Spinach stew with chickpeas is an easy, healthy, and satisfying dish you can enjoy with rice or bread as a weeknight dinner or hearty lunch.
Ours is a comforting vegetarian and vegan-friendly recipe inspired by Eastern Mediterranean cooking and made with simple ingredients and spices such as olive oil, onion, garlic, and cumin.
Table of Contents
Check out our best easy dinner recipe collection!
If you want something healthy, quick, easy, nourishing, and tasty for your weeknight dinners, look no further than this spinach and chickpea stew.
This dish is popular in many countries, especially in Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking.
For the recipe, we drew inspiration from Palestinian “Sabanekh bil hummus”, a wonderful combination of fresh spinach, tender chickpeas, and fragrant spices.
This spinach stew is excellent with rice or warm pita bread for lunch or dinner, and it’s also a great recipe for meal prep as its flavor gets better the next day as the ingredients have time to meld.
We were so impressed by this recipe because it’s really easy to make, and it tastes incredible! Let’s see how to make it.
You can use extra virgin olive oil, olive oil, or any other vegetable oil suitable for cooking.
We use the oil to make the flavor base with onion, garlic, and spices and infuse the recipe with a beautiful round, fragrant, and warm flavor.
Use white or yellow onion; chopped coarsely. When gently fried with oil, onion adds a wonderful flavor to the stew.
Fresh garlic is a must here. Press it, grate it, or mince it with a knife, then gently fry it with the onion without burning it.
Cumin and coriander
Ground cumin and coriander are lovely with chickpeas and spinach; we recommend adding both.
Pick your favorite vegetable broth. You can use a regular one or a reduced sodium one. You can even make vegetable stock yourself if you have the time.
Canned chickpeas are excellent if you are short on time. Just drain them and rinse them under cold water.
Alternatively, go for dry chickpeas that you first boil in plenty of lightly salted water for one to two hours or until tender.
You can use fresh spinach or frozen spinach.
Substitute spinach with kale or Swiss chard.
Salt and pepper
Serve the spinach stew with lemon wedges to squeeze on top right before eating. The acidity of the lemon juice will freshen up and boost the flavors of this dish.
Pine nuts are optional but are used often in Eastern Mediterranean cooking, so we like to add them on top of the stew to add a delicious nutty flavor.
Toast the pine nuts for a few minutes on a nonstick pan until they turn golden brown.
We usually serve the stew with boiled rice. You can use white or brown basmati rice.
Substitute warm pita bread (or any other bread) for rice.
Optionally, you can top the stew with plain, Greek, or non-dairy yogurt. Even better, top it with a creamy and tasty yogurt tahini sauce.
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven, then add coarsely chopped onion and fry it for 3 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.
Add pressed or grated garlic, ground cumin, and ground coriander, and fry for one more minute or until you smell the spices’ fragrant aroma.
Add the rinsed and drained chickpeas, salt, and black pepper, give it a quick stir, then add vegetable broth and spinach.
You might not be able to add all the spinach at the same time. Let them wilt for a minute if that’s the case, then add the rest.
Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, lower the heat, crack the top open, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Taste and adjust for salt, then serve on boiled rice topped with toasted pine nuts and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Tip: you can toast the pine nuts on a non-stick pan on medium-low heat for 1 minute or until golden brown.
Optionally, top it with plain yogurt, Greek yogurt, or non-dairy yogurt, or try a dollop of our yogurt tahini sauce.
If you don’t feel like rice, you can serve this spinach stew with warm pita bread or Naan bread next to a refreshing side salad like:
- Fattoush (pita bread, cucumber, tomato, romaine lettuce, radish, bell pepper, etc.)
- Tabbouleh (parsley, tomato, bulgur, scallion, mint leaves, lemon juice, etc.)
- Shirazi (cucumber, tomato, white onion, dried mint, lime juice, etc.)
- Tomato cucumber salad (tomato, cucumber, red onion, olive oil, basil leaves, etc.)
Make ahead: spinach stew is an excellent recipe to make several hours ahead because its flavor improves after a few hours it’s made as the flavors have time to meld. It’s also perfect for meal prep as it keeps well for several days.
Refrigerator: keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezer: let the stew cool down completely, then transfer it to a freezer-friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw slowly in the fridge or the microwave.
Reheat: warm up the spinach stew in the microwave or stovetop.
More stews and soups
Get more wholesome and comforting stew inspiration with these vegetable–packed favorites:
- Chickpea stew (chickpeas, sweet potatoes, cumin, canned tomatoes, parsley, onion, etc.)
- Italian bean stew (pinto beans, celery, onion, carrot, canned tomatoes, parsley, etc.)
- Tuscan bean soup (white beans, kale, cabbage, carrot, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, etc.)
- Lentil vegetable soup (lentils, spinach, potato, carrot, onion, garlic, cumin, etc.)
More chickpea ideas
These easy and healthy chickpea recipes are great for weeknight dinners:
- Chickpea soup (canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, chickpeas, potatoes, rosemary, etc.)
- Pasta e ceci (ditalini pasta, chickpeas, canned tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, etc.)
- Easy chickpea salad (cherry tomatoes, olives, cucumber, chickpeas, corn, parsley, etc.)
- Chickpea curry (coconut milk, chickpeas, turmeric, curry, garlic, coriander, parsley, etc.)
For many more dinner ideas, check out our mains category page.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic pressed or grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 cans (15-ounce each) chickpeas or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 pound spinach
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lemon in wedges
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
- Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot, then add 1 large onion (chopped) and fry it for 3 minutes stirring often.Add 4 cloves garlic (pressed or grated), 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, and fry for 1 more minute.
- Add 2 cans (15-ounce each) chickpeas (drained), 2 cups vegetable stock, 1 pound spinach, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Stir and let simmer partly covered for 20 minutes.
- Taste and adjust for salt, then serve on boiled rice or next to warm pita bread topped with 2 tablespoons pine nuts lightly toasted on a pan 1 lemon cut into wedges.
- Optionally, you can top with yogurt tahini sauce, or plain, Greek, or non-dairy yogurt.
If you liked this spinach stew, you might also enjoy the following: