Potato and Chickpea Stew

This potato and chickpea stew is hearty and healthy and vegetarian and pretty darn satisfying, too.

Potato and Chickpea Stew Recipe

This potato and chickpea stew is hearty and satisfying, and dare we say it, pretty healthy, too. In this Spanish-inspired vegetarian dish, potatoes, peppers, tomato, and chickpeas are simmered until tender in a broth spiked with paprika and tomato and finished with a dollop of romesco sauce. Remarkably good stuff.–Angie Zoobkoff

Potato and Chickpea Stew Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 4


  • 1 pound fingerling or medium round potatoes, such as Yellow Finn (454 g)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced (about 9 ounces or 255 g)
  • 2 generous pinches saffron or 1 rounded teaspoon smoked paprika (2 g)
  • 2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced (about 12 ounces or 340 g)
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips a scant 1-inch (2.5-cm) wide (about 6 ounces or 170 g)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced (about 8 g)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sweet or hot (unsmoked) paprika (2 g)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley (about 10 g)
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry (120 ml)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or canned diced tomatoes, plus their juices (14 ounces or 396 g)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or other beans (250 g)
  • 1 to 2 cups liquid (use a combination of chickpea or bean broth plus tomato juice or water) (237 to 473 ml)
  • 1 bunch spinach, stems removed (about 5 ounces or 140 g)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
  • Store-bought or homemade romesco sauce, to serve (optional)


  • 1. If you’re using fingerling potatoes, scrub them and then halve them lengthwise. If you’re using round potatoes, scrub them and quarter them lengthwise.
  • 2. In a wide skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil. When it’s hot, toss in the onion, saffron threads (if you are using smoked paprika instead of saffron, you’ll add it a bit later), diced and sliced peppers, and potatoes. Cover the skillet or Dutch oven and cook over medium heat, turning the vegetables every now and then with a wide rubber scraper, until the potatoes are almost but not quite tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Stir in the garlic and season with 1 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper.
  • 3. Add the sweet or hot paprika (plus the smoked paprika, if you are using it), parsley, and the sherry. Cook, uncovered, until the juices in the pan have reduced and are thick and syrupy, 2 to 5 minutes.
  • 4. Dump in the drained tomatoes (but reserve the juices), chickpeas, or beans, and enough of the reserved tomato juice plus liquid to cover. Cover and cook over low heat until the potatoes are completely tender, about 5 to 20 minutes more, depending on the size of the potatoes. Taste for salt and pepper and add more, if needed.
  • 5. Stir the spinach into the stew and gently cook until it’s wilted, about 3 minutes.
  • 6. Divide the stew among 4 bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately with a dollop of romesco sauce, if using.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

This potato and chickpea stew was just what the doctor ordered to chase away the winter blues and usher in spring! The vegetables all retain their individual flavors but come together harmoniously with the assistance of sherry, tomatoes, and lemon juice. My dining companion raved more about this soup than any others I’ve made in the past couple months, and I agree. It’s both fresh tasting and comforting. And it’s finished in an hour. Served with a chunk of crusty bread with butter, this makes a great lunch or dinner. I could not see a benefit to sautéeing the spinach in a separate pan and then adding it to the soup at the end, especially when the photo shows it fully incorporated. Therefore, I just added the baby spinach to the soup for the final 3 minutes to let it wilt. The final result was good, but I thought that it was missing something. I added 1 tablespoon lemon juice and it really it brightened up. I would say that lemon juice is essential to finish this dish. As with any stew, it’s always better the next day (or 2 or 3 if it lasts that long), but I think it’s especially true with this soup because I didn’t cook it for the extra 10 to 20 minutes at the end to meld those flavors (for fear of the potatoes falling apart). I couldn’t find fingerling or Yellow Finn potatoes at the grocery, so I used small Yukon Gold potatoes instead and cut them into eighths. I did not add romesco sauce or saffron.

