If this Moroccan chickpea stew isn't simple, we don't know what is. Consisting of exotic flavors, this meal will transport your tastebuds straight to North Africa.
This whole dish comes in at only $0.92 per serving, which is all the more reason to add it to your list of staple meals.
Like we always say, our indication of a good meal means it's simple to make, budget-friendly, and flavorful. And we're telling you, this North African inspired stew definitely checks all of those boxes.
We've been trying to experiment more with the lesser-used spices to bring new and exciting flavor profiles to our meals. In our research, we discovered the classic Moroccan spices and were immediately intrigued.
You wouldn't normally reach for spices like cloves, nutmeg, and star anise in a savory dish, but the way they compliment each other in this type of cooking continues to surprise us.
We made this meal for a family dinner, and it was such a hit. So, we knew we had to share it with you too!
🍲 Key ingredients
A Moroccan chickpea stew has some pretty unique ingredients, but the ones we'd like to highlight are:
- Star anise: this is a strongly flavored spice, similar to the sweetness of licorice. Although it's sweet, it's great to use in savory dishes since it compliments spice well. It can be used whole or ground, but we opted to use a whole seed pod in the broth. Just don't forget to take it out at the end!
- Couscous: closely related to pasta, couscous is made from the granules of durum wheat. If cooked properly, it's adds such a light, fluffy texture to any dish. We prefer using couscous in this dish because it tastes more authentically Moroccan.
- Dried figs: since Morocco is one of the major producers of figs, it would be hard not to include them to sweeten this stew. They are praised for their honey-like flavor and jammy texture. We could eat them all day long!
- Clove: used in traditional Moroccan cooking to add a warm and powerful flavor. It will make your kitchen smell absolutely amazing (you can thank us later). Careful not to go overboard with this spice as it is quite strong, sweet, and bitter all at the same time. Adding too much can definitely ruin a dish.
- Nutmeg: adds a nutty and almost spicy element to this dish. It's also a very intense flavor, so just start small! Clove and nutmeg work so well together, which is why we use them both to create the perfect chickpea stew.
Don't be intimidated by the ingredient list on this recipe. It looks a bit long, but only because of the spices. If you don't want to use individual spices, you can also purchase a Moroccan spice blend, Ras El Hanout, which might make your life easier. We'll leave that up to you though.
To start this recipe, sauté some onions and garlic in olive oil. Next, add in all the spices except the star anise pod. After your house is smelling divine, add in the tomato paste, tahini, apple cider vinegar, and diced tomatoes.
Next, you'll pour in the veggie broth along with the star anise, olives, and figs. Bring everything to a low simmer, cover the pot, and let those spices settle in.
In the meantime, get some chickpeas ready. You can either used canned or cook them from dry. We prefer using dried chickpeas because they are cheaper and taste better. But if you want to save time, just opt for canned.
You can also start to prepare your couscous at this point. It's so fun and easy to make. Just bring your water to a boil, add in the couscous, then cover, stir, and remove from heat. The water absorbs and you're left with perfectly fluffy couscous to pair with your stew.
Once the stew has simmered, add in the cooked chickpeas and kale. Adjust seasonings as needed, and there you have it! A super easy and delicious Moroccan chickpea stew.
To properly store this stew, keep it separate it from the couscous. The couscous is good in the fridge for up to 3 days, while the stew itself will keep for up to 5-6 days.
You can also freeze this stew, and it will last for up to 3 months. This meal works well to prep ahead since it comes together so quick, and it stores well to eat later.
💭 Budget tips
We think everyone should be able to eat better for less, so here are a few tricks to make this recipe even more affordable:
- Use water instead of vegetable broth
- Add extra couscous to preserve the more expensive ingredients so you fill up quicker
- Replace the figs or dates with raisins
- Don't add in the tahini
🍴 Tasting notes
If you aren't drooling on your screen yet, we know you'll definitely enjoy the aroma and taste of this recipe. It's
If you try this for lunch or dinner, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Moroccan Chickpea Stew
- Large pot
- Small pot
- Chef knife
- 2 tbsp olive oil ($0.24)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced ($0.24)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced ($0.12)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste ($0.08)
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes ($0.73)
- 3 cups vegetable broth ($0.74)
- 1 cup kale, chopped ($0.29)
- ¼ cup kalamata olives ($0.28)
- ⅓ cup chopped dates or figs ($0.81)
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas ($0.51)
- ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar ($0.03)
- 1 tbsp tahini ($0.06)
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar ($0.08)
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger ($0.03)
- 1 tsp paprika ($0.10)
- 1 tbsp cumin ($0.03)
- 1 tsp cinnamon ($0.04)
- ¾ tsp cloves ($0.03)
- ¾ tsp nutmeg ($0.04)
- ½ tsp cayenne (0.04)
- 1-2 pods star anise ($0.12)
- Sea salt & pepper to taste ($0.0)
For serving optional
- 2 cups uncooked couscous ($0.84)
- 2 ½ cups water ($0.00)
- Cilantro or parsley, chopped ($0.04)
- Heat the olive oil in a pot on medium. Add chopped onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the onions turn translucent.
- Add in all other spices, except star anise pod. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes, until spices are fragrant.
- Add tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, tahini, and diced tomatoes, and cook for another 1-2 minutes to combine.
- Next, add in the vegetable broth, chopped figs, olives, and star anise pod. Stir together, and bring everything to a low simmer. Cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, bring 2 ½ cups of water to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let the pot sit for 5 minutes, then uncover it and fluff it with a fork.
- Add in the kale and cooked chickpeas to your pot. Simmer for another 5 minutes to soften the kale and combine all flavors.
- Serve your Moroccan chickpea stew with a side of couscous and garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.
- Start small with seasonings, as it's easy to go overboard with spices like clove and nutmeg.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty dinner ideas, check out our:
- Vegan red lentil dahl for a cheap, simple, and heavily spiced meal perfect for any occasion.
- Vegan sweet potato chili for a perfect weeknight dinner that will taste even better the next day.
- Creamy Moroccan chickpea hummus which makes a great dip to keep in the fridge at all times.
- West African peanut stew if you're looking for a tasty, filling, and simple meal that makes great leftovers.
If you don't have star anise, you can substitute with fennel, allspice, or Chinese five-spice powder.
If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, just substitute the couscous with quinoa or your favorite grain.
The best way to freeze this stew is to let it cool fully, portion it out into meal-size containers or freezer-safe ziplock baggies. Make sure to leave some room for expansion.
It is not necessary to use fresh ginger, we just love using fresh spices whenever possible. To substitute the fresh ginger in this recipe, use ¼ teaspoon ground ginger instead.