Moroccan Stew with Chickpeas and Quinoa CouscousThis post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
There is nothing more comforting than warming up to a bowl of this homemade Moroccan Stew. This hearty dish has sweet dried apricots, quinoa, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas in a spiced broth. It’s perfect for a cool weather days when you want something healthy and satisfying.
It’s no secret that my husband and I LOVE to travel. One of my favorite things to do is to bring home recipes from around the world to recreate in my kitchen. This Moroccan Stew is inspired by one of our many international trips where we had the most delicious vegan tagine!
A “tagine” is actually a unique ceramic or clay vessel, used to slow-cook stews and other dishes. But the word “tagine” also refers to the delicious dish which is slow-cooked inside the vessel. Typically a tagine is a rich savory stew of meat or vegetables, cooked to a buttery tenderness.
And while I love a good vegetable tagine, I always wish that the vegetarian tagine dishes I’ve gotten at most restaurants have more protein in them.
That’s where this Moroccan Vegetarian Stew comes in! Tossed with chickpeas for plant protein, and paired with a quinoa couscous, this Moroccan Stew closely resembles a vegetable tagine.
Mint and dried apricots gave some added sweetness and dimension, and a sprinkling of sliced almonds over the top was perfect for a bit of crunch and texture. This is a recipe you’ll want to make again and again!
Tools and Equipment You’ll Need
Recipe Ingredients & Notes
- Chickpeas: Our primary source of plant protein in this vegan tagine. Feel free to switch this up with lentils or any other legume you like.
- Quinoa: For some added protein and the perfect substitute for couscous (which is a refined grain with no plant protein!)
- Veggies: I chose zucchini, carrots and sweet potatoes but really any combination of veggies you enjoy would work well! Butternut squash, yellow or orange bell peppers, cauliflower or broccoli would be wonderful additions.
- Spices: 3 spice blends add a depth of richness without any extra time or effort! You’ll need Ras El Hanout, a Shawarma Spice Blend and Curry Powder.
- Onion & Garlic: for a boost of flavor and warmth. You can use pre-minced garlic to save time!
- Tomatoes: A can of diced tomatoes saves on prep time.
- Dried Apricots: Adds a bit of sweetness to balance out all the spice! Any dried fruit would work well: dried cherries, currants, raisins would all be great.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Soak the apricots in hot water and set aside. They will absorb the water and reconstitute while you are cooking the other ingredients.
Step 2: Chop all of the veggies: onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, zucchini, etc. Saute the onions and garlic in 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Let the onions cook until they have caramelized slightly.
Step 3: Add the rest of the ingredients: potatoes, zucchini, carrots (if using), tomatoes, chickpeas, and all of the spices. Add 4oz veggie broth, stir to combine, and let all of the ingredients simmer on medium heat, covered, for at least 10 minutes until the potatoes and chickpeas are tender.
Step 4: While the Moroccan vegetarian stew is cooking, combine the quinoa and water in a pot, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Fluff with a fork.
Step 5: Take the apricots out of the water and chop them. Chop the mint as well. Stir the apricots, mint and almonds into the quinoa.
Step 6: Uncover the chickpea tagine and finish cooking through. Let some of the excess water boil off (if there is any). If it’s gotten dry, add a bit more vegetable broth until it’s the consistency you want.
Step 7: Serve the moroccan chickpea stew warm, alongside your quinoa couscous!
What Makes This Moroccan Chickpea Stew Healthy?
- Gluten-Free: Thanks to the gluten-free grains (quinoa) and hearty vegetables, this Moroccan stew is naturally gluten-free!
- Low Calorie: You can enjoy this Moroccan vegetarian stew without any guilt. It only has 238 calories per serving.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Loaded with vegetables, plant protein, and fiber, this vegan tagine is packed with vitamins and minerals including copper, folate, zinc, potassium, iron, magnesium, beta carotene, vitamin A, and more.
Will Kids Enjoy This Moroccan Stew?
Yes! It’s got subtle flavors that aren’t too overpowering for kids! The quinoa paired with apricots and mint is a big hit with my kids, and they love the natural creamy and sweet flavor of sweet potatoes. If your children are a little hesitant, that’s okay! Once they try a few bites, they will probably go back for more.