This potato and chickpea stew is a straightforward and satisfying stew that works well even on a weeknight. The ingredients for this are available year-round, though fresh tomatoes at the height of the season might make it even more special. I used chickpeas from a batch we had prepared the day before, so I had lots of nice chickpeas and their cooking liquid to use for the broth. Fingerling potatoes were available in a local market. With a couple of minor adjustments, this all came together in an hour and a half. The prep is the main work—chopping, slicing, dicing, measuring, and setting up mis en place took maybe 40 to 45 minutes. I used only one red bell pepper and one yellow pepper, but actually think I would have found this too sweet if I had two reds. For parsley, a combination of cilantro and mint, was compatible with the chickpeas. The most challenging item was that I didn’t have sherry on hand, but approximated it by using 1/2 ounce each of brandy and peaty whisky along with 3 ounces Chardonnay, which approached the fortified flavour of sherry (and the Scotch is often finished in sherry casks), and this backed up the use of smoky paprika (rather than saffron). After tasting to check the seasoning before serving, I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of smoky paprika and an extra grind of pepper. We were just serving the 2 of us, so after removing the stems from the spinach and weighing it, I set half aside for another day. Plan on a good handful of spinach per person (40 to 45 grams) and you’ll be fine. I sautéed it just until it was wilted yet remained bright green, and I think you would want to do this immediately before serving. I added a drizzle of olive oil over the spinach (I didn’t make the romesco sauce but will plan for that another time). This recipe serves 4 to 6 as a main course. It’s a good dinner that just happens to be vegan, although no one in my house would object to some crisp Spanish chorizo-croutons on top! While it is relatively virtuous, it doesn't feel too lean or too overly health-conscious, even though this probably would appeal to some folks for exactly those reasons. Foremost for me was that it taste good, and it does.

I see this potato and chickpea stew as a great base recipe. I love smoked paprika, so I used that option in the stew and loved the finished taste. It tastes delicious as it is, but while eating it I kept thinking about other things that I could add the next time that I make it. The sautéed spinach was good, but if I make this again, I'd probably just toss it directly into the stew rather than sauté it separately.

This potato and chickpea stew is a great stew with Spanish flavors that comes together pretty easily and makes for a delicious one-dish meal. If there were one thing I'd change, it would be to reduce the total amount of bell peppers, but my husband liked it using the quantity given, so it's really a matter of preference. I used the saffron instead of smoked paprika (and I really don't get these being listed as interchangeable ingredients) and I used hot paprika rather than sweet. The dish had just a very mild warmth to it. The suggested romesco sauce to garnish was a good addition, adding both richness and depth to the flavors of the stew. I used young yellow Finn potatoes and saffron, not smoked paprika. My grocer was out of bunch spinach, so I used a 5-oz box of baby spinach.

This potato and chickpea stew is an instant favorite. It’s very satisfying and there are so many layers of flavor here that you won’t miss the meat (although chorizo would go quite nicely for a non-vegetarian version). The peppers and onions become very velvety and sweet throughout the cooking process. You can very distinctly taste the two different types of paprika and the sherry. It’s a very well-balanced stew. I invested some time and used dried chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid so that I could use it in the stew. The cooking instructions were very accurate—I used fingerling potatoes and they became pretty fork-tender by the end of the first 20 minutes of cooking with the lid on. The condensation released enough liquid to accomplish this effect. I got a kick out of the colors in the first step because my fingerlings included some purple and pink ones, so between the pepper colors, and then later the parsley, it all had a nice confetti effect. I ended up adding 1 1/2 cups liquid before adding the spinach—half was the chickpea liquid and half was vegetable stock. If you want a stew that’s a little soupier, you could go up to 2 cups total, however, I didn’t buy a bunch of spinach for finishing, I just used a box of baby spinach (142 grams), sautéed it in some oil, and served separately. This dish would go nicely with some whole grains, whether on the side or mixed in, such as farro, wheat berries, whatever is on hand. Makes for a nice, complete, and healthy meal!


  1. Enjoy Spanish-style dishes. As you said, very healthy and a nice change for a meatless meal. I use chickpeas frequently so this is a nice different dish.

    1. Lovely to hear, stanp! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know and we look forward to you trying this dish!

  2. I made this tonight and it was delicious. I only had smoked paprika and champagne so I used those instead of the sweet paprika and sherry. I did need the full 2 cups of liquid to cover the ingredients.

    1. Nice, Debbie M.! I absolutely love your substitutions! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know.

  3. Well, I’m Portuguese born and had the pleasure to have this meal cooked by my daughter, Canadian born and raised, and I have to tell you is so goooooooooooooooooooood! The recipe is easy to follow and is the right meal for a family. We had it on family day in Ontario on a snowy night! All enjoyed it, including the children! And do not forget the leftovers….

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