Chickpea, Pepper and Saffron Stew

Chickpea, Pepper and Saffron Stew

Chickpea, Pepper and Saffron Stew.

This simple dish is packed with flavour and is the perfect Autumn meal. We like to serve this as a main course with a creamy polenta and a herb pesto. We have also loaded it onto a piece of toasted bread. Love a versatile dish! If the chickpeas are pre cooked, or you are using tinned beans, then this dish can be prepared and cooked in 30 minutes. If you have the time however it’s worth cooking over a longer period with dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight. 

With Hungary bordering Austria to the West and Croatia to the South, it is only right for us to use Hungary’s favourite spice, paprika. Sweet paprika, while not spicy, adds an intensity to this flavoursome stew. The saffron takes it to a whole different level! We also added a glass of our favourite Vis Island wine, Rokis Bugava. Opening a bottle for cooking seemed crazy, but then we had an excuse to drink the rest of it with our meal!

It's a tasty and protein rich meal that seems to taste even better the next day, if you happen to have leftovers?

Ingredients for the Chickpea, Pepper and Saffron Stew
Ingredients for the Chickpea, Pepper and Saffron Stew

Chickpea, Pepper and Saffron Stew.

Serves 4


4 tbls Olive Oil

1 thinly sliced onion 

4 cloves of garlic

3 thinly sliced red peppers

1 tsp cumin

1 glass of white wine

large pinch of saffron

large pinch of chilli flakes

1 tbls of sweet paprika 

Zest and juice of 1 orange

400g of dried chickpeas (that have been soaked overnight)

400g of tinned tomatoes

200g plum tomatoes 

200ml of veg stock

1 tbls of maple syrup

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

1 handful of fresh parsley

Salt and pepper


Cut and quarter the plum tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 20 mins in a hot oven. While the tomatoes are roasting, in a large pan gently fry the onions, in olive oil with a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent and then add the garlic, cumin, paprika, sliced red peppers. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes cook longer. Add the wine,  reducing on a high heat for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, veg broth, chickpeas, chilli, saffron, the orange zest and juice. Bring to the boil and then simmer for around two hours or until the chickpeas are cooked.  If you decide to use tinned chickpeas, this stew will only take twenty minutes to cook. 

Finally add the spinach, roasted plum tomatoes and parsley. Check for seasoning.  Can serve immediately but like any stew, this taste even better the next day.

We like to serve with creamy polenta and a herb pesto.

Chickpea, Pepper and Saffron Stew, with creamy polenta and herb pesto
Chickpea, Pepper and Saffron Stew, with creamy polenta and herb pesto

Creamy Polenta.

Serves 4


250g polenta

500ml of veg stock

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

100ml plant based milk

Extra salt and pepper to taste

Herb Pesto.


A large punch of parsley

1 red chilli

2 cloves of garlic

40g of walnuts

1 tbls Rice syrup

2 tbls Olive oil

Juice of half a lemon 


Firstly make your heap pesto, by whizzing all the pesto ingredients together. Keep to one side while you make the polenta

To make the polenta, bring the veg stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the salt and olive oil.

Remove from the heat and slowly pour in the polenta, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or strong whisk. Return the saucepan to the heat and keep stirring until the polenta is thick and smooth. Add the Nutritional Yeast and the plant based milk. The polenta is cooked when it falls away from the sides of the saucepan and is no longer granular in texture. Check the taste and possibly add more salt and pepper. 

Chickpea, pepper and saffron stew
Chickpea, Pepper and Saffron Stew

Hope you enjoy this stew and please remember to #relaxinglyactive if you share this stew on social media.

If you are looking for a holiday this winter in the Austrian Alps then check out our yoga and snowshoe hiking holidays at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat where we serve three course plant based meals in the evenings.