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Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew

It's stew season and why not try a meatless version!? My butternut squash and chickpea stew is a healthy comfort food that is quick and simple to make. The unique spice combination of saffron and smoked paprika will keep you coming back for more.

Most stews contain meat and may take hours of cooking. But, not this vegetarian stew and you won't miss the meat. My chickpea and butternut squash stew takes less than an hour, combing Saffron and smoked paprika to create a jam-packed flavourful dinner.

Saffron is dried red stigmas of a flower and gives any dish a beautiful red colour. Add it to soups, stews and rice.”

Here are the nutrition facts on the stew: chickpeas add protein and fibre so it won't spike your blood glucose, the tomato broth is an immunity booster and the butternut squash contains essential nutrients and vitamins like magnesium, vitamin E, A, B6 and folate. Butternut squash is a sweeter vegetable, but it will help to curb other sugary cravings and keep you full. Think of butternut squash as your winter superfood.

I used smoked paprika in my recipe, but you can use plain paprika. If you want to pack it with more nutrients, add a handful of spinach at the end of your cooking, so it wilts slightly. The butternut squash stew is also remarkable the day after.


Butternut squash and chickpea stew

Yield: 5 servings

Serving: 400 g (1 1/2) cup

Nutrition: 20g carbs


  • 1 small butternut squash, sliced in half and deseeded

  • 1 can chickpeas (400g), rinsed and drained

  • 3 carrots diced

  • 1 white onion chopped

  • 2 garlic clove minced

  • 1000ml (4 cups) vegetable stock

  • 750ml (3 cups) tomato juice

  • 2 pinches of saffron*

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • a small handful of fresh chopped basil

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 teaspoon olive or rapeseed oil

  • an optional handful of spinach leaves

  • an optional cayenne pepper for extra spice


  1. Add a little water to a baking tray so that it covers the bottom and place your halved butternut squash face down - roast in the oven at 200°C for about 20 minutes.

  2. While the squash is roasting, add oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté onion for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

  3. Pour in vegetable stock and tomato juice along with carrots, paprika and saffron turmeric and simmer on medium-low for about 15 minutes.

  4. Take out the squash from the oven and carefully peel off the skin. Slice the squash into cubes.

  5. Add squash, chickpeas and chopped basil to the stew mixture and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes until carrots are tender.

  6. Add optional spinach, spices and salt/pepper to taste. Spoon into a bowl and enjoy!


*Find saffron in the health shop, speciality market or find it in the spice section of your grocery store.


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