If you have super picky kids, try cutting up the veggies really small and serving with a larger portion of quinoa. You can also substitute the quinoa for brown rice if your kids are really resistant to trying a new grain!
Traditionally made with chickpeas and a Moroccan spice blend, this stew brings together sweet and savory flavors to create a rich, yet healthy all in one meal. Cinnamon is a popular added spice to Moroccan cuisine. To really amp up the Moroccan feel of this soup add a squeeze of fresh lemon and top with additional fresh herbs, such as the mint. The added acid lightens up the deep savory flavors.
Absolutely – this recipe is ideal for feeding a hungry crowd! As written it serves six large portions. However, if you’re bringing this dish to a party where other dishes are being served, it makes an excellent side dish!
If you’d like to serve a larger crowd, you can simply double the recipe to serve 12!
Before storing leftovers, allow the stew to cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for 4-5 days.
If you’d prefer to meal prep this recipe, and freeze for later, be sure to allow the stew to cool, then transfer to a freezer safe container removing any excess air. Label with contents and date, before storing in the freezer. This will keep for 1-2 months when frozen.
You’ll need to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating and serving.
The fastest way to reheat this dish is to place it in a microwave safe bowl covered with paper towel, then microwave until hot.
However, I prefer to put in a pot and warm it up on the stove over medium heat. Warm it low and slow, and it will allow the spices and seasonings to marry together even a little bit more. Stir frequently and serve when hot.
Top Tips For Making Moroccan Stew
- To save yourself time if you are meal prepping, chop all the veggies ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until ready to prepare the dish.
- Don’t skip soaking the apricots, it’s an important step that allows them to plump and become juicy.
- Allow the stew to cook over medium-low heat. This allows the spices to permeate the ingredients and results in a super flavorful dish!
- If you don’t have all the spice blends use a combination of paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. These spices will give you Moroccan flavors.
- For topping: try a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, some chopped cilantro, plain Greek yogurt, a drizzle of coconut milk, or switch up the added nuts – pine nuts would be delicious on top of this Moroccan stew!
- For serving: In addition to the quinoa couscous, you can serve this chickpea stew with sprouted wheat tortillas, whole wheat naan, or whole wheat pita (or pita chips!) on the side.
Check Out These Other Healthy And Flavorful Stews!
- Indian Stew with Rice and Lentils
- Tuscan Bean Stew
- Vegetarian Stew with Beans and Rice
- Moroccan Chickpea Soup
- Lentils with Tahini, Cumin, and Garlic
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Moroccan Stew with Chickpeas and Quinoa Couscous
- 1/2 cup dried quinoa cooked with 1 cup of water
- 8 dried apricots chopped
- 1 red onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 zucchini diced
- 2 carrots diced (optional)
- 1 sweet potato diced
- 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 15 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes 1 can
- 4-8 oz veggie broth
- 2-2 1/2 tsp Ras El Hanout
- 1 tsp Shawarma Spice Blend
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- sprinkle of cinnamon
- Fresh mint chopped
- Sliced almonds
- Soak the apricots in hot water and set aside. They will absorb the water and reconstitute while you are cooking the other ingredients.
- Chop all of the veggies: onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, zucchini, etc.
- Saute the onions and garlic in 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Let the onions cook until they have caramelized slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients: potatoes, zucchini, carrots (if using), tomatoes, chickpeas, and all of the spices. Add 4 oz veggie broth, stir to combine, and let all of the ingredients simmer on medium heat, covered, for at least 10 minutes until the potatoes and chickpeas are tender.
- While the tagine is cooking, combine the quinoa and water in a pot, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Fluff with a fork.
- Take the apricots out of the water and chop them. Chop the mint as well.
- Uncover the tagine and finish cooking through. Let some of the excess water boil off (if there is any). If it’s gotten dry, add a bit more vegetable broth until it’s the consistency you want. When it’s done, it will look like this:
- Stir the apricots, mint and almonds into the quinoa, and serve.