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Moroccan Stew

Moroccan Stew is filling, hearty, and perfectly spiced with an array of warming spices. This dish is loaded with veggies, tender chickpeas, Israeli couscous, and a blend of fresh herbs. 
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Vegetarian
Cuisine Healthy, Moroccan, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword moroccan stew
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 519kcal
Cost $7.31


  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (measured when solid)
  • 1 cup (125g) finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic (~5-6 cloves)
  • 1 can (15.5; 439g) chickpeas (also called Garbanzos) drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups (1.3 pounds; 545g) butternut squash peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon EACH: ground cumin, ground chili powder (use McCormick for less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: ground turmeric, garam masala, fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon EACH: ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper (optional; leave out if you don't want heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz.; 411g EACH) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (567g) Swanson's vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (138g) Israeli couscous (See Note 1)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice + 1/2 teaspoon zest
  • 1/2 cup (9g) fresh cilantro (loosely measured)
  • 1 cup (127g) frozen sweet peas
  • Optional toppings: 2 and 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves or fresh mint, additional lemon wedges, additional cilantro, plain Greek yogurt


  • ONION AND GARLIC: Heat the coconut oil in a large cast iron pot (nonstick will work as well, cook times are just longer since it doesn't hold/generate heat as well) over medium-high heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes softened.
  • CHICKPEAS AND SQUASH: Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and the cubed squash (See Note 2). Cook, still over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 7-9 minutes or until becoming tender. Using the back of a wooden spoon, crush down some of the chickpeas slightly to release the starch. This will help thicken the stew and add a nice texture.
  • SEASONINGS: Add in the tomato paste and cumin, chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (optional -- leave out if sensitive to heat), and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until spices are fragrant.
  • TOMATOES: Add in both cans of undrained crushed fire-roasted tomatoes. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  • STOCK AND COUSCOUS: Add in the vegetable stock and couscous. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15-22 minutes or until squash is crisp-tender (it should still have some bite to it, not be mushy!) and couscous is cooked through. Stir every 3-4 minutes to keep the couscous from sticking to the bottom. If the couscous isn't cooking through or the squash is not softening, slightly increase the heat. If it's heavily boiling, slightly decrease the heat.
  • FINISHING: Stir in the peas to warm through. Add in the lemon juice and zest (add slowly to preference, you may not want as much as the recipe indicates) and fresh herbs. Taste and season again with salt and pepper here, I add another 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Spoon stew into bowls and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt if desired.



Note 1: Israeli couscous is also called pearled couscous; here's what I use. It's important to get the large balls of couscous to match the cooking time and texture of this stew. Israeli couscous and regular couscous are made with similar ingredients, but regular couscous is much smaller.
Note 2: It's really important for cook time on this recipe that the squash is cut into small 1/2-inch cubes. If the squash pieces are too big it won't cook in the correct amount of time.


Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 690mg | Potassium: 1413mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 28034IU | Vitamin C: 90mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 4mg