Winter Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

"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."
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by justcallmetoni photo by justcallmetoni
Ready In:
6hrs 25mins




  • 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.
  • Chef's note: Keep your squash and carrots large so that they can withstand the look cooking time without breaking down into the stew.
  • Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stir in lime juice. Season with salt to taste.
  • Serve over rice (white or brown) sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.
  • Place additional lime wedges on the side for diners to add as they wish.

Questions & Replies

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  1. 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.
  2. The C.
    Guys, I tried putting meat in this and it was delicious. Would recommend.
  3. adopt a greyhound
    Loved it over rice. Great flavor.
  4. StacyMD187373
    This was pretty good for something different. I definitely think the peanuts help to give a different consistency and the fresh cilantro adds a nice touch. I did forget to put in the lime. Thanks for helping me try something different!
  5. lolablitz
    Wonderful recipe - but next time I'll definitely leave out the lime. I was totally in love with the dish when I tasted it for salt before adding the lime. Then after adding the lime I was disappointed because I felt like the acidity overwhelmed the delicate flavors of saffron and squash. It was so lovely before the lime, and that's probably just me. I used shortcuts because I only had an hour - frozen butternut squash, Indian garlic-ginger paste and canned chickpeas, minute brown rice. Sauteed the onions, carrots then the garlic-ginger paste and spices, then added the rest and simmered for about 35 min. Will definitely make again thanks for the keeper!


  1. The C.
    I put meat in this
  2. Creative in the Kit
    This was soooo good!!! Didn't have saffron or tomato paste on hand, and I used chicken broth instead of vegetable, but everything came out very well. I set it in the crockpot, went out shopping and came back to a wonderful aroma. Thanks for the great recipe!


<p>I come from a long line of wonderful cooks and doing my best to hold up that tradition. My great-grandparents owned a coffee shop; my Nana was also a great cook and started the tradition of baking around the holidays, both cookies and fruitcakes. After she died, now a decade ago, our family decided to continue in her honor. The picture above is my mother's (Chef Hot Pans) dining room table just before we packed up our Christmas cookie trays. More that 20 kinds of cookies, many of which are from 'Zaar recipes. <br /> <br />I myself am an amateur cook with a penchant for ethnic foods and spice. Currently reforming my menu in favor of healthy dishes lower in fat with lots of grains and vegetables. My favorite cuisines are Mexican, Southwestern and North African. <br /> <br /> <br />Some of my favorite public cookbooks include:</p> <li>ladypit's <a href=> WW Core Recipes I Have Tried </a> </li> <p>&nbsp;</p> <li>shirl(j)831's <a href=> Can this really be lowfat??? </a> </li> <p>&nbsp;</p> <li>julesong's <a href=> Cooking Light Recipes </a> </li> <p>&nbsp;</p> <li>mariposa13's <a href=> WW &amp; Lowfat Recipes </a> </li> <p><br /><img src= alt=Dirty /> <br /><a href=;current=kitchen-special-hot2-1.jpg target=_blank><img src= border=0 alt=Photobucket /></a> <br /><img src= alt=Image /><img src= alt=FFF#2 width=50% /> <br /><img src= alt=Image /><img src= alt=Image /><img src= border=0 alt=Photobucket /><img src= border=0 alt=Adopted /><img src= border=0 alt=Photobucket /><img src= border=0 alt=Photobucket /><img src= border=0 alt=PAC /><img src= border=0 alt=Photo /> <br /><img src= alt=/ /><img src= alt=/ /> <br /><img src= alt=/ /><img src= alt=ZWT3 /><img src= alt=width=50% /> <br /><img src= alt=/ /></p>
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