hours to spare, the cupboard was bare, husband due home in 1 hour, but I had all the ingredients to make this so I gambled and cheated. I rinsed the lentils, brought them to the boil in water for 10 mins, scooped off the foam, drained the water away, set lentils aside in a bowl, rinsed the pot, then put the 4 cups of broth in (I used chicken broth as it was all I had), brought it to the boil and placed the lentils back in with all the other ingredients, then let it boil/simmer on low heat for 30-40 mins - husband steps through the door, basmati rice was cooked just in time for serving. This was unbelievable, my husband loved it so much, it reminded him of trips in Morocco! Next time I plan to do this properly, but it was good to know that it would work with canned chickpeas and a shorter time provided the lentils were partially cooked in advance. Thank you so much for this recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition


  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. If you like a very soft chickpea, use the quick method and let the chickpeas boil for five minutes in order to speed up the cooking process.
  2. Chef's note: Keep your squash and carrots large so that they can withstand the look cooking time without breaking down into the stew.
  3. Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  4. Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, about 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours.
  5. Chef's note: If you are planning to serve part of this as leftovers, remove that portion from the crock pot and scale the amount of lime juice accordingly. Reserve the rest of your lime to add after reheating the leftover stew.
  6. Stir in lime juice. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Serve over rice (white or brown) sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.
  8. Place additional lime wedges on the side for diners to add as they wish.

